Barack Obama

Sen. Barack Obama outside the Old State Capitol
flickr/Barack Obama

Barack Obama was a freshman U.S. Senator February 10, 2007 when he stepped outside the Old State Capitol in Springfield to announce he would seek the presidency.  

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Today is the momentous day. The day every four years when this country experiences a peaceful transfer of power from one president to the next.

President Obama gave his final press conference at the White House on Wednesday, just two days before Donald Trump's inauguration. He reflected on his time in office and looked toward the incoming administration, ultimately concluding, "At my core, I think we're going to be OK."

NPR's politics team, with help from editors and reporters across the newsroom, annotated his remarks.

Amanda Vinicky on Chicago Tonight
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Full show includes:

  • What’s Behind State Workers’ Potential Strike?
  • The Trump Bump: Stocks on the Rise Despite Post-Election Fears
  • Remembering the 1st Step of Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1,000-Mile March

Amanda Vinicky at the statehouse
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Full show including:

  • Amanda Vinicky reports Springfield, Lawmakers Adjourn for Good, Without a Budget
  • The Purpose of the Presidential Farewell Speech
  • The Airport Security Balancing Act

Phil Ponce and Amanda Vinicky
Chicago Tonight | WTTW-TV

Full show including:

  • Illinois Senate budget deal has slim chances.
  • What to expect from President Obama's farewell address.
  • Chicago Bears future.

Chicago Tonight: President Obama Interview

Jan 5, 2017
Carol Marin interviews President Obama in the White House.
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Full Show including:

  • President Obama joins Carol Marin for a one-on-one interview.
  • What Obamacare repeal could mean to patients of Cook County Hospital.
  • Macy's, Sears fight for survival in digital age

President-elect Donald Trump, Gov. Bruce Rauner, and House Speaker Michael Madigan
Trump by Michael Vadon/Flickr, Rauner and Madigan by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

As we get ready to welcome 2017, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another tough year in Illinois government and politics. We heard Republicans struggling to reckon with Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, Democrats and Republicans engaging in another year of war over the soul of Illinois policy, and a growing list of everyday people being crushed by the budget standoff. Here now are some of the voices that made news in 2016.

Illinois Issues: Great American Divide

Dec 8, 2016
<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/darronb/23678720834/in/album-72157663272187471/">Darron Birgenheier</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-SA 2.0</a>) / Michael Davidson - <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/hillaryclinton/albums">Hillary for America</a> (<a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/legalcode">CC BY-NC-SA 2.0</a>) (derrivative composite)

The presidential election highlighted a divide that is so deep, citizens in Illinois and across the country can’t even agree on the same set of facts.

Several long-serving members of the General Assembly have chosen not to run for reelection this year.

Between now and the time they leave office, Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn will catch up with some of them for exit interviews reflecting on the years they spent as lawmakers. 

Illinois voters will be able to register and cast their ballot at the same time - on election day, Nov. 8th. The U.S. Court of Appeals handed down a ruling Friday that puts an end to a series of back-and-forth court orders issued in recent weeks.

Illinois first permitted voters to register on election day two years ago. But it only had to be available at one location in a jurisdiction.

In places it was so popular, there were huge lines.

A law set to take effect for this general election sought to curb that problem.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

A would-be state holiday passed last week without notice in Illinois. But supporters are hoping it will be recognized in the future.

Beyonce, George Lucas, and Magic Johnson were among the stars on the guest list for President Barack Obama's White House 55th birthday party (Obama's former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, scored an invite too).

But back in his adopted home state, the day came and went with little recognition, to the disappointment of State representative André Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat. He's proposed making August 4 a state holiday.

Amanda Vinicky

Last night Hillary Clinton - a woman born and raised in the Chicago suburbs – accepted Democrats’ nomination for President.

In roughly 100 days, voters will decide whether she or Republican Donald Trump will be the next president. Which means it’s the beginning of the end for President Barack Obama.

Illinois was right up front throughout the convention.

Literally.

police tape
flickr/ Tony Webster

Last week’s shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana have renewed attention on the relationship between police officers and African-American citizens.

Earlier this week on Illinois Edition, we heard from several activists with the Black Lives Matter movement. Today we’re going to hear from across the protest line.

