Obama taking post-State of the Union road trip

Obama taking post-State of the Union road trip
© Getty

President Obama will hit the road after his final State of the Union address to amplify his message that the nation has improved under his leadership.

Obama is crossing two cities off the list of places he has yet to visit as president — Omaha, Neb., and Baton Rouge, La. — where he’ll tout how his healthcare law and economic policies have helped those communities. The two-day trip begins Wednesday.

The president plans to “highlight the progress we have made in these states and across the country and discuss how he can continue taking action in the next year to help hardworking Americans get ahead,” a White House official said.

Entering his final year in office, Obama is looking to underline the major themes and accomplishments of his presidency, an effort to tie a bow on his legacy and set the table for a Democratic successor.

A big part of that will be touting his signature legislative achievement — the Affordable Care Act — and arguing why it should be kept in place. The trip comes less than a week after Republicans in Congress put a bill rolling back the law on his desk.

Obama is taking his message to two red states. He plans to highlight how the healthcare law has helped more than 767,000 people in Nebraska and 1.9 million Louisianans with pre-existing conditions obtain insurance coverage, the White House said. And he’ll point out that more than 200,000 in both states combined would be eligible for coverage if their governments expand Medicaid.

The president’s senior aides have cast Obama’s upcoming State of the Union as “nontraditional,” but post-speech trips have been anything but.

Last year, Obama traveled to universities in Idaho and Kansas to drive home his message. The president has made similar trips every year following his annual address to Congress.