Voters' hopes for the next four years

Published 01/20 2013 06:49PM

Updated 01/21 2013 12:43PM

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- President Barack Obama will spend four more years at the White House. People in Central Illinois have many different views about what that means for the future of our country.

More than 40,000 people in Champaign County voted to give President Obama a second term. But even those who didn't say leaders in Washington need to come together to make progress for the next four years.

"I volunteered for president Obama's campaign in 2008," said Valerie O'Brien, who lives in Urbana. "I'm optimistic the next four years will be really productive for him."

The stage has been set in the nation's capital. The leading man, once again, will be Barack Obama. But some voters said he's going to need help from his supporting cast.

"Nothing gets done when the two sides aren't willing to meet somewhere in the middle," said O'Brien.

President Obama won nearly 52% of the votes in Champaign County. That makes him the third president in a row to serve consecutive terms.

"Good thing is that the person who is the president has longer time frame in which to accomplish things which I think is realistic," said Kevin Stewart, who is from Chicago.

Even with President Obama's experience, not everyone is looking forward to his second term.

"Four years is a long time," said Steve DeBruyn, who lives in Urbana. "I hope something happens before then. Am I optimistic about it? Not necessarily."

DeBruyn said he questions President Obama's ability to lead our country, especially when he's working with a republican majority in the House of Representatives.

"I don't think he's reached across the aisle like other presidents have done and I don't see that changing in the near future," said DeBruyn.

President Obama already started tackling some big issues, including last week's plan for gun control. But some voters said they're looking beyond his term and into the future.

"I'm really kind of curious to see who's going to run four years from now," said Richard Hofstrand, who lives in Champaign. "Is it going to be Michelle? Hillary?"

Some other things voters said they hope the president takes care of include the nation's budget and healthcare legislation. The traditional ceremonial inaugural parade and balls will be held Monday. President Obama needed to be sworn in on Sunday because the 20th is the date specified in the constitution.

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