American Elephants

Obama’s Presidential Library Will Be In Chicago by The Elephant's Child

Former President Barack Obama has unveiled the design and vision for his Presidential Center. It’s to be on the South Side of Chicago and do some neighborhood revitalization as well as a park, and a hub for artists like Springsteen, Chance the Rapper and Spike Lee. A lagoon will have paddle boats and skating in the winter, and Michelle wants a sledding hill, something she always wanted growing up there.

“What we want this to be is the world premiere institution for training young people in leadership to (help them) make a difference in their communities, in their country and in their world,” he said.

Tiger Woods is to design a golf course. But the presidential library will probably be somewhere else. Presidential Libraries (there are only 13 of them) are usually places where scholars can go to study the presidential papers, but this one is apparently going to be more of a celebration of the first African-American president, and the dry old papers will have to go somewhere else. Well, good luck to them, and I hope it does revitalize the neighborhood. There have been a lot of murders in the area, and the Obamas hope the Center will  help. The cost is paid for by private donations, but once built, the upkeep is paid by taxpayers.

I have read that those who once ran for the presidency have a hard time getting over it. Hillary clearly cannot get over her loss, and eleven months later she is still whining about her defeat.  It’s apparently very hard to leave the limelight. Jimmy Carter just offered to go to North Korea to talk to Kim Jong Un to use his famous peacekeeping ability, I guess. Obama’s presidential edifice will be a monument to his considerable ego, and the papers will be off in some dusty corner of the University of Chicago or in some other building. FDR had the first Presidential Library, and he had a considerable ego too. I’m not sure that they shouldn’t just settle for a statue. It’s getting to be a bit of a competition to see whose is grandest.

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I’m glad they decided not to call it a library, since Obama’s papers won’t be there. To be truthful, I can’t see that Obama would be that interested in having his papers, speeches, and memoranda open to the public anywhere.

E.J. Dionne and Joy-Anne Reid of the Washington Post collected all of Obama’s speeches together in a volume called “We Are The Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama”. They didn’t do Obama any favors. If you thought those speeches were vague, empty, and uninformative when you heard them, wait until you see them on a printed page. These were speeches that were never meant to be read, and certainly (given his habit of contradicting himself) never intended to be studied side by side. He may have had a good speaking voice and (to some) a compelling style, but that was about all he brought to the table; rarely have so many words been used to say so little.

Given two of Obama’s signature achievements in the news lately (the ACA, or Obamacare, and the Iran deal) are being systematically taken apart, it’s worth noting that both were built on foundations of deception and dishonesty, and the memos surrounding them would reflect that.

Obama’s desire is to be perceived as the most intelligent, wisest, wittiest, and most thoughtful President ever. Giving access to his papers isn’t going to help that. So his presidential center is going to feature basketball ball courts, reception venues and art exhibits. I hadn’t heard about the golf course, but I’m not at all surprised to hear that one is being included; it would be more relevant to Obama’s tenure than a replica of the Oval Office.

I’m sure that this Obama center will be much like his time on office; grand ideas, overhyped, over budget, dishonest about the man, and will generally fail to live up to it’s promises.


Comment by Lon Mead

[…] in mid-October, I posted a picture of former President Obama’s proposed presidential library in Chicago. It was to be built on […]


Pingback by There are Some Serious Objections to Obama’s Presidential Center. | American Elephants

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