The 2012 Elections. Despite calling for bipartisanship and for politicians to forget the consequences of their actions on the next election cycle, Obama's visit has a lot to do with 2012. "By coming to North Carolina, he's also identifying the importance of North Carolina as a swing state," said Kathy Smith, a political science professor at Wake Forrest University. Obama was the first Democratic presidential candidate to win North Carolina since President Jimmy Carter, and appearing here early is a sign that he intends to try and repeat the feat.
Good luck with that, Mr. President. If Bill Clinton -- who actually knew how to negotiate with Republicans -- couldn't do it, we have our doubts about your chances. Especially as you've mainly worked to lose your base in this state. Independent voters are not much impressed by weakness.
BTW: Being mentioned in the same sentence with Jimmy Carter is more than just merely awkward positioning.