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Old Posted Mar 25, 2014, 2:37 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Sounds like some of the competition might be resigned to the fact that the library is going to end up here and that they are only going to get anything if they cooperate with the Chicago bid...

Aloha, Chicago: Honolulu mayor eyes joint Obama library bid

By Paul Merrion March 25, 2014

Competition for the Barack Obama Presidential Library could cast the mayors of Chicago and Honolulu into the roles of rivals and eventual teammates.
Aides to Rahm Emanuel and Kirk Caldwell said both Democrats in their first terms as mayor have a “good working relationship” that is “very friendly,” which would help move things along if organizers of presidential library bids in both cities get past the talking stage about working together.

A collaboration would make sense in a lot of ways. While Mr. Obama launched his political career in Chicago, the Aloha State is where he was born and raised.

Hawaii reportedly plans to make a full bid for the presidential library, which is expected to cost upward of $500 million and generate huge economic spinoffs wherever it's located. But given that Chicago is better able to raise that kind of money, Hawaii also is interested in creating a think tank and conference center where world leaders could discuss global issues.

The two men had a substantive meeting in September in Mr. Emanuel's office, when Mr. Caldwell was in town for a meeting of the American Public Transit Association. But recollections about the encounter differ.

A spokesman for Mr. Caldwell said they discussed “a wide range of subjects, including a presidential center.”

However, Mr. Emanuel has no recollection of that part of the conversation. “They didn't discuss the library,” said a mayoral spokeswoman, unless it was when Honolulu's mayor threw a Rahm-style joke at his host, saying something like “Come see my library.”

Their most recent get-together was impromptu, just a brief chance to shake hands and say hello when they ran into each other on the sidelines of a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Washington in January. But both sides said yesterday that the topic of a presidential library bid didn't come up, contrary to a Jan. 21 report in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Mr. Cardwell, 61, is a lawyer and seasoned politician who served in Hawaii's state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2008. He was House Majority Leader during his last two years in office. In July 2010 he became interim mayor of Honolulu after his predecessor resigned to run for governor. He was defeated for re-election in 2010 but was elected in 2012.

It's been previously reported that officials from the University of Chicago, one of the leading contenders to host the complex in Chicago, met with Mr. Caldwell and Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie in Hawaii in January, and a Hawaiian delegation has toured the South Side and met with university officials here...

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