Obama heads to Minnesota to connect with ordinary Americans

President Obama will make the first in a series of trips across the nation to meet ordinary Americans who have written him about their struggles and concerns when he travels to Minnesota on Thursday.

The summertime campaign-style travel, which comes as focus is intensifying on the coming midterm elections, will see the president tour communities and hold town-hall meetings on his domestic agenda. 

ADVERTISEMENT
The trips should allow Obama to earn free media exposure in states where he can help assist incumbent Democrats facing reelection such as Minnesota, where Sen. Al Franken is seeking a second term this fall and will travel to his home state with the president. 

And Obama will also have an opportunity to fundraise outside of Washington, D.C. 

On Thursday, the president will appear at a fundraiser benefitting the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. According to an aide, Obama has at least 14 fundraisers benefitting fellow Democrats already scheduled for the coming months.

While in Minnesota, Obama will meet with a woman named Rebekah, a mother who wrote the president in March about her economic hardship. During his two-day tour through the state, Obama will share lunch with Rebekah and travel with her to a town hall event and a "number of local stops."

"The President chose to highlight Rebekah’s story because it is representative of the experiences of millions of Americans: While our economy’s made a comeback, too many middle class Americans are still stretched too thin and the President knows there’s more work to do," said a White House official.

Obama is expected to remain in Minnesota overnight, and will discuss job creation initiatives at a second economic event on Friday.

The White House said Rebekah had penned one of the 10 letters selected by White House staff that Obama makes a point of reading every night. 

In a video released by the White House, Obama says, "I think it's going to be wonderful for me to let Rebekah know not only am I listening, but that she's not alone out there."

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the trip "will hopefully be an opportunity for the President to get some additional insight into the challenges that those families are confronting on a regular basis."

It appears the president might also get a chance to watch Thursday's hotly-anticipated U.S.-Germany World Cup match.

"It’s my understanding that based on the schedule, the way the schedule is laid out for tomorrow, the President will be on Air Force One tomorrow," Earnest said. "So for most Americans, you’re on an airplane, you’re disappointed that you’re not going to have a chance to watch television, [but] when you’re the President of the United States, it’s one of the rare opportunities that you actually have to be around the television."

 

More in News/Legislation

Obama meets with lawmakers on criminal justice reform

Read more »