Washington (CNN) - It's the state that launched him towards the White House. Thursday, Barack Obama returns to Iowa for the second time since his inauguration as president, to tout the health care reform bill that he signed into law on Tuesday.
Obama is scheduled to speak at the University of Iowa in Iowa City Thursday afternoon. The speech is part of a White House plan to begin aggressively selling the benefits of the health care overhaul and give some political cover to Democratic lawmakers jittery about their political futures, according to Democratic officials familiar with the plans.
Iowa seems to be the natural location for the speech. In May 2007, then-presidential candidate and senator from Illinois Barack Obama first announced his health care plan "launching a grassroots campaign for reform that led directly to the legislation passed this week," Thursday's daily White House schedule states.
Obama's victory in January 2008 in his party's Iowa caucuses boosted Obama into front-runner status along with Hillary Clinton in the battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, a fight he ultimately won when Clinton dropped out in June of that year. Obama ended up winning the state by 10 points, a switch in fortunes for the Democrats, as President George W. Bush narrowly won Iowa four years earlier.
President Obama made his first trip to Iowa on April 22 of last year. Obama marked Earth Day in Newton, Iowa by announcing a new initiative to lease federal waters for the purpose of generating electricity from wind and ocean currents.
Now the president returns to Iowa again to tout his biggest legislative victory yet in his young presidency.
CNN Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry contributed to this report
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