MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) – President Barack Obama arrived in Air Force One early Thursday afternoon for what will be a rare two-day visit to the Twin Cities.
Obama will speak to crowds and attend a private fundraiser over the course of two days. He left Washington, D.C., late Thursday morning aboard Air Force One and landed at the Minneapolis-St. Bal International Airport at about 12:30 p.m.
It’s going to be a busy couple of days for President Obama. He will head from the airport to Minnehaha Park, where he will hold a town hall event at about 2 p.m. Then Thursday night, Obama will be at a private fundraiser at Sam and Sylvia Kaplan home in Minneapolis. They’re longtime donors and supporters of the president.
The last big stop will be Friday at the Lake Harriet Bandshell, where he will give a public speech focusing on the economy. Tickets are all gone for Friday’s event as thousands waited in line on Wednesday.
Gov. Mark Dayton and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges were at the airport Thursday to greet President Obama.
A Twin Cities woman will also get the chance meet President Obama while he is in town.
Last March, Rebekah Erler wrote a letter to Obama after becoming frustrated while paying bills. To her surprise, the White House answered her letter and created a video of President Obama reading it.
In the letter, Erler says how frustrated she is that the economy isn’t improving quickly enough. That makes it hard for her family to do more than live paycheck to paycheck.
“Overall I think it’s frustrating that those things, those little extras that make you feel like you are making it, putting money aside for kids’ college, going on vacation, all those things. You know, you can’t do those anymore,” she said.
Rebekah said she never told her husband about the letter. Now he’ll get to meet the President as well, along with their two kids.
Obama’s fundraiser Thursday evening is the sixth Obama has held so far this year for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, with more in the works. All told, Obama has held dozens of fundraisers for Democrats as the party seeks to protect its fragile Senate majority and gain seats in the House amid tough political terrain.
In his speech Friday, Obama plans to highlight Minnesota’s decision to hike its minimum wage from $6.15 per hour to $9.50 by 2016. Obama’s push to get Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour hasn’t gained much traction, but the president has sought to use his bully pulpit to encourage states to raise wages on their own.
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