February 20, 2017

"The Barack Obama Presidential Center in Chicago could require a $1.5 billion endowment... three times what was raised for the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas."

"The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama."

98 comments:

Paco Wové said...

In the shape of a giant "I", presumably.

tim in vermont said...

Sucking up more of the oxygen Democrats need to rebuild their post Obama/Clinton party.

RichardJohnson said...

Like tim in vermont, I view every dollar spent on the library as a dollar that will not be spent on "community organizing." Maybe it could bankrupt Soros. At least I can hope.

Goldenpause said...

I guess this project isn't shovel ready.

rhhardin said...

It's probably big because they'll only invest in socially responsible stocks, on which the return is zero.

JPS said...

I guess they'll need 600,000 average families to pony up their yearly savings from his healthcare reforms.

Ann Althouse said...

I think Obama can raise that money.

Gahrie said...

The metal detectors and bullet resistant glass are adding to the expense.......

Rusty said...

"The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and ( a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama. )"

At the same time both funny as hell and sad as hell.
Funny because, hell, a museum about the Obamas? Seriously?
Sad because black folk who can't safford it are going to go broke fincing this fraud.
What has the left been saying about narcissism?
Buncha suckers

Breezy said...

"The actual buildings were slated to cost $200 million. “But I told them it will cost $300 million,” Williams said. "

They should call Trump to get a better deal.

traditionalguy said...

Big deal. That is just a small part of the swiss francs folding money he ordered the terrible American people to have airlifted over to his BFFs in Tehran. He will just order it.

rehajm said...

Scrubbers for the 'Choom Room' are expensive.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Will sunsong come along to tell us that money would be better spent feeding poor people?

William said...

Is there a water ride? Nothing would better serve to get children interested in the legacy of Barack Obama than a rate water ride. The food court should have a first rate restaurant that offers Kenyan and Indonesian cuisine. There aren't any really good Indonesian restaurants in Chicago.

Owen said...

The cost is high because it covers a free iPod for every visitor, already loaded with his best speeches.

Humperdink said...

You could also have the biggest gun buy-back program in the history of Chicago. That'll stop the killings dead in their tracks.

Owen said...

William: excellent suggestion about the restaurant. It would help deal with Chicago's stray dog problem.

The Drill SGT said...

Ann Althouse said...
I think Obama can raise that money.


And I hope he does, just not from black people...

Let him get it from Soros, or some guilty white trust fund baby. At least some union guy will get a pay check building it.

St. George said...

Build a pyramid.

Humperdink said...

Will it include midnight basketball courts? A golf course?

Rae said...

Barry is gonna have to a lot of golf with high rollers to raise that much. Maybe hit up Trump?

Humperdink said...

On the bright side, with Michelle in charge of the food court design and construction, operational costs will be negligible. On the downside, there will be nationwide kale shortage.

Unknown said...

"require"?

damikesc said...

A museum about some of the least interesting lives in history?

A museum about Michelle's life? I'm betting they will gloss over that job with the hospital she got only when Obama got into the State Senate and that she left when he went to the US Senate and hospital never filled the position again. Seemed legit.

David Begley said...

Super low interest rates means more money is needed for the endowment.

Laslo Spatula said...

People are being way too cynical.

If only one troubled Chicago youth gang-member walks into the Library, becomes inspired, and changes his life around, it will all have been worth it.

And maybe some other troubled Chicago youth gang-members can get jobs there as janitors.

I feel Hope.

I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

The barbershop scene in Chaplin's "The Great Dictator."

Tommy Duncan said...

Wouldn't a simple altar where we can pay homage be sufficient?

Roy Jacobsen said...

Maybe they're going to hire some Disney or ILM people for the animatronic display that shows Barry halting the rise of the oceans.

AllenS said...

Hopefully, there'll be a small movie theater in the complex where you can watch Obama work out.

JPS said...

damikesc:

"A museum about some of the least interesting lives in history?"

Speaking as an admirer neither of the man nor of the job he did as president, I think Barack Obama has had an extremely interesting life.

donald said...

Wonder how many starving, homeless and naked children...ah, who gives a shit? Certainly not those two grifters.

wendybar said...

