A presidential library pop quiz—only in the Reader! | Bleader

Thursday, March 12, 2015

A presidential library pop quiz—only in the Reader!

Posted By on 03.12.15 at 04:00 PM

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Wouldnt Rahm just love to announce Obamas library is coming to Chicago?
  • Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times Media
  • Wouldn't Rahm just love to announce Obama's library is coming to Chicago?
With parents and students up in arms over the state's insistence on shoving another dumbass standardized test down their throats, I thought it would be as good a time as ever to come up with a multiple-choice quiz of my own.

My quiz, however, has a practical application, as it's about local politics. Specifically, the subterranean motivations that guide our leaders to do the things they do.

Since we all agree their stated reasons—when they give them at all—are too preposterous to believe.

So without further ado, let's get to our quiz, which has to do with Mayor Rahm, President Obama, and the Obama presidential library . . .

For the last year or so, President and Mrs. Obama have been courting sites competing for the library, weighing them against one another to see which most deserves it.

Or as one particularly jaded politician we'll call Alderman X told me . . .

"To get that library, they're making us suck the presidential d—."

Oh, let's not be vulgar.

Anyway, there are four contenders. Hawaii, which no one thinks is really in the running, is one.

North Lawndale—which won't get it in a million years, as I'm pretty much the only one outside of North Lawndale who's endorsing it—is another.

Then there's New York City, with its Columbia University proposal, and a second local bid, the University of Chicago's proposal for Washington Park or Jackson Park.

All the wisenheimers tell me it's coming down to Columbia versus the University of Chicago.

For the longest time, the president said he'd make his announcement by the end of March, which, as you know, is just days before the April 7 runoff pitting Mayor Rahm against Chuy Garcia.

Which no one predicted. Except for me, as I will undoubtedly be bragging about for at least another year.

A few days ago, the Obamas quietly let it be known—without explanation—that they were delaying the big announcement until sometime in April.

Conveniently, after our mayoral election is over.

So, here's your multiple-choice quiz, Chicago:

The Obamas are delaying their announcement because _______________.

(a) Michelle Obama and a dear friend of hers, White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, hate Mayor Rahm so much they enjoy watching him squirm.

(b) They've decided to bring it to Chicago, but Mayor Rahm asked them to hold off the announcement because he thinks it will help him win votes by running around the south side telling voters we're not gonna get the library if Chuy's elected mayor.

(c) The Obamas have already chosen New York City, but they're holding off on the announcement as a favor to Rahm so Chuy can't run around the south side telling voters the mayor's so worthless he can't even get his presidential pal to deliver on the library.

(d) They don't give a hoot about Rahm or Chuy; they just can't make up their minds.

I'm going with (c), though I haven't ruled out (b). Hell, Michelle and Valerie despised Rahm long before it was fashionable.

I have to think that, if he could, the mayor would stage a huge library-announcement event on the south side days before the election, with Prez Obama giving him a big kiss on the cheek.

Apparently, last month's presidential hug—which the mayor ran on endless TV commercials—was only good enough to get Rahm into a runoff.

For another opinion, I checked back in with Alderman X, who went with (b).

"What!" I exclaimed. "You think that Rahm would rather pretend he doesn't know we're getting the library than run endless commercials in which he brags about getting it?"

"Yes, the library is a valuable issue against Chuy, if we don't know who's getting it. That way Rahm can continue a whispering campaign that Chuy won't be able to get stuff done."

You know, Mr. Mayor, it's pretty bad when the people who know you best have a more cynical interpretation of your motives than even I do.

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