Obama heads west to talk up recovery

July 8, 2010 12:00 am

, WASHINGTON, Jul 8 – US President Barack Obama takes to the road Thursday, on a two-day western swing designed to drive home his message of economic recovery, and fill campaign coffers ahead of November\’s elections.

Obama will visit an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Kansas City, Missouri, to showcase how his recovery plans are intended to create a green economy and a new generation of jobs.

He will then headline fundraisers for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, as he cranks up the pace of political campaigning ahead of crucial mid-term congressional elections in November.

Obama then moves on to the gambling paradise of Las Vegas, Nevada, to support embattled Senate Democratic Majority leader Harry Reid, who is facing a tough reelection bid and is the top election target of the Republicans.

Democrats fear that the mid-term polls, in which all of the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate are up for grabs, could challenge their monopoly on power in Washington.

Voters often use first-term mid-term elections to send a rebuke to new US leaders, or to make a course correction after previous presidential elections.

In recent days, Obama has been trying to talk up the US recovery, and to remind voters of the parlous state of the economy when he took office last year, amid the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s.

He touts the creation of 600,000 private sector jobs so far this year and says the economy is now well on the road to recovery.

Yet his political prospects are being clouded by unemployment running at 9.5 percent, the fact that many Americans do not yet feel the recovery, and official data that has sparked fears the rebound is slowing.

In Kansas City, Obama will tour Smith Electric Vehicles, a firm that won 32 million dollars in funding from his stimulus package to build electric trucks.

Obama argues that the United States must revolutionize its economy and produce new green jobs to wean the United States off foreign oil, to win a battle with competitors abroad and to ease environmental damage.


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