For the first time since May, President Barack Obama will return to Indiana on Wednesday. His destination is reported to be in the Elkhart area, where Hoosiers have been hit the hardest by the financial crisis. The exact time and destination of Obama’s visit has not yet been released to the public.
Obama last visited Elkhart in February, as part of a giant push for support of the economic stimulus bill. This time around, he is expected to promote health care reform and his ideas for future economic stability.
The active collapse of the auto industry has fueled the need for many Hoosiers to seek financial relief from the government, especially in Elkhart, where the unemployment rate remains among the nation’s highest. Hundreds of layoffs from car manufacturers have crippled the local economy in Elkhart.
Obama’s last visit to the Crossroads of America was in May, when he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame. His invitation to speak at this Indiana college‘s commencement sparked outrage among many Catholics, who protested granting Obama an honorary degree because of his controversial views regarding abortion and stem cell research.
This trip will be Obama’s fifth visit to the area in the last year and a half. The president’s first stop in Elkhart was on the 2008 campaign trail, just before Indiana’s primary election. He held two town hall meetings, one in April and one in February, at the Elkhart’s Concord High School. Many Obama supporters are hoping he can bounce back from the turmoil of his last Indiana visit in South Bend.