President Obama begins a visit to southern California today where he plans to use a backdrop of job losses and home foreclosures to argue for a budget proposal he says will begin building a new economy.
California supported Obama in last year’s election, and Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed the president’s stimulus package, which will bring a state with a double-digit unemployment rate more than $30 billion in federal help.
But an angry populism fed by the financial crisis is rising in the country, including among moderate Republicans, whose support for Obama in this state was important to his success. Here in traditionally conservative Orange County, where he will hold a town hall-style event tonight, his visit is as much a show of solidarity as sales opportunity.
Reuters also reports that Obama plans to visit drug war-scarred Mexico in April.