President Barack Obama's return to Chicago on Air Force One Wednesday was slightly different than his previous homecomings.
Instead of his normal arrival at O'Hare International Airport -- where air traffic ground to a halt last week after an apparently suicidal man set fire to an air traffic control center -- Air Force One landed in Gary, just over the state line in Indiana.
The White House hoped the move would help the still-beleaguered Chicago airports, including O'Hare and Midway, resume normal operations. Both airports were nearing their typical capacity by Wednesday.
Obama is in Chicago to make remarks at Northwestern University on Thursday, which officials say will tie ongoing foreign engagements with the economic situation back at home.
"He'll take a step back from the rush of current events to explain what we've done to recover from the Great Recession and what we need to do to ensure that more middle-class Americans feel that progress in their own lives," Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer wrote in an email to White House supporters Tuesday.
He'll also attend a fund-raising event for Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, who's running for re-election, before departing the Gary airport for Washington on Thursday.
He won't be out of Indiana for long: Obama returns to the state Friday to speak at a steel plant near Evansville.