Over the course of Mr. Obama's first year in office, the White House has been methodical and strategic in selecting destinations for policy speeches and town-hall meetings, The Washington Times has found in a review of the president's domestic travel.For a scholarly analysis of President Obama's travel, see The White House Transition Project.
Mr. Obama has ventured out of the confines of Washington to secure memorable and symbolic backdrops for important speeches, as he did when setting his Afghanistan war address against the gray-jacketed cadets of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York. He has made multiple trips to other states known for their Democratic fundraising heft, such as Illinois and California, and has stopped in presidential battleground states that he won or lost by less than 5 percentage points.
Mr. Obama marked his first 100 days in office with a speech in Missouri. It was one of two trips he has taken to the state, which he lost to his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, by just one-tenth of 1 percentage point. He has visited Ohio and Pennsylvania three times each, and he chose Montana, a state he lost by 12,000 votes, or 2.5 percentage points, for one of his health care town-hall events.
Monday, December 28, 2009
The 2008 election shaped the president's travel in 2009. The Washington Times reports that of the 23 states he has visited for policy events, 18 have been in battleground states.