(AP) Republicans will spend a fortune this year trying to exploit President Barack Obama's political weaknesses in the midterm elections. To try to keep the damage to a minimum, Obama has brought back the White House political office.
The office serves as a type of early warning system for Obama and Democrats. This year, everything the president does will affect and be affected by the campaigns being fought across the country.
Three years ago, the office moved from the White House to Obama's political operation in Chicago to focus on his re-election.
The new political office is a clearinghouse for data and advice flowing in and out of the White House. Run by a top Obama adviser and five staffers, it also advises the president on fundraisers, campaign visits and endorsements.