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The Road After SOTU: Engaging with Americans in their Communities

The story of President Obama’s travel after his State of the Union addresses.

Each year since taking office, President Obama has made a point of following each of his State of the Union addresses by visiting communities across the country and engaging with Americans about the opportunities that lie ahead. From Florida to Wisconsin to Idaho and many more states in between, the President has highlighted the progress we have made in these states and across the country – and discussed how we can continue taking action to help hardworking Americans get ahead.

Take a look at the President’s journey over the years following each State of the Union address, and the progress we’ve made since then.


In January 2010, President Obama traveled to Tampa, Florida to discuss the Recovery Act and investing in high-speed rail. The Recovery Act worked to cushion the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression and lay a new foundation for economic growth. Public and private forecasters ranging from the Council of Economic Advisors to Moody’s Economy and IHS Global have said the Recovery Act was responsible for 2 million jobs or even more nationwide in the first year alone. These jobs have also laid the groundwork for a new clean energy economy, revitalized infrastructure and transportation, helped transform health information technology, and helped make America more competitive for generations to come.

Also in January of that year, the President traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for the GOP House Issues Conference.


In January 2011, President Obama traveled to Manitowoc, Wisconsin to discuss how innovation and investment in clean energy technology can help create new American jobs and grow the economy. Under the President’s leadership, we have made the largest investment in clean energy in American history, including support for thousands of wind and solar projects, loans for energy technology projects, investments in batteries and other advanced vehicle technologies, and support for large-scale carbon capture and utilization at coal-fired power plants.

You can find more information about the President’s historic expansion of the clean energy economy HERE.


In January 2012, President Obama traveled to Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Chandler, Arizona to discuss strengthening an economy built to last. Check out how far we’ve come in rebuilding our economy and expanding opportunity for all Americans.

Also in January, the President traveled to Las Vegas, Nevada to outline the blueprint for American-made energy and to Ann Arbor, Michigan to discuss how to make higher education more affordable. Since the President took office, his Administration has expanded scholarships, made student loans more affordable, and kept college within reach for Americans. Take a look at the President’s record on the economy.

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Chandler, Arizona

Las Vegas, Nevada

Aurora, Colorado

Ann Arbor, Michigan


In February 2013, President Obama traveled to Asheville, North Carolina and Chicago, Illinois to discuss ways to strengthen the economy for the middle class. The President also visited Decatur, Georgia to highlight the importance of investing in high-quality early childhood education. This Administration has taken action to make new investments from pre-school through 12th grade. These steps include expanding access to high-quality preschool through the Preschool Development Grants competition, which has provided development and expansion grants to 18 states to support high-quality early childhood education programs for children from low-income families.


In January 2014, President Obama traveled to Lanham, Maryland to discuss the minimum wage. This Administration has led a national push for an increased minimum wage, supporting minimum wage increases in 17 states and the District of Columbia as well as 30 cities and counties, which will increase wages for 7 million workers. In addition, the President extended minimum wage and overtime protections to workers who provide in-home care services for the elderly, the ill, and individuals with disabilities, who previously were not covered by these basic workplace laws. And in February 2014, the President signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for workers on new federal contracts, benefiting 200,000 workers.

Also in January of that year, the President traveled to West Mifflin, Pennsylvania to discuss retirement security and Waukesha, Wisconsin to deliver remarks on expanding opportunity for all and providing skills for American workers.

Here’s how the President has improved retirement security:

  • Proposed rules to protect Americans’ hard-earned savings by ensuring that retirement advisers provide advice in their clients’ best interest
  • Took administrative action to promote the use of automatic enrollment in retirement plans and other automatic features shown to increase retirement savings
  • Clarified rules to allow greater use of retirement-savings products that provide lifetime income like deferred annuities and longevity annuities, by, among other things, allowing auto-enrollment into qualified fixed annuities in 401(k) plans and permitting deeply deferred longevity annuities in 401(k)s and IRAs
  • Proposed rules and put forth guidance to facilitate creation of state-sponsored retirement savings plans intended to expand coverage to retirement savings plans, similar to the federal automatic IRA proposal put forward by the President in every budget since taking office
  • Created a new myRA account to provide a simple, no-fee way for Americans who don’t have access to employer-sponsored plans to save for retirement

For more on this progress, and ways the President has helped American workers build the skills they need to advance.

Lanham, Maryland

West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

Waukesha, Wisconsin

Nashville, Tennessee


In January 2015, President Obama traveled to Boise, Idaho and Lawrence, Kansas to explain middle-class economics – the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.

Check out the videos below for more.

Nashville, Tennessee

Lawrence, Kansas


This year, for his seventh and final State of the Union Address President Obama will travel to two new communities he has yet to visit during his presidency. On Wednesday, January 13th, the President will travel to the Omaha, Nebraska area and on Thursday, January 14th, he will travel to the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area to highlight the progress we have made in these states and across the country. The President will also discuss how he can continue taking action in the next year to help hardworking Americans get ahead.

With each day of his presidency, the President plans to keep his foot on the gas pedal, and engage Americans in discussions about how we can continue to move the country forward.

Keith Maley is the Director of Regional Media.