When the President Leaves Office, Who Gets the Library?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

From now until the end of the president's term, the race to see who gets the rights to build the presidential library and museum on a college campus is going to be intense, even if that day is still more than three years away.

Early money has the University of Chicago leading the pack, since Obama taught constitutional law there from 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004, the Chicago Sun Times reports.

According to the Sun-Times, the university is so sure of its chances that it has already begun talks with Jeanne Gang, one of Chicago's premier architects.


But that might be a bit premature, considering that at least two other Chicago universities—the University of Illinois at Chicago and Chicago State University—are reportedly preparing their proposals for the project, the Sun-Times reports.

And there is the fact that the president was born and spent his formidable years on the island of Hawaii, and as such, the University of Hawaii, rumored to be making a pitch, believes that it has just as much claim to the presidential-legacy building as their Chicago brethren. 

The unofficial word is that the White House has tapped Marty Nesbitt, a personal friend of the president, and Julianna Smoot, a former deputy campaign manager, to lead the search for the location of the library, the Sun-Times reports.

Presidential libraries are not libraries in the usual sense. They are more like museums that archive and preserve the documents and artifacts of a president and his administration, and those documents are available to the public.  


Read more at the Chicago Sun Times.

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