The Obama library . . .
Blah blah blah blah blah.
Sneed hears rumbles that the ad nauseam rhetoric about the proposed Chicago sites for the Barack Obama presidential library may be just a smokescreen.
Sneed is told by several top sources that first lady Michelle Obama got the green light from her husband to pick the spot.
And, at this juncture, she wants it in New York!
“It’s Michelle’s choice where the library and museum will ultimately be located, and she has let her close friends know she wants it to be located in New York,” a top Sneed source said.
“Chicago got him [Obama] elected and the choice of Chicago as the site should not even be questioned,” said a second source familiar with the library location brouhaha.
“My sense is they [the Obamas] are still doing their due diligence, but that the presumption is still for Chicago,” said a third source, who’s familiar with the pitch by the University of Chicago, which hopes to land the Obama library.
Word is the first lady’s favored site may be Columbia University’s new campus in the African-American community of Harlem.
Lynn Sweet, the Sun-Times’ Washington bureau chief, has reported that Columbia, a notable Ivy League school, is in the midst of a long-term expansion, and the Obama center could be located on the university’s 17-acre Manhattanville neighborhood site.
Columbia, the U. of C. and the University of Illinois at Chicago are all pitching sites in largely African-American neighborhoods to house the center for the nation’s first black president. And the University of Hawaii, in Obama’s home state, is still somewhere in the mix.
The U. of C., where both Obamas and a batch of their close friends once worked, has been regarded as Columbia’s chief competitor. But the flap it caused after it submitted plans for the Obama site — using South Side parkland it doesn’t own or control — created a community problem with park preservationists.
It may be true that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former chief of staff, is expected to steer the project through the City Council and the Chicago Park District — but it’s a good bet it won’t happen before his mayoral election battle on Feb. 24.
A love story . . .
Reggie Love, President Barack Obama’s “body man” . . . a k a personal assistant . . . just penned a tome called “Power Forward.”
In it, the former Duke Blue Devils basketball captain, who frequently shot hoops with Uncle Barry, claims:
• He was the one who introduced Obama to Jay Z’s music;
• He bears tattoos commemorating his time with Obama. Specifically the numbers 365 and 332; the electoral votes they won in each presidential election.
Be still my tongue.
Rahm ‘em . . .
By the way, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and newly elected Gov. Bruce Rauner are a definite invite’em item.
• To wit: “They may have been good friends before the gubernatorial election — but now they talk together frequently — much more than then they did in the past,” said a Sneed source privy to the partnership.
The archbishop’s file . . .
It was a “standing-room only” event: Sneed is told 1,183 people were on a waiting list for the City Club of Chicago address Wednesday by Chicago’s new archbishop, Blase Cupich, at Maggiano’s.
• Upshot: The 350 lucky attendees were treated to a fun off-the-cuff Q & A, in which Cupich deflected a Cubs vs. Sox baseball preference because he is “ecumenical”; adds a special “Asian powder” to his favorite barbecue sauce; admitted to “never having the courage to send an envelope” to billionaire Warren Buffett when serving in Omaha, Nebraska; and expressed admiration for the way the American Indians conduct their council meetings while serving as a bishop in South Dakota.
“They sit in a circle,” he said. “There is no pecking order. Your credentials are checked at the door.”
Sheen shines . . .
Actor Charlie “Tiger’s Blood” Sheen, whose behavior vacillates between bad and bawdy, was spotted eating salad with his hands at a steak joint in Washington, D.C., Monday after his silverware was removed because he kept “banging on things” with it, according to the Washington Post.
Sneedlings . . .
Thursday’s birthdays: Hank Aaron, 81; Michael Sheen, 46, and Laura Linney, 51.