- The Washington Times
Monday, November 4, 2019

Former first lady Michelle Obama said her husband’s presidential library could have been built “anywhere in the world” because of his popularity, but that they ultimately settled on Chicago because that’s where they got their start as a couple.

“There’s power in the selection of Jackson Park,” Mrs. Obama said at the Obama Foundation Summit last week at the Illinois Institute of Technology, PJ Media first reported. “Barack and I don’t do things incidentally. I mean, there’s a strategy.

“Barack’s presidential library could have been anywhere in the world,” she continued, “because there are so many people who feel like he is their president all over the world. New York wanted it. Hawaii wants it, because it’s also an economic engine. It will be a visited presidential library, because it’s going to be alive, it’s a first. … It will be a resource. And what better place to put it than in our backyard. Jackson Park is like that juxtaposition of everything in our lives.”

Mrs. Obama said they chose Chicago’s Jackson Park because of their long-held connections to the area, including its proximity to their first home and where they went to school.

“This is our home,” she said.

Mr. Obama’s $500 million center, which will be the first fully digital presidential library, is not expected to be built for several years. It has faced significant pushback from local anti-gentrification activists who fear it could displace thousands of low-income black families.

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