Thanks to Denver hosting the last Democratic National Convention, Colorado was the trailhead of Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign—and the president appears intent on keeping our battleground state at the center of his 2012 re-election map. Vice President Joe Biden and senior advisor David Plouffe will swoop into the Denver Athletic Club on Friday for a “big-money event,” and you may have already noticed the Obama for America campaign shop downtown (Politico).

As the GOP continues to struggle in uniting behind a 2012 contender, Obama faces early campaign problems of his own: a lack of high-profile surrogates to help make his case, particularly in unfriendly territory. “Obama faces the reality that almost every White House incumbent must eventually deal with: Politicians in his own party in vast swaths of battleground territory simply don’t want him around next year,” writes Politico (in a separate article). That’s not the case with Mark Udall, Colorado’s senior U.S. senator, who is reportedly a “rising star” in Obama’s campaign circle.

The prez is also counting on Colorado Democratic Party Chairman Rick Palacio, who paid a visit to Washington, D.C., recently to meet with the party’s new national chair, Debbie Wasserman Schulz. At 36, Palacio is the youngest-elected chairman his respective state party, a distinction he shares with 35-year-old Republican counterpart Ryan Call. The two sat down with the Colorado Statesman earlier this month to talk about the road to 2012.