President Barack Obama returned to Springfield Wednesday, nine years to the date of his presidential candidacy announcement. President Obama addressed the Illinois General Assembly, calling for bipartisan cooperation, a message directed at politicians everywhere and specifically at lawmakers in his home state who’ve not been able to agree on a budget for seven months.
He told Illinois’ lawmakers that they and all politicians have to ask themselves what they can do to make politics better and to reduce the bitter divisions that now exist. Obama then offered several suggestions, including getting big money out of politics, changing the way congressional and legislative district maps are drawn and improving access to voting. The president said Illinois is the state that mostly closely resembles the nation as a whole and should be a leader in reforming the way politics is done.