So they are making a GIANT Golf Course?? That is what Obama spent the most time doing....

zipity said...


Well, it's always been more expensive to build a temple for a light-worker, a True God...

/sarc

John said...

So no govt funds involved? If so, he can spend what he likes on his library.

Ann says he should have no problem raising the money. Perhaps she is right, but why?

Clintons could raise money because 1) there was a fear/expectation that Crooked Hilary would be in a position of power one day. And she was, in the senate, state. Just not in the WH.

Bushs? Same thing.

But Obama? In gratitude for all the good things he did for the progressive cause? Might be a reason for conservatives and liberal/libertarians to give. He basically killed progressivism for generations to come.

I still don't know whether he was a mole doing it on purpose or just a bumbling idiot. Either way I am happy with the result. Maybe I should give $5 to the library.

John Henry

John said...

In other news:

97% of all true historians agree. Barrack Obama was the 3rd best president of the 21st century.

John Henry

Humperdink said...

I visualize a giant pictorial of every golf course the man has played. A theater-in-the-round type showcase. Obama in shorts, of course (formerly taboo on a golf course, but the man has broken many barriers).

Rusty said...

JPS said...
damikesc:

"A museum about some of the least interesting lives in history?"

"Speaking as an admirer neither of the man nor of the job he did as president, I think Barack Obama has had an extremely interesting life."

My stepfather had an interesting life. Obama lived a life of privilege and mostly took advantage of everyone in his life so he could just skate by.

Humperdink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Meanwhile, in Abilene . . .

Roy Jacobsen said...

And they'll probably have to spend a lot on the multimedia presentation called "The Raiders of the Lost College Transcripts."

Mike Sylwester said...

The museum's guide book should be written by Bill Ayers, who already has experience writing about Obama.

chuck said...

The pyramids are still interesting, presidential libraries less so. I would like to see presidents erect stelae at crossroads with pictographic engravings celebrating their victories. Imagine Trump clubbing his enemies and herding them into the sea.

Curious George said...

Obama should call his old buddy Tony Rezko. He'll get the price under $1 billion.

Tank said...

I would contribute to a theatre showing an endless loop of Zero missing one basket after another after another after another.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I suspect that part of the added expense is that it is in Chicago.

There, you have to pay kick-backs to the guy who arranges the kick-backs to the various inspectors, permittors, and fixers, who then turn around and pay a cut to their relatives, the elected officials who got them their jobs.

And don't forget you'll need to pay the salaries of three union officials whose jobs will be to organize the union to negotiate against you ( while also organizing them to vote Democrat, so win-win )

Humperdink said...

@chuck. Just a reminder, this post is about the Big O.

jono39 said...

Pathetic

DanTheMan said...

>>I'm betting they will gloss over that job with the hospital she got only when Obama got into the State Senate and that she left when he went to the US Senate and hospital never filled the position again.

You forgot that they tripled her salary when O became US senator. And it was a part time job.

Seems totally legit.

tcrosse said...

They will never build one of these for Hillary.

Amadeus 48 said...

Then there will be the room devoted to the life and works of Frank Marshall Davis.

Darrell said...

A dustbin doesn't cost that much.

Bay Area Guy said...

A massive library to house all the bills signed into law by Obama since 2010 after he got "shellacked" by losing 63 House seats........

Yeah, that's the ticket

dbp said...

I am picturing a more fitting tribute the the former President:

A monumental statue of Mr. Obama, in a nice location, say in front of Altgeld Gardens.

The pedestal can say, "My name is Obama, president of presidents:

Look on my works, ye Other do-gooders, and despair!"

Soon, vandals will break-apart the statue, leaving only the legs standing, with the other parts scattered around amongst street litter.

And the art-installation will then be complete.

Original Mike said...

"Blogger Ann Althouse said..."I think Obama can raise that money"

All he knows how to do is borrow.

Humperdink said...

Rather than having a ribbon to keep the crowds away from the displays, it was reported there will be red lines on the carpets.

chuck said...

@Humperdink

It is also about presidential vanity. The time when Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus was considered a role model are long past.

Amadeus 48 said...

