After State of the Union, Obama heads to Kansas - KCTV5

After State of the Union, Obama heads to Kansas

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A local business even created T-Shirts to commemorate the presidential visit. They're selling "Barack Chalk" shirts at ACME in Lawrence. A local business even created T-Shirts to commemorate the presidential visit. They're selling "Barack Chalk" shirts at ACME in Lawrence.
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV/AP) -

President Barack Obama hit the road to conservative-leaning Idaho to sell the economic proposals he outlined in his State of the Union address. His next stop is Kansas.

It's the first time Obama has visited Idaho as president, though he did headline a rally in the state during his 2008 White House campaign.

From Boise, Obama heads to Kansas, another state that typically backs Republicans. The president landed at Forbes Field Airport in Topeka, KS, about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

When he landed, he met with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and the Topeka mayor. He told them, "I have roots here. It's good to be back in Kansas.”

From there he traveled to Lawrence where he will speak at the University of Kansas on Thursday.

It's the first time in more than 100 years that a sitting president has visited the university.

A small crowd gathered Wednesday night outside the Holiday Inn off McDonald Drive, hoping to catch a glimpse of the president's motorcade.

“It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I'm 24 and I've never seen one, so we'll take pictures to cherish it,” said Courtney Mannell, who was there with her 3-year-old son Blaine.

KU grad student Ashley Puenner will very close to Obama. She's performing the national anthem for the commander-in-chief.

"I just talked to my mom and she said my grandma is telling anybody she can find,” Puenner said. “It was a little surreal. It's still surreal.”

As KU officials prepare for the large crowd at the Anschutz Sports Pavilion, local businesses are prepping for a possible surprise visit from the president.

Mayor Mike Amyx hopes the president will visit local spots. He said Thursday will be a historic day for the community and says the opportunity to host a sitting president is an honor and a privilege.

“Just the opportunity for a business to serve the president would mean a lot. That would be a big deal for local businesses,” Amyx said.

A local business even created T-Shirts to commemorate the presidential visit. They're selling "Barack Chalk" shirts at ACME in Lawrence.

KU's vice chancellor says hosting the president of the United States is no small task. They've been working closely with secret service to prepare for the visit.

A White House spokesperson said anyone attending the event should not bring any bags and limit personal items. Tickets are required for entry and are not for sale or re-sale. No signs or banners are permitted. All attendees will go through airport-like security.

No overnight camping will be allowed on the premises at any time leading up to the event. The doors open at 8:30 a.m. Thursday.

KCTV5 is told that Obama will attend the KU basketball practice Thursday.

White House officials say Obama deliberately chose conservative states for his first stops following his annual address to Congress.

Among the economic proposals that he outlined was a tax increase on the wealthy to pay for programs for the middle class.

Obama's plans have been panned by the Republicans who now control Congress.

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