Amendment revives dispute over railway

Language in a State Ports Authority restructuring bill would require that the Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment Authority transfer a rail line at the former Charleston Navy base to S.C. Public Railways.

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is about to make one of Washington's worst kept secrets official: He wants a second term.

Democratic officials familiar with the president's plans said Saturday that Obama intends to file papers as early as this coming week with the Federal Election Commission to launch his 2012 re-election campaign. He also will announce his candidacy to supporters by email and text messages.

The officials asked not to be identified in order to speak before the papers are filed.

That widely anticipated but formal step of registering with the FEC will free Obama to start raising money for the re-election effort, which, like his 2008 campaign, will be run from Chicago.

That fundraising already has begun. Obama netted $1.5 million at a Democratic fundraiser in New York's Harlem last week. He's also scheduled to travel in the week ahead to headline events in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Obama raised an eye-catching $750 million in 2008.

The president isn't expected to face a primary challenge.

Though a cast of Republican governors, former governors and others are laying the groundwork for a presidential bid, none has entered the race.

As the Obama campaign operation ramps up behind the scenes in terms of money, message and manpower, Obama plans to stay focused on his day job.