From Sunlen Miller
President Obama will wake up this morning in his Hyde Park home in Chicago, after spending his birthday in his hometown last night.
In the morning, the president will visit the Ford Motor Company Chicago Assembly Plant, where he will take a tour and then speak in front of workers.
Following his visits to Ford and Chrysler plants in Detroit last week, the president will “continue to tell the story of how the tough choices he made to save the American auto industry were necessary to save a million American jobs, stave off economic devastation in our auto communities and revitalize an entire American industry,” according to the White House.
Later this year, the Chicago Assembly Plant will begin production of the new, fuel efficient 2011 Ford Explorer. Ford has received a Department of Energy loan guarantee aimed at helping companies retool their plants to make more fuel efficient vehicles, and the Chicago plant is adding 1,200 new jobs.
A White House official says the president will focus his remarks on the “the American auto industry’s movement toward increasing its exports will help us meet the President’s goal of doubling our exports over five years to support millions of new American jobs."
Models to be exported using the loan guarantee facility include the new 2011 Ford Explorer, along with the F-150 pickup, Focus, Escape, Expedition, E-Series Van, Taurus and Lincoln MKS and Navigator.
For the rest of the day, the commander-in-chief will morph into the fundraiser-in-chief attending three fundraiser in the Chicago area.
First up will be an appearance by the president at an event for his former Chicago basketball buddy and current Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias at the Palmer House Hilton. Giannoulias is running for Obama's old Senate seat against Mark Kirk, who has nearly four time as much money in his campaign war chest as Giannoulias and is tied in most polls.
Afterward, Mr. Obama will attend two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee – one at the Chicago Cultural Center and another at a private residence.
After a little more than 24 hours away from Washington, D.C., President Obama will return home late this evening.