Updated: 06/25/2014 3:07 PM
Created: 06/25/2014 10:54 AM KSTP.com
Both political parties see opportunity in President Barack Obama's two-day visit to Minnesota that starts Thursday.
For Democrats, the biggest name in their party will draw attention to a signature initiative: the large bump ahead for Minnesota's minimum wage. For Republicans, having Obama's feet on Minnesota soil give them a tangible way to connect targeted Democratic candidates to a struggling president as campaign season intensifies.
Aside from a high-buck fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Thursday night, the trip is comprised more of official business than overtly political events.
Obama will arrive Thursday about noon and is expected to host a town hall at 2:10 p.m. at Minnehaha Park, which is open to invited guests.
Also part of the president's visit is spending time on Thursday with a woman named Rebekah from Minneapolis who wrote to Obama and told him about her challenges as a working mom.
On Friday, the president will speak on the economy at 10:50 a.m. at the Lake Harriet Bandshell.
But presidential appearances inevitably take on strong political overtones, particularly in an election year.
Obama handily won Minnesota both times he ran, finishing with nearly 53 percent of the vote in 2012. His approval ratings have sagged more recently.
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