Chuck--the room devoted to the apotheosis of Obama will have him passing the crown to Trump while Obama ascends Olympus and Hillary is led in chains to the data center in the basement. Trump is attended by what appear to be Cossacks while Michelle has been transfigured into Beyonce. The surrounding gods and goddesses appear to be current Hollywood "celebrities", many of whom are taking selfies.

Humperdink said...

dbp said: "I am picturing a more fitting tribute the the former President:

A monumental statue of Mr. Obama, in a nice location, say in front of Altgeld Gardens."

With feet of clay.

dbp said...

"The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama."

Obama Center, why do you require a library and museum?

If I was a Human Being, instead of a (proposed) presidential library and museum, I would tell you, "I require what I require and do not suffer questions from mere Human Beings".

Martha said...

Meanwhile Clarence Thomas is deemed unworthy of inclusion in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Peter Irons said...

With Greek columns, I assume.

damikesc said...

For me, an interesting life story is one where the protagonist is able to overcome an adversity of some sort.

What adversity has Obama faced? Patronizing idolatry?

They will never build one of these for Hillary.

She could partner with the Minnesota Vikings or Buffalo Bills, two franchises that can intimately comprehend how much of a loser she is.

You forgot that they tripled her salary when O became US senator. And it was a part time job.

Seems totally legit.


Wasn't one of her main tasks to send ER patients to OTHER hospitals?

I'd just ask why an empty suit, a pen, and a phone would cost $1.5B.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum....

Include a Theme Park with rides for adults and kiddies, a Factory Outlet Mall, and a Major League Hockey franchise. That should help draw Endowments.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

William beat me to it.

dc said...

Does Bill Clinton's presidential library and massage parlor pay for itself?

Michael K said...

Sad because black folk who can't safford it are going to go broke fincing this fraud.

A few black celebrities will probably donate but it will be financed by white supporters in Hollywood and San Francisco.

I'm not sure that much money is going to appear, though. Maybe if Hillary had won.

I think the Obamas will be more about money going to their new lifestyle.

carrie said...

Think of all the poor people who could be fed with that money and all of the homeless families that could helped with that money.

Clyde said...

Having recently seen the LEGO Batman Movie, I think that the Obama Library, Museum and Larcenarium should be built in the Phantom Zone.

Clyde said...

And yes, that's a new word. You're welcome.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

"Is there a water ride?" No but the first set of plans want to take acreage from an Olmsted designed public park, cut off one access road to the park which also serves as an access road to and from the University of Chicago. They are staying on the east side of the U of Chicago and south into Jackson Park. This will minimize the violence factor as the areas west and north of the U of Chicago are very interesting and tourists should enter at their own risk.

A cheaper idea and one which I feel would be most educational to the casual tourist would be go over to the Chatham neighborhood where Michelle grew up. (Your humble writer a generation ahead of her) At an average cost of $150,000 each they could buy all the houses in a two square block area. (Chicago speak block is an eighth of mile long by sixty yard wide and hold approximately 25 houses on each side of the street). Fence it in and provide a bit of parking. Visitors could then see that contrary to her public statements Michelle grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood filled with single family homes, not a mythical ghetto in the style of 1970 Bronx.

Clyde said...

St. George said...
Build a pyramid.


Nah, "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone..."

Jane the Actuary said...

But doesn't every presidential library include a museum and the archives themselves? And the museum part attempts to say, "we're not just about this one man" by including items about the presidency in general and the history of the era, placed in the best possible light, of course?

Mark said...

At 73 comments, I've not read them before commenting myself, but of the $1.5 billion, has anything been said about the amount of the kick-backs to the Obamas and the pay-offs to the unions that probably make up the difference with the George W. Bush cost?

The Godfather said...

The Nixon Library not only includes a museum about Dick and Pat, it even has Dick's childhood home. And it only cost $25 million. And Tricky Dick was at least as good a president as O.

rcocean said...

"Speaking as an admirer neither of the man nor of the job he did as president, I think Barack Obama has had an extremely interesting life."

