Obama says: Nine years ago today, I announced my candidacy for President, right here in Springfield, Illinois. Some of you were probably here that day. And it’s been fun to be back here with a bunch of old friends.
I chose Springfield for my announcement because this is where I came to believe so deeply in a better kind of politics. Not just because of what I learned working across the aisle with folks in the legislature, but because of what I learned meeting people all across this state. You made me believe that if we just approached our politics the same way we approach our daily lives – with common sense, a commitment to fairness, and the belief that we’re all in this together – there’s nothing we can’t do. And I still believe that. I still believe in a politics of hope.
I’ll be the first to admit that the tone of our politics hasn’t gotten better over the past nine years. But that’s all the more reason to keep trying. In fact, I gave a big speech today at the Illinois legislature where I focused on specific ways we can build that kind of politics together. I hope you check it out if you have time. And I’m going to keep at it over the course of this year. Not just because I’m the President today. But because next year, I’ll still hold the most important title of all. I’ll still be a citizen, right there with all of you.