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Obama Tours Midwest Next Week, Sparks VP Speculation

From CBS News' Michelle Levi:

(CHICAGO) - Barack Obama embarks on a tour of Midwest battleground states next week - hitting Michigan on Monday, Ohio on Tuesday, and Indiana Wednesday. Voters in these important general election states have been hit hard by the slumping economy and the Illinois senator will explain his economic plan and take questions at a series of town hall meetings.

Obama released a new "emergency" economic proposal Thursday in St. Petersburg, Fla., which calls for $1,000 dollar rebate checks to be sent out to struggling families and five years of a windfall profits tax on oil companies. The $50 billion dollar package was based on advice Obama received during a meeting with economic advisors in Washington, D.C., on Monday.

Obama's pending visit to Elkhart, Ind. Wednesday, a Hoosier town hit hard by the closing of the Monaco Plant there, has spurred speculation of a VP announcement. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., is reportedly on Obama's short list but it has not been confirmed if he will accompany Obama on his Indiana visit. Bayh's office has not released his public schedule and has not commented on next week.

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