On Monday, reporter Brian Mackey spoke with Chris Southwood, the president of the Illinois Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sarah Mueller WUIS

An Illinois citizens group on Friday moved a step forward in its aim to change the way the state draws legislative boundaries. The constitutional amendment its pushing would take the task of creating new maps from the state legislature and give it to an independent commission. But the proposal still faces hurdles to get on November's ballot.

The Supreme Court has rejected former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's appeal of his corruption convictions that included his attempt to sell the vacant Senate seat once occupied by President Barack Obama. 

Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Presidential candidates are making final swings through Illinois ahead of Tuesday's primary. Amanda Vinicky has a roundup of the weekend campaigning, and a preview of what's still to come.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

A candidate for the Illinois House has gotten help from an unlikely, high-level political figure.

With the race for the White House and control of the U.S. Senate on the line (not to mention leading the free world) President Barack Obama surely has plenty on his mind this election cycle. Evidently, that includes a contentious, and expensive, primary race for the Illinois House.

He's voiced an ad, asking voters to support Juliana Stratton.

public domain

Congress recently authorized a complete rewrite of the unpopular No Child Left Behind Act. What does that mean for Illinois?

Barack Obama, Michael Madigan and John Cullerton
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

Illinois' leaders are still stuck in a budgetary quagmire, weeks after President Barack Obama came to Springfield to call for less polarization in politics.

For this episode of The Players: Your look into who's who in Illinois politics and what they're up to (or more precisely this time around -- your look into who's who in national politics and what they were up to when they visited Illinois).

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

On Feb. 12 -- Abraham Lincoln's birthday -- officials released plans to salute another President with state ties.

Just days ago, on Wed., Feb. 10, President Barack Obama gave a major speech in Springfield, at the capitol, where he'd once served in the state Senate.

"Thank you for such a warm welcome as I come back home," he said to legislators' applause and hoots.

Dick Durbin, Barack Obama, Bruce Rauner, Jim Langfelder
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

President Barack Obama returned to Springfield to address the Illinois General Assembly this week. He's renewing the central argument of his first campaign for president: that most Americans want a less bitter, less divisive form of politics. Did his message resonate with Illinois lawmakers?

Barack Obama outside the Old State Capitol
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

On a freezing February day in 2007, President Barack Obama announced his bid for the nation's highest office in front of the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield -- the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his historic "House Divided" speech. At the time, Obama called for hope and change.

Nine years later -- to the very day -- Obama came back to Springfield. In his last year as president, he says he believes in the "politics of hope."

The themes of Obama's speech yesterday echoed what he'd said nine years ago, back when his hair hadn't yet gone gray.

Air Force One
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

Click the image to launch a slideshow of White House pool photographs by Justin L. Fowler of The State Journal-Register and Terrence Antonio James of the Chicago Tribune.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. As expected, he talked about improving American politics. What follows is Illinois Public Radio's broadcast of the full speech, hosted by Niala Boodhoo with reporting and analysis from IPR's Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackeyand former state Sen. Rick Winkel, who's with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. There's also video of the speech and a transcript provided by the White House press office.

Barack Obama
Pool photo by Justin L. Fowler / The State Journal-Register

President Barack Obama returned to the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday. In the building where his political career began, he spoke to lawmakers about reaching across the bitter divide in American politics.

npr.org

Nine years after he came to Springfield to announce he was running for President, Barack Obama will return to the state capitol Wednesday. He'll address Illinois representatives and senators at the statehouse.

Obama will be only the fourth sitting president to speak before a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly. President William Howard Taft did it in 1911, Herbert Hoover in 1933, then Jimmy Carter in 1978.

Obama campaign announcement
courtesy Brian Mackey

President Barack Obama is set to address the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield Wednesday. Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey filed this preview of what the president is expected to say — and what he probably won’t say.

BarackObama/flickr

The fate of Illinois' budget impasse could be influenced by the leader of the free world. At least, that's what Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder is hoping for.

A Push To Make Obama's Birthday A State Holiday

Feb 8, 2016
npr.org

This week, we'll celebrate Lincoln's Birthday.  Should President Obama also get a holiday in his home state?  Some lawmakers think so.

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