State of the Union Message on the road

by Kimberly Schwandt | January 25, 2012

After giving his third State of the Union address Monday, President Obama taking his message on the road, doing a five-state, three-day swing where he will talk about fairness and his vision for America.

He also happens to be visiting politically important battleground states.

Each day will coincide with a “pillar” from the address, administration officials said. He’ll focus in on manufacturing, energy and skills & innovation.

The White House has dismissed any notion that these stops are politically motivated. Republicans accused the State of the Union as being a campaign speech, criticizing that it was developed in part by campaign staff, not just White House aides.

Obama starts Tuesday morning in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and then heads to Phoenix, Arizona for the manufacturing focused day.

Wednesday he’ll be in Las Vegas, Nevada and Denver, Colorado to discuss alternative energy sources. He then rounds out the trip in Ann Arbor, Michigan on Friday for remarks about college affordability and education.

All of these tenets have been ideas he’s presented over his three years in office, but in Monday’s State of the Union, he tried to freshen his pitch.

The president is expected to bring themes from his address with him – talking about giving everyone a “fair shot,” playing by the same rules, and what he’s calling a return to American values, which he says aren’t Democratic or Republican.

“We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of Americans barely get by,” Obama said Monday night.

Obama originally planted the seeds of this vision in a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas last December. He was looking to evoke a Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke in Osawatomie more than a hundred years earlier talking about a “New Nationalism” and fairness and equal opportunity. The White House spent more than a month picking that city, and said the speech represented a make or break moment for the middle class.

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