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January 02, 2015

Obama Foundation Signals Concern With Chicago Library Bids

The nonprofit group charged with establishing President Obama's presidential library has raised red flags about proposals from two institutions in his hometown of Chicago, potentially putting New York's Columbia University in the driver's seat for the project, the Chicago Tribune and the Associated Press write.

A source close to the Barack Obama Foundation said the body is concerned that the University of Chicago's bid involves land that would have to be acquired from the city's parks agency. The University of Illinois at Chicago's bid to host the library could be derailed by uncertainty over leadership at the campus, which is due to get a new chancellor this year, according to the source.

Both Columbia and the University of Hawaii have secured property for the Obama library, but the latter institution is considered a long shot to win the competition. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, formerly the president's chief of staff, has been a vocal advocate for siting the library in that city.