Obama takes tour to Illinois, plans 2 town halls

AP News
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Posted: Aug 17, 2011 3:06 AM
Obama takes tour to Illinois, plans 2 town halls

President Barack Obama is venturing from Iowa into politically familiar territory, taking his bus motorcade into his home state of Illinois as he wraps up a three-state tour through the cornfields, towns and cities of the Midwest.

The president will hold two town hall meetings Wednesday in western Illinois, the state he once served as senator. He'll then return to Washington for the start of a vacation.

The tour _ covering Minnesota and Iowa as well as Illinois _ has given Obama a chance to command attention just after Republican presidential candidates dominated the news with a debate and straw poll in Iowa.

He has used the trip to criticize his presidential and congressional opponents and to outline modest economic proposals in advance of Congress' return to Washington next month.