New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio wants the future library and museum of President Barack Obama in his city and is ready to go head-to-head with Chicago to get it, he told reporters Thursday.
De Blasio pitched the president's alma mater, Columbia University, as a possible site for the library.
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Obama earned his bachelor's degree in political science from Columbia in 1983.
"I think Columbia University is a perfect place for President Obama's museum," de Blasio, who earned his master's degree from Columbia, said in a press conference in Brooklyn unrelated to the library, the New York Observer reported
. "We certainly have made an effort and we've certainly let the Obama team know we are excited about getting it and we'd do anything we can to be helpful."
Columbia announced in January that it would make a move to host the library. Interest grew when it was mentioned in a Politico article this month that the president wants to live in the city
once his term expires in two years.
"Obama is giving more thought to his post-presidency than his aides like to suggest," the article, originally posted June 1, stated. "He has spoken privately of his intention to establish a foundation with the reach and influence of the Clinton Global Initiative, the international fundraising juggernaut started by former President Bill Clinton. And despite his deep connections to Chicago, he has told friends he would like to live in New York City."
That line appeared to be all the motivation de Blasio needed to announce his push.
"He has a real affection for the city and we obviously can guarantee not only a lot of support for such a museum but a huge number of people from around the world would be able to visit it," de Blasio told reporters at the news conference.
Chicago, though, is where the president started his professional and political careers. More personally – and likely importantly – it is the hometown of first lady Michelle Obama and where the couple dated and married.
Obama grew up in Hawaii, which is also considered in the running for the presidential library, wrote the Chicago Sun-Times
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