What President Obama's Nostalgic Return to Illinois Means For 2016

President Obama's Illinois visit comes a day after the New Hampshire primary.

— -- When President Obama travels to Illinois this week to speak in front of the state legislature, it will be nine years to the day since he announced his bid for the presidency from the same spot.

“By ourselves, this change will not happen. Divided, we are bound to fail,” Obama said in 2007 to the thousands of supporters gathered that blisteringly cold Saturday in Springfield. “But the life of a tall, gangly, self-made Springfield lawyer tells us that a different future is possible.”

“It’s one of the few regrets of my presidency,” Obama said. “That the rancor and suspicion between the parties has gotten worse instead of better.”

Nowhere is that divide felt more viscerally than where Obama began his legislative career.

The state could also be a crucial test to see whether Illinois voters will again connect to the candidate promising change by upending the “establishment.” Though a bleak editorial headline out Tuesday from the Chicago Tribune previewing Obama’s visit reads “No Hope Of Change In Illinois.”

“There’s going to be, in both parties, a primary that means something,” Yepsen said, noting that the state’s March primary often takes place when the Republican and Democratic fields are already settled.

According to the White House, President Obama’s message to the Illinois General Assembly will be “about what we can do, together, to build a better politics – one that reflects our better selves.”

Democratic strategist and ABC News contributor Donna Brazile said a reflection of Obama’s presidency shows a nation ready to move forward on progress already made in the nine years since Obama’s announcement.