Vulnerable freshman Rep. Joseph Cao (R-La.) is set to join the president at a town hall meeting to be held in New Orleans on Thursday.

The GOP lawmaker told The Hill that he accepted the invitation extended by Obama to "attend" several events around the district.

Obama's brief trip to the Big Easy will be his first official visit as president to the devastated city, which is still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

Though it's customary for presidents to invite lawmakers to the events he holds in their districts, in most instances members of the opposite party tend to decline.

But Cao jumped at the opportunity to participate.

Cao is in an unusual position as he is considered by many political operatives to be the most vulnerable House Republican vying for reelection in 2010.

The GOP lawmaker barely eeked out a victory against then-indicted former Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) in a majority-minority district that overwhelmingly voted for Obama. Jefferson was convicted on corruption charges several months ago.

Given Cao's political reality, the White House has actively courted him for support on many high-profile issues including healthcare.

Over the past several weeks, Obama's healthcare policy czar Nancy Ann DeParle has held extensive discussions with Cao on the president's reform bill. DeParle even participated in a tele-townhall with Cao.

Though Cao has asked for a personal meeting with the president on the topic, the White House has yet to make that happen.

When discussing Thursday's events in New Orleans, Cao joked that he was pressing for a ride with Obama in Air Force One.

In addition to attending the townhall meeting at University of New Orleans, Cao will "visit" a high school in his district with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. They will have a "discussion" with the seniors at John Mcdonogh High.

There was no mention of a flight on Air Force One in the press release however.