The White House has announced President Obama's first stop after the State of the Union will be Manitowoc, Wisconsin -- a state that he has increasingly added to his travel schedule. Details on the visit, haven't yet been announced -- but trip next Wednesday will likely highlight the economy and underscore key points he'll make in his State of the Union speech the night before.
Mayor Justin Nickels hinted to a local paper that the president's visit could include a tour of some local businesses, possibly Orion Energy Systems, the Herald Times Reporter noted in an article.
Last month, Senior [White House] Adviser Valerie Jarrett said on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Obama told staff right before he left for his Hawaiian vacation he'd like to get out more and that he regretted during the economic crisis that he had to spend so much time in Washington.
"He said, ‘When I get back, I really want to figure out a way where I can spend more time outside of Washington listening and learning and engaging with the American people.' It's really what gives him his energy and his strength, and so we're determined in the new year to make sure that his schedule reflects that priority," Jarrett said.
The president first went to Landover, Maryland, a city just outside the beltway earlier this month, to visit and make economic remarks at Thompson Creek Manufacturing.
He's also slated to go to Schenectady, New York this Friday to visit a GE plant.
This will be Obama's seventh visit to Wisconsin as president, after he made several stops there leading up the midterm election.
Obama has made 12 visits to Ohio, which is always a key swing state for presidents, but his latest stop to Manitowoc also underscores Wisconsin's political stance right now.
Republicans made gains in the state with the former Wisconsin Republican Chairman Reince Priebus landing the national chairman spot last week. The GOP was able to oust longtime Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold as well and take over the governor's mansion.