Obama to visit Chicago twice in April

April 13, 2011 9:28:09 AM PDT
President Barack Obama will deliver a big speech on the nation's debt Wednesday, then will be in Chicago Thursday.

The trip comes as his re-election office takes shape right here in town.

Obama will be here Thursday for a fundraiser at Navy Pier. It will include an appearance by Bulls star Derrick Rose. The president will be back in Chicago again at the end of April with wife Michelle. They will be guests on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" as part of Oprah's final season.

The two visits come on the heels of Obama's re-election campaign launch, with headquarters in downtown Chicago just announced at One Prudential Plaza. The Obama for America office will fill a 50,000-square-foot floor, an effort to take a fresh approach to a re-election bid and get out of Washington, D.C.

Streets and Sanitation workers were putting up barricades around President Obama's Kenwood neighborhood home Wednesday morning. Besides the traffic hassles, most neighbors are anticipating two visits from the president this month. He hasn't been here since October.

"Everybody knows Obama. This is his town," said Idris Omosany, customer, Hyde Park Hair Salon.

Customers and employees are hyped at the Hyde Park hair salon where the president gets his haircut. They even encased his chair in glass.

"He didn't look due [for a haircut] last time I saw him on camera. So he should be fine," said Kris Golden, Hyde Park Hair Salon.

And at One Prudential Plaza, maintenance workers are sprucing up the president's re-election headquarters.

"It's good for all of us -- the economy, us, building, everything," said Brian Keith, Prudential Plaza maintenance.

It's an effort to do what no incumbent president has done in decades, win re-election with a campaign headquarters outside Washington, D.C.

"It's close by, maybe I'll see him. I'm gonna be doing business at the building next door," said Mark Knepper, employee at Prudential Plaza. "It's good to see him here in Chicago."

Its unclear as to how often President Obama will be visiting the re-election campaign headquarters. But it's a great base for him to focus on Midwest voters.