Three days, nine towns...and plenty of time for foodie stops...
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Following a Sunday packed with fundraisers, President Obama travels from Chicago to Iowa on Monday to kick off a three-day bus tour through a state that is crucial to his re-election plan. There are nine towns on the President's official itinerary, and he will be traveling aboard Ground Force One, his high-tech bus. That means there will likely be "unscheduled" stops at small restaurants along the way for eat n' greets; 'Rural Americans for Obama' is a targeted voting bloc. Last June in Iowa, the President made a 'surprise stop' at Ross' Restaurant in Bettendorf, where he ordered six of the house's chili-topped signature sandwichs. The visit fulfilled a 2008 campaign promise, the President said. Who knows what other foodie promises the President has left to keep? (Above, the President shows his Volcano to a fellow enthusiast)
Somehow the President is not currently scheduled to attend the Iowa State Fair, a hotbed of political action that is currently going on in Des Moines, where he will spend the night on Monday. Rep. Paul Ryan, the newly anointed GOP vice presidential candidate, makes his first solo outing at the fair on Monday afternoon. Maybe the President will drop by to enjoy some deep-fried Twinkies this evening.
The President will be focusing on economics during his bus tour, discussing his GOP rivals' "fairy dust" approach to saving America. He'll also of course discuss the drought and rural issues. The financial impact of the drought is a politically volatile topic, and the Administration has devoted much time to publicizing relief efforts. Iowa is the #1 corn grower in the US, and crop forecasts for corn have plummeted over the last month, according to USDA.
On Monday, the President will fly to Omaha, Nebraska to get on his bus. At 11:25 AM local time he will be in Council Bluffs, speaking at Bayliss Park. Next it's on to Boone, where the President will speak at 5:15 PM at Herman Park. He will spend the night in Des Moines.
On Tuesday, the President will travel to Oskaloosa, Marshalltown, and Waterloo for campaign events. He will remain overnight in Cedar Rapids.
On Wednesday, the President will be joined by First Lady Michelle Obama, and they will travel to Dubuque and Davenport for more campaign events. Mrs. Obama brought her Let's Move! campaign to Iowa in February, for a massive party that was the kickoff for her three-day national tour celebrating the second anniversary of the campaign. In April, Mrs. Obama made her first official campaign visit to Iowa, visiting Des Moines.
"Later on Wednesday," the President and First Lady will return home to Washington, D.C., the White House said.
*Photo by Pete Souza/White House