Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 05/23/2012

Obama opens two-day trip with commencement address at Air Force Academy

COLORADO SPRINGS — President Obama kicks off a two-day road trip Wednesday by delivering the commencement address at the Air Force Academy here, the fourth year in a row that he will mark graduation at a military service institution.

As it happens, the speech will be in the election swing state of Colorado this year.

Obama’s whirlwind, out-of-town jaunt takes him to three states — California and Iowa are the others — where he will hold four campaign fundraisers, a grass roots campaign event in Iowa and an official White House event where he will push Congress to support a tax credit for clean energy.

At each stop, the president will have an eye on Nov. 6, as he presses his re-election message in battleground territory and raises money in the Bay Area, where Silicon Valley has emerged as a reliable source of campaign cash.

Obama won Colorado in 2008 after accepting the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, and he has stopped in the state several times over the past year.

His appearance at the Air Force Academy follows similar appearances during the past three years at the Naval Academy, West Point and the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.

Obama has used each occasion to discuss his foreign policy agenda, including the war in Afghanistan.

The commencement address on Wednesday comes less than a week after Obama presided over the NATO summit in Chicago, where world leaders agreed to a framework to wind down the Afghan conflict by 2014.

Previewing the commencement address, White House press secretary Jay Carney said he “will likely note how much has changed in the past four years since these cadets entered the academy in terms of the U.S. position in the world, the strength of its alliances, the success of its fight against al-Qaeda.”

On Wednesday evening, Obama will hold a fundraiser in Denver before flying to Northern California for two more fundraising events.

On Thursday, he is set to speak to Asian American supporters at a final fundraiser, before heading to Iowa to lobby for an extension of clean energy tax credits for wind power in Newton and then attend the grass roots rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines.

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The Fix: The nine swings states of 2012

Obama challenged in Arkansas primary

By  |  11:04 AM ET, 05/23/2012

 
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