By Derrick Blakley

(CBS) — President Obama’s farewell address to the nation — and his offer of thanks to Chicago — is little more than 24 hours away.

His Chicago allies were speculating Monday about what the president may say and looking back at what he’s done for the city.

CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has more.

Speaking at the City Club of Chicago, Obama’s former political adviser said he doubts the president will spend much time touting his accomplishments in his farewell speech Tuesday at McCormick Place.

“My guess is he’s going to talk more about the state of our democracy, and some of the lessons that he’s learned, and try and point the way forward,” David Axelrod says.

As preparations continued at McCormick Place for the nationally televised address, Illinois Democrats were thanking the president for his last big gift to Chicago, a $1 billion grant for the CTA Red and Purple lines.

“Tomorrow, the president’s going to come here to thank Chicago,” U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, said. “Today, I want to make sure we thank him. Time and again, the Obama administration has not forgotten where he came from, has not forgotten the city of Chicago.”

Axelrod says Obama will be most remembered for something beyond his politics and policies – “the dignity and the honor and the thoughtfulness and the grace that he brought to his office,” he says.

Democrats reminisced about how Illinois’ support was key for Obama, long before the nation became fully aware of the inspiring speaker with an African name.

“I was the first senator to endorse him and for 14 months, I was the only senator to endorse him,” Durbin said. “Nobody believed in him, but we did.”

The CTA is adding more CTA buses and train in anticipation of the event.

Also, some museums will also close early Tuesday, at 2 p.m., to keep things clear on the roads.  That includes the Adler Planetarium, the Field Museum and the Shedd Aquarium.

 

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