President Obama hits the road again this week to sell his economic agenda and generate grass-roots pressure on Republicans to adopt his proposals.
Obama will begin his latest sales campaign Thursday with a trip to Austin, Texas. He is scheduled to visit a technical high school, talk with entrepreneurs, tour a tech company and discuss the economy with workers.
White House officials say Obama plans to travel every few weeks, and will call for proposals that include expanding early childhood education, raising the minimum wage, and investing in infrastructure such as roads and bridges.
A White House spokesman told reporters, "In his State of the Union, the president laid out his belief that the middle class is the engine of economic growth. To re-ignite that engine, there are three areas we need to invest in: 1) jobs, 2) skills, 3) opportunity."
In a commencement address at Ohio State University in Columbus Sunday, Obama said government can be a force for good, and he urged the graduates to avoid cynicism. "Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems," Obama said.
"They'll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices."
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Ken Walsh covers the White House and politics for U.S. News. He writes the daily blog "Ken Walsh's Washington" for usnews.com, and "The Presidency" column for the U.S. News Weekly. He is the author of the new book "Prisoners of the White House: The Isolation of America's Presidents and the Crisis of Leadership." Ken Walsh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and followed on Facebook and Twitter.