If a presidential candidate even points to Iowa on a map these days, it will most likely get the media talking about his or her Election 2012 prospects. When the sitting president makes a visit there to conduct business, it can send the pundits and outlets into overdrive as they scrutinize the fine line between governing and campaigning in the White House.
For President Obama, his stop in the Quad Cities area of eastern Iowa on Tuesday was an attempt to drive home his administration’s focus on jobs and the economic recovery. White House spokesman Jay Carney reiterated that the president’s trip to the Hawkeye State was not related to Election 2012.
President Obama toured and gave a speech at the Alcoa Inc. plant that manufactures parts for jets. The company was hit with job losses during the recession, but has since filled all of the positions they eliminated. They currently employ 2,200 workers.
The president highlighted manufacturing success in the area that has helped lower unemployment significantly in the area. Advanced manufacturing, the president believes, is one of the most promising areas that can lift the U.S. out of its recession.
“We’ve got the capacity not only to get back to where we were but to get to where we need to be,” Obama told workers at the Iowa plant.
“That’s why I ran for president … to get us where we need to be,” the president added.
Many media outlets noted the irony in President Obama’s visit to Iowa this week in light of the recent events on the GOP side of the 2012 presidential campaign. On Monday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced her candidacy in her hometown of Waterloo. Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin were also in the state for visits on Tuesday. In the city of Pella, Palin attended the debut of the movie titled, “The Undefeated,” about her life, though she has not officially announced her intentions to run for office.
Iowa is not the only key state on the Election 2012 map, however, that Obama has seen in recent weeks. On June 3, the president paid a visit to the Chrysler Group, LLC’s Toledo Assembly plant in Ohio to talk recovery in the automotive sector. Toledo and the auto industry as a whole benefited from the government bailout in 2009 when General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. Both companies are now operating with a profit.