Obama plans several escapes from Washington next week

After taking his first flight as President on Air Force One last night, Barack Obama will be making heavy use of the big blue jet next week, flying out of Washington four out of five days.

When asked whether the President found the White House confining, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told Friday’s press briefing, “he is a bit of a restless soul.”

Travel for a "restless soul"

The President will make day trips Monday and Tuesday of next week to conduct town hall meetings selling his economic stimulus program. On Monday, he will travel to Elkhart, Indiana where in the past year the unemployment rate has jumped from 4.7 percent to 15.3 percent, Mr. Gibbs said.
Then on Tuesday, Mr Obama will fly to Fort Myers, Florida where the jobless rate has risen from 6 percent a year ago to 10 percent now.

Celebrating Abe's birthday

After spending Wednesday back in Washington, on Thursday the president will fly to Springfield, Illinois to speak at a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. He will return to the White House later that day.

On Friday afternoon the Obama family will head home to Chicago for the weekend. Mr. Gibbs said that a key item on the President’s agenda would be go “go out for Valentines Day” with Michelle Obama.

Enjoying the perks

Mr. Obama seems to be enjoying Air Force One. During his first trip on the plane as President on Thursday, he came back to the press quarters in the rear of the 747 and said to members of the press pool traveling with him, " What do you think about this spiffy ride? It’s not bad."

The President also liked the ride to Andrews Air Force Base on the presidential helicopter, Marine One. "The helicopter was very smooth, very impressive, you go right over the Washington Monument and then you know king of curves in by the Capitol. It was spectacular," Mr. Obama said.

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