Welcome Home, Obama, Things Have Changed Around Here

Do you recognize the place?

By Andrew Greiner
|  Wednesday, Apr 28, 2010  |  Updated 8:20 AM CDT
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My how things have changed in Obama’s home state of Illinois.

The president is in Quincy, Illinois today as part of his "Main Street" tour, where he'll have a town hall on Wall Street.

Last time the president from Chicago actually visited the streets in state that made him a star things were quite different.

When Obama spoke to the American Medical Association in June 2009 Chicago was a contender if not a favorite to land the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The prez tried to pitch in to help land the games when he traveled to Copenhagen, but it didn’t go well.

He also had neighbors he knew. Bill and Jacky Grimshaw, who owned the home at 5040 Greenwood and once babysat Obama’s daughters, sold their Kenwood mansion for $1.4 million dollars.

After he was elected Obama made a pledge to come home once every few weeks or so to stay in touch with his Chicago roots, to decompress and escape the Washington echo chamber. But he hasn’t kept up with that schedule.

Back when he made that promise Rod Blagojevich was only the laughing stock of Illinois. Now he’s the laughing stock of the entire country after putting on display his bumbling, fumbling personality during Donald Trump’s Celebrity Apprentice showand implicating the president in his corruption trial.

Last time Obama was in Illinois Oprah Winfrey was holding it down. Now she’s planning on leaving for warmer climes.

Scott Lee Cohen was still an anonymous pawnbroker.

Todd Stroger still had power. Rahm Emanuel was happy in national politics. And Jay Cutler still had promise.

Last time Obama visited Illinois Sears Tower was still called Sears Tower. And the state was solidly Democratic, and no one thought Republicans would be looking to take it over.

Welcome home, Mr. President. Hope you recognize the place.

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