Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

President Obama plans Florida trip with likely stop in Tampa

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is planning a trip to Florida next week that mixes politics and policy, including a stop in Tampa to highlight a commitment to a reinvented national energy network, the "smart grid."

The White House is still planning the three-city visit — and only a fundraiser in Miami on Monday evening is confirmed — but Hillsborough County is a major political and news media base that would be attractive to a president trying to advance a wide-ranging domestic agenda.

Tentative plans call for Obama to visit the Jacksonville area Monday for an unknown policy-related stop. Typically, presidential visits to Jacksonville have focused on the large military presence. It will be Obama's second visit to Florida as president.

Monday evening, Obama will attend a fundraiser at the lavish Fontainebleau in Miami Beach to benefit Democratic members of the U.S. House and Senate.

And then Tuesday, he could be in Tampa for a green energy event.

Health care has dominated the debate in recent months but energy is taking on new urgency with the U.S. Senate beginning talks on "cap-and-trade" legislation to cut greenhouse emissions. And Obama has been focused on smart grid innovation, putting $4.5 billion in his stimulus package.

Smart grid is a loose term describing various ways to ease energy use while incorporating more wind and solar and other alternative sources.

In Obama's home state of Hawaii, planners are working on a power meter that monitors how much electricity is being used by appliances and turns them off during peak times when energy demand is higher.

In Boulder, Colo., homeowners plan to sell some of their unused solar energy to a local utility, cutting bills and spreading the power of the sun.

In Tampa Bay, Progress Energy has been working with research firms to seek federal funding for alternative energy grids.

Obama might also do a fundraising event in Tampa, continuing an increased effort as his party heads into the 2010 midterm elections.

Guests in Miami are paying $500 to get into the cocktail reception and a whopping $30,400 per couple for a photo with Obama, according to a flier.

Official details on the trip could come Friday. The White House typically guards its plans for both security and logistical reasons, and the Tampa leg was still a work in progress Tuesday.

But Ana Cruz, a Tampa-based Democratic consultant, said it made sense for Obama to visit Hillsborough County for both policy and political reasons.

"The 2010 elections are going to be a big battle for the state," she said. "This will be the first time that all of the (state) cabinet positions are up. The healthier Democrats can make this state for the 2010 elections, then the healthier we are for 2012," when Obama is up for re-election.

Alex Leary can be reached at leary@sptimes.com.

President Obama plans Florida trip with likely stop in Tampa 10/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 20, 2009 10:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs

    Bucs

    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Trump announces $10 billion Foxconn plant in Wisconsin

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Wednesday that electronics giant Foxconn will build a $10 billion factory in Wisconsin that's expected to initially create 3,000 jobs, the largest economic development project in state history.

    President Donald Trump embraces Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the East Room of the White House during an announcement Wednesday that Foxconn is going to build a plant in Wisconsin.
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Conservatives come to Sessions' defense amid Trump attacks

    Politics

    WASHINGTON — Congressional Republicans and influential conservatives rallied around Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday as President Donald Trump kept up his public pelting of the nation's top law enforcement officer and left his future in doubt.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
  5. Jones: Alex Cobb proves again why he's Rays' stopper, no matter how long he's here (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG

    If a team hopes to hang around the pennant race, it better have an ace. A stopper. A pitcher it can count on every fifth day to stop the bleeding, keep a winning streak going or flat-out win a game that a team flat-out needs to win.

    Rays starting pitcher Alex Cobb (53) throwing the first inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]