Jill Biden making 4-state ‘Investing in America’ blitz in preview of possible reelection deployment
By Arlette Saenz, CNN
First lady Dr. Jill Biden will make a two-day, four-state blitz next week as part of the administration’s “Investing in America” tour, offering a preview of how she could be deployed in a possible reelection bid.
The first lady will travel to Colorado and Michigan, a key battleground state, on Monday followed by stops in Maine and Vermont on Wednesday where she will also be joined by Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, a White House official previewing the trip told CNN.
In Vermont, she will appear with the state’s Republican Gov. Phil Scott, the official said, marking her latest effort to focus on issues that can draw bipartisan support. The first lady will also be joined by Colorado Gov. Jared Polis and Maine Gov. Janet Mills, both Democrats, in each of their respective states along with state and city officials.
During each of her stops, the first lady will tap into her own experience as an educator as she promotes how introducing high school and community college students to career-connected learning and workforce training programs helps prepare them for future jobs.
“President Biden and his administration are creating millions of jobs in infrastructure, clean energy, and manufacturing. These positions pay well. And many of them require associate degrees, certificates, or other hands-on instruction, not four years of college,” the first lady is expected to say over the course of her trip, according to an official previewing her remarks.
The first lady’s travel comes as the White House looks to tout President Joe Biden’s legislative accomplishments ahead of a likely reelection campaign, an endeavor the first lady has previously told CNN she is “all for.”
The president, first lady, Vice President Kamala Harris, and nearly a dozen Cabinet officials are expected to fan out across more than 20 states during the three-week “Investing in America” push, which the president kicked off on Tuesday with a stop in Durham, North Carolina. He will continue the tour with a stop in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area on Monday.
“The First Lady is a key messenger for the administration’s priorities and will continue to highlight the President’s accomplishments across the country through her travel on the Investing in America tour,” said Vanessa Valdivia, the first lady’s press secretary.
During her husband’s 2020 presidential campaign and first two years in office, Dr. Biden has served as her husband’s top surrogate, juggling her own work as a community college professor with the demands of campaign and official events.
While she typically teaches twice a week, Dr. Biden often fills her other days with travel across the country and is expected to feature heavily in any future campaign operation.
During the two-day tour, the first lady will draw from her own education experience to hone in the important of community college investments in workforce training programs in Colorado, Maine and Michigan.
“Learning that’s connected to careers is the heart of the Biden Education Pathway. It starts with free, high-quality universal preschool and goes through high school. It provides access to two years of affordable community college and connects to great jobs,” she is expected to say.
Along with travel into traditional battleground states, the White House has often dispatched the first lady to typically red states, a strategy that could be replicated in a possible 2024 campaign.
In the last month alone, she’s traveled three times into Republican territory for official events — visiting military families in Ohio, stopping at a community college in Indiana, and pushing for more cancer research investments in Louisiana alongside Bill Cassidy, one of the state’s Republican US senators.
She also traveled to Tennessee this week, a trip centered on mourning with a grieving community rather than pushing any politics or policy initiative.
In Vermont, she’ll team up with the state’s Republican governor to highlight workforce training programs with a stop at a local employer working to train high school students for jobs in clean energy and other industries.
“It’s the future of our workforce, how we grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out. And these aren’t red ideas or blue ideas; they’re American ideas,” the first lady said at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC, earlier this week. “In a time when we sometimes struggle to find common ground, these learning pathways bring us together.”
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