Illinois History Minutes

February 16 Illinois History Minute


Its February 16th, and on this day in 2004, WILL’s morning talk show, Focus 580 welcomed an obscure U.S. Senate primary candidate who introduced himself by explaining his unusual name.

"Well, usually the first thing people want to know is where did I get this name. Barack Obama. And people mispronounce it. And call me Alabama. There are all kinds of variations to it."

During his Focus 580 appearance, Obama answered questions from callers on taxes, immigration, the Patriot Act --- and healthcare. On that topic, Obama proposed guaranteed healthcare for certain age groups, as a stepping-stone to something more ambitious.

"And I think that if we can start with children and those persons 55 to 64 that are the most vulnerable, then we can start filling in those holes, and ultimately, I think move in the direction of a universal healthcare plan."