Chicago Plans Unified Bid for Obama Library/Museum

Friday, 24 Jan 2014 02:20 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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Chicago wants to be the home of President Barack Obama’s presidential library and plans to make a unified bid for it, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

“We are going to run a process. But my goal is to have the City of Chicago, with its major educational institutions, have a single proposal. I don’t expect us to win this based on some sentiment toward the city," Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the newspaper.

Emanuel also plans to make a personal pitch to the president. “I will remind him about his roots in Chicago," he said.

Before his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama had worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He also served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois state Senate from 1997 to 2004.

The state of Hawaii, where Obama was born, is also reportedly interested in making a bid for the presidential library.

But Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet, who broke the story about Emanuel's effort, said the University of Chicago would likely be the first pick for the library site.

"I have handicapped Obama’s library/museum as the University of Chicago’s to lose given its very close ties to the Obama family and its long list of wealthy potential donors in the Obama orbit.

"With Emanuel moving to consolidate the city’s resources for a bid, University of Chicago has little choice but to forge an alliance with Emanuel, because it brings Emanuel’s own formidable fundraising abilities to the package."

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