Obama to Address Illinois Legislature on ‘Building a Better Politics’

Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images
Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images

The White House has announced that President Obama will address a joint session of the Illinois Legislature and will be speaking on the subject of “better politics.”

The speech is meant to mark Obama’s ninth anniversary in presidential politics. It was in 2007 Obama announced he was running for president, an election he would go on to win decisively.

According to Crain’s Chicago Business, an email to members of Obama’s alumni association reports the president will speak to Illinois lawmakers about “building a better politics.”

Barack Obama campaigned for president in 2007 on the promise that he would bring the country together, but by his last year in office, he had to admit he has failed to achieve that goal.

In an interview with CBS News, Obama said he regretted not ending up as the great unifier he claimed he would be.

“The one thing that gnaws on me,” Obama said early in January, “is the degree of continued polarization. This has gotten worse over the last several years. And I think that in those early months, my expectation was that we could pull the parties together a little more effectively.”

The Land of Lincoln, though, certainly needs some lessons in “building a better politics.” The state is one of the most corrupt in the nation with half of its last eight governors ending up in jail and a seemingly endless line of politicians being paraded through the courts before they, too, end up going from the state house to the big house.

Obama has his own brushes with Illinois corruption, of course. His longtime connection to convicted felon Antonin “Tony” Rezko once threatened to derail his presidential aspirations.

Rezko, who was convicted for corruption in 2011, was a fundraiser for Obama when he was in the Illinois State Senate. Obama also infamously bought his Hyde Park house for $300,000 under market value with Tony Rezko making up the difference for him. To date, no one has ever explained how this was legal.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.


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