Meh, compared to our other 20th century presidents, he hasn't. I have nothing against Obama, I just find him completely mediocre, and uninteresting, like Bush II. I mean what do Obama do? He grew up in Hawaii in a well-to-do family, went to college, was a "neighbor organizer", then a State Senator, then a US senator for a couple years, then POTUS. And he left almost no footprints anywhere.

If he'd been white, we'd never would've of heard of him.

rcocean said...

Its like Bush-II. If his name had been Smith, we never would've heard of him.

Michael K said...

At some stage of her life, Michelle's parents lived about four houses from where I grew up in South Shore.

When I was growing up there in the 40s and early 50s, that was an upper middle class neighborhood with a mild climate because of the lake and lots of nice amenities. My father sold our house about 1963 when the neighborhood was going down pretty rapidly but a white university professor bought it. South Shore Country Cub was about a mile away on the lake.

Chatham is further south and was not quite as nice a neighborhood. Maybe they lived there, too.

Sam L. said...

Like Mark at 10:01, I wonder about the construction unions, the Chicago bureaucracy fees, and the graft which must be paid. I do not expect to ever go to Chicago again.

damikesc said...

I think it's funny that it is in Chicago, where Obama could not run away from fast enough. Shouldn't, if they were really honest, just rent a floor at Goldman/Sachs for it?

Fernandinande said...

That comes out to at least $6 billion for each good idea he had.

The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama.

Appropriate museum, with architecture suitable for the glory of The Highnesses.

Inappropriate museum, although good enough for an entire county.

Zach said...

So doing the math, it's $500 million for a Presidential Library, and $1 billion for a museum about a state legislator who went to a nice school.

Interesting question: aside from Obama, which President has the least interesting pre-presidential biography?

Bush II -- Governor, baseball team, President's kid. Pretty interesting, albeit not as public policy focused as others.

Clinton -- Governor, lots of entertaining sex and corruption. Pretty interesting

Bush I -- Naval ace, head of CIA, head of Republican party, Vice President. Pretty interesting.

Reagan --actor, governor, spokesman. Pretty interesting.

Carter -- Governor, interesting naval career.

Ford -- Speaker of the House. Came into office via Watergate.

Nixon -- Navy, anti Communism, Vice President, the 1960 election, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore!"

Kennedy -- Senator, PT-109. Actually comparable to Obama, with the added sex and corruption of Clinton. But Kennedy biographies sell like hot cakes, so you can't really call his biography boring.

Eisenhower -- probably the most impressive pre-presidential biography of all.

Truman -- comparable to Obama. But he only came to office because Roosevelt died.

I'll stop there. But I'd put Obama in the same group as Truman and Calvin Coolidge (who was a really boring person) in terms of boring pre-presidential biographies. Editor of Harvard Law Review is nice, but it was also by far the best line on his resume. And let's face it, it's a student election, and they have one every year.

Zach said...

Does Obama's ridiculously inflated self image really matter at this point? Maybe not, but it is interesting.

One interesting thing about it is that it prompted him to run for President when, conventionally speaking, his biography was incredibly thin.

The second interesting thing is that at several critical points in his presidency, Obama responded to setbacks by doubling down. He had a self image as a transformational leader, and he didn't respond well to the transactional aspects of the job. He never made any significant deals with the congressional Republicans, so most of his actions after the first couple of years were unilateral executive orders which are unlikely to last.

Now we've got a President who is if anything more* narcissistic than Obama, and you wonder how things will play out.

* Hard to say. Trump is a huge self promoter and very egocentric. But he's also been prominent since the 1980s, has withstood several setbacks, and has remade himself a few times along the way. Obama's never reinvented himself, or successfully forged a new path after experiencing setbacks.

Gahrie said...

I think it's funny that it is in Chicago,

Hawaii has to be pissed.........

Mark said...

Editor of Harvard Law Review is nice, but it was also by far the best line on his resume.

I guess editor of the Harvard Law Review is nice -- in an elitist, who among the rest of us really cares, way.

But that wasn't Obama.

Obama was NOT the editor, which is based somewhat on merit, but was the president of the law review. That too is a who among the rest of us really cares position, but it does allow the elitists to pat themselves on the back with all of the tokens they have put in that position, like the first woman, the first Middle Asian, the first far-East Asian, the first black man, the first black woman, the first openly gay, and the first Latino. I guess they don't like Latinas and trans for some reason, or trans-Latinas (assigned Icelandic hetero-men at birth, but really are Peruvian lesbians), but their being cis-normative bigots is going on a tangent.

