Politics

This story has been updated.

President Obama is scheduled to visit Louisville this Thursday to talk about the economy, according to The White House.

He’s planning a visit to the Louisville-based company Indatus. Obama hasn’t visited the city since becoming president in 2009.

But some recent developments may explain why he’s finally making a stop in Louisville, said Dewey Clayton, a political science professor at the University of Louisville.

Late last year, Obama appointed former Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson to the position of the director of intergovernmental affairs at the White House. Clayton said that relationship makes a trip to Kentucky for the first time in a while “appropriate” for the Democratic president.

Also, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell—and Louisville resident—recently became the Senate majority leader. That may also make the state a draw for the president, Clayton said.

But Clayton said the president is most likely in town to highlight the city’s efforts to attract more jobs and industries.

“I suspect possibly he is going to be meeting with (Louisville Mayor) Greg Fischer and others in looking at economic development, and looking at what role the federal government can play—if any—in helping Louisville and the state of Kentucky attract industry,” Clayton said.

Earlier this month, the White House highlighted Louisville’s effort to increase access to high tech jobs, specifically. During a conference call with the White House, Fischer was identified as one of the community leaders working with employers and the federal government to extend technology training opportunities to residents.

Federal officials said the White House was launching an initiative nationwide aimed at getting Americans to fill the increasing number of vacant information technology jobs in the U.S.

Whatever the reason, though, Clayton said the president visit is a positive thing for Louisville.

“It’s not often that a president visits your hometown and you get national news coverage of that type of event,” he said.

During his re-election campaign last year, McConnell challenged Obama to visit Kentucky. Following McConnell’s re-election, the senator has said the two intend to meet over bourbon.

But on Thursday, McConnell “is leading a congressional delegation trip outside of the U.S. and will not be in in Kentucky on Thursday,” according to the senator’s office.

White House officials said more information about the president’s trip will be announced later.

Earlier: President Barack Obama will visit Louisville on Thursday to discuss the economy, Mayor Greg Fischer said Monday via Twitter.

We’ll have details coming up.