Wednesday in politics: Obama pitches manufacturing ideas in N.C., and more

Phil Pruitt

President Barack Obama travels to Asheville, N.C., on Wednesday to discuss manufacturing proposals he made in his State of the Union address, and he’ll make similar trips to Georgia and Illinois later in the week.

Obama returned to economic development and job creation in his speech Tuesday evening after an inaugural address that was notable for its sweeping themes.

“A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs—that must be the North Star that guides our efforts,” Obama said. “Every day, we should ask ourselves three questions as a nation: How do we attract more jobs to our shores? How do we equip our people with the skills needed to do those jobs? And how do we make sure that hard work leads to a decent living?”

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on Jack Lew’s nomination to be secretary of the treasury. He would replace Timothy Geithner, who left the position Jan. 25. Lew would take over a couple of weeks before billions in automatic spending cuts at scheduled to go into effect.

Also worth noting on Wednesday: Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on immigration reform, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee will hold a hearing on problems at the U.S. Postal Service, and first lady Michelle Obama will host an interactive student workshop that includes the cast and crew of “Beasts of the Southern Wild.”

And then there is this: Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will host a fundraiser for Republican N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, who is running for a second term.

Sources: Yahoo News’ The Ticket, Yahoo News editor Beth Fouhy, Associated Press and Reuters.