The Godfather said...

Contra to Zach Coolidge had an interesting pre-presidential life. See the biography by Amity Shlaes.

n said...

Ozymandias Percy Bysshe Shelley
I met a traveller from an antique land,
Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

William said...

Just now I'm reading the Coolidge biography by Amity Shlaes. One of the downsides to leading an exemplary life is that your biography is not very exciting to read about. Coolidge was a good man and a fine president, but he's not a man to inspire rap musicals.......His wife was said to be good looking. Later on in life she was said to have been friends with JFK but so far as is presently known they didn't have a dalliance.

SukieTawdry said...

I suggest for the facade of the museum, they recreate the stage from his acceptance speech. Not only would it be dramatic and symbolic, but they could save a ton of money by using styrofoam instead of marble. Over the portal, they can etch the words:

This was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.

Mark said...Obama was NOT the editor, which is based somewhat on merit, but was the president of the law review.

President of the Law Review was once a position of merit also. But Harvard decided they just weren't getting the kind of diversity they needed. Carol Platt Liebau served on the Law Review the year Obama presided over it. She said the running joke around the office was, "Where's Barack? Oh, he's working from home." She said the managing editor that year ran the whole show. I've read it's the least cited law review in the history of Harvard Law.

Michael Fitzgerald said...

Yeah, $1.5 billion sounds like a lot, but have you seen the price of arugula at Whole Foods lately?

SukieTawdry said...

JPS said...Speaking as an admirer neither of the man nor of the job he did as president, I think Barack Obama has had an extremely interesting life.

So do I (up to a point). The shiftless grandfather and typical white person grandmother. The red diaper baby mother whose father desperately wanted a son. A woman whose classmates in one of the most radical public high schools in the country named her "Anarchy Annie"; who demonstrated her radical bona fides by bedding down with radical minority men; who had no use for America or Americans and relocated son Barry in his formative years to an Islamic country; who basically deserted said son by sloughing off his care and feeding on her parents because she found more interesting pursuits; a woman who I believe he came to hate. The Marxist drunk of an African father who had absolutely no interest in either the son or the mother and deserted both early on. The life in Indonesia and culture shock of moving to Hawaii; the needing to learn how to be a token in a basically white society. The "mentor" an avowed communist who hated white people and everything America stands for and who, along with his much younger white wife, had a penchant for three-ways with young girls.

Shit, that's great stuff! I hope it gets into the museum. At this point, though, it gets less interesting and becomes more of a chronicle of the wages of Affirmative Action. At each point on the rise to the White House, you can see how his race put him where he needed to be. It made the rest of his story less compelling.

Yes, Barack's story is interesting. Michelle's on the other hand, her story's dull as dishwater. Just another woman who married a man.

Rusty said...

Ya go where the graft is.

Leigh said...

@Clyde, you're killing me. Obamandias.

The Kraut was on Fox the other night saying Trump is only one month into office, yet already, no one remembers Obama.

Zach said...

Obama was NOT the editor, which is based somewhat on merit, but was the president of the law review.

I think I need to clarify my approach here. I'm not trying to judge the merit of each President's biography, or whether they should have been considered to be qualified for the presidency. More like the interestingness, or the distinctiveness.

Most politicians who are considered for the Presidency are fairly distinguished people. So you can't just say that going to Harvard, say, counts towards being interesting. Bush II was always going to Yale, and was very likely to be Skull and Bones when he was there. On the other hand, someone like Bill Clinton getting selected as a Rhodes Scholar really jumps out at you. It's so far beyond a reasonable expectation for someone of his background and current status that it tells you there's something interesting going on.

Obama being President of Harvard Law Review isn't astoundingly interesting, but it's interesting. You can make the case that it puts him among the top 10 or so law students graduating in his year -- there are five or so really prominent law schools, and a couple of people at each school who can claim a similarly prestigious credential. That, and he was the first black person to do it. And sure enough, he