Chicago, home base for Obama Campaign

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U.S. President Barack Obama will join an Election Night rally at the McCormick Place convention center in downtown Chicago on Tuesday, hopefully to celebrate his winning of a second term in the White House.

Chicago, often dubbed "The Windy City" for its typical, windy weather almost all year long, is where the headquarters of the Democratic president's reelection campaign are located.

Thousands of journalists from hundreds of media organizations across the world have flocked into this Midwest U.S. metropolis to cover the final showdown of the 2012 presidential race, with some 2,000 of them granted access to the Tuesday night event.

Situated in the central U.S. state of Illinois, Chicago covers an area of 588 sq km and has a population of about 2.85 million. It is the third largest city in the country.

A city with both history and vitality, Chicago boasts traditional West European-style buildings, magnificent modern skyscrapers and broad avenues. The current city of Chicago was rebuilt after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The 443-meter-high Willis Tower, formerly named and still commonly referred to as the Sears Tower, was once the tallest building in the world, and remains the tallest in the United States.

In the 1800s, the opening of the Illinois and Michigan Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, turning Chicago into a port city. Chicago is also a railway hub in the country, where dozens of railways connecting major U.S. cities meet.

With its O'Hare International Airport ranking among the world's busiest, Chicago now is an important land, air and waterway transportation hub between eastern and western United States.

The city is also home to major futures exchanges in the country, including the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. It is a higher education center in central United States as well, with the University of Chicago reputed as a "cradle of Nobel Prize winners." 

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