Obama bids a fond farewell to Illinois

Jessica Seftel

President-elect Barack Obama said “a very affectionate thanks” to the people of Illinois in a letter published Sunday in the Chicago Sun-Times.

Obama announced this past Thursday that his resignation from the U.S. Senate is official.

“Today, I am ending one journey to begin another,” Obama’s letter said. “After serving the people of Illinois in the United States Senate, one of the highest honors and privileges of my life, I am stepping down as senator to prepare for the responsibilities I will assume as our nation’s next president.”

As for the new First Lady, Michelle Obama is keeping busy with a to-do list as long as her husband’s as they move their family to Washington.

While campaigning throughout the U.S., Obama recalls all the people he met along the way.

“I still remember the young woman in East St. Louis who had the grades, the drive and the will, but not the money to go to college. I remember the young men and women I met at VFW halls across the state who serve our nation bravely in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I will never forget the workers in Galesbu-rg who faced the closing of a plant they had given their lives to, who wondered how they would provide health care to their sick children with no job and little savings,” he wrote.

The memories of Illinois will remain with Obama during his time in the White House and long after. The kindness of the people living in his hometown have instilled a sense of hope for the newly-elected President.

“With your help, along with the service and sacrifice of Americans across the nation who are hungry for change and ready to bring it about, I have faith that all will in fact be well. And it is with that faith, and the high hopes I have for the enduring power of the American id-ea,” Obama concluded in his letter.

Obama has started to form his admin-istration by asking Illinois Representative Rahm Eman-uel, an adviser to former Pre-sident Clinton, to be his chief of staff.

In addition, Obama’s Sen-ate office will close sometime within two months. His staff will spend that time coordinating and planning for the near future with his replacement, and archiving documents for Obama’s pres­idential library.

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