President Barack Obama walks to Marine One at the White House en route to Andrews Air Base and, from there, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jan. 25
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, President Barack Obama’s political strategist David Plouffe and Obama’s chief speechwriter Jon Favreau step off Marine One as they follow Obama (L) to Air Force One at Andrews Air Force
Democracycorps: Dial testing and follow-up focus groups with 50 swing voters in Denver, Colorado show that President Obama’s populist defense of the middle class and their priorities in his State of the Union scored with voters.
The President generated strong responses on energy, education and foreign policy, but most important, he made impressive gains on a range of economic measures. These swing voters, even the Republicans, responded enthusiastically to his call for a “Buffet Rule” that would require the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share.
…. These dial focus groups make it very clear that defending further tax cuts for those at the top of the economic spectrum puts Republicans in Congress and on the Presidential campaign trail well outside of the American mainstream.
USA Today: After rounds of plant closures as the economy headed into recession – and some automakers headed into bankruptcy court – a resurgent auto industry is helping lead the way out with a hiring surge of an estimated 60,000 jobs this year.
…. Total jobs at all U.S. auto plants and parts factories will rise 10% to about 650,000 this year and hit 756,800 by 2015. That’s up from about 550,000 in the depths of the recent recession, but still well below more than a million a decade ago.
First Lady Michelle Obama joins the lunch line at Parklawn Elementary School in Alexandria, Virginia January 25. The First Lady made the visit to speak about the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new and improved nutrition standards for school lunches
(Rachael Ray in the background)
An early heads-up:
12:20: Arrives in Cedar Rapids
12:40: Tours Conveyor Engineering & Manufacturing
12:55: Delivers remarks
2:30: Departs Cedar Rapids en route to Phoenix, Ariz
5:35: Arrives in Phoenix
6:30: Delivers remarks at Intel Ocotillo Campus
8:35: Departs Phoenix, Ariz. en route to Las Vegas, Nevada
Pool report: Presidential motorcade left a soggy South Lawn at 12:45 p.m. for shopping and lunch. Fourteen minutes later the motorcade arrived at Potomac Yards in Alexandria, where the President headed into the Pet Smart store. By the time the pool was allowed in a shirtsleeved POTUS was at a checkout counter with Bo, who appeared to be sizing up a small brown “standard poodle” named Cinnamon, according to the dog’s owner.
“Okay, Bo, don’t get too personal here,” POTUS admonished, holding tightly to Bo’s leash. He pulled out a $50 bill to pay for two items, one a large dog bone. Total was slightly more than $41.
After a quick stroll POTUS entered the nearby Best Buy at 1:10 p.m. “This (stop) for the girls now,” he said as he went in.
After a round of handshaking he headed straight to the Wii section, where he bought a Just Dance game for his daughters.
“The girls beat me every time on these dance games,” he said, “but you’ll never get a picture of me (playing) because I get graded F every time.”
He also bought a pair of $50 iTunes gift cards and an unidentified game. Tab came to 194.48. “Let’s see if my credit card still works,” he said. It did.
After more grip-and-grins outside, motorcade left at 1:21 p.m. Nine minutes later, POTUS arrived via side streets at intersection of East Del Ray and Mount Vernon to pick up some pies at the Del Ray Pizzeria. More handshakes, a little sports banter…
Pool ushered out. Minutes later POTUS emerged with three large pizzas. Then he worked the crowd on all four corners of the intersection plus a fifth cluster of squealing well-wishers a bit further down Del Ray.
Motorcade including Bo rolling at 1:48, arriving South Lawn 2:05 p.m.
President Obama and his dog Bo with a poodle named Cinnamon as they check out at PetSmart in Alexandria, Va. Obama bought the presidential pup a toy bone and a bag of food while Bo played in the store with Cinnamon.
President Barack Obama speaks with customers while picking up his pizza order at Del Ray Pizzeria in Alexandria after purchasing gifts
President Barack Obama greets people after stopping for pizza at Del Ray Pizzaria in Alexandria, Virginia
President Barack Obama shops for Christmas gifts at a Best Buy store on December 21, 2011 in Alexandria, Virginia
President Barack Obama talks with student Rebecca Hyndman before visiting classrooms at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., Sept. 16, 2011. Hyndman, a Senior at Thomas Jefferson, shows the President the patent she received in 2010 for her invention, Under-Floor Storage. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
President Barack Obama holds Veronique Dimyan, age 1, as he greets the audience after signing the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act into law at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Virginia, March 30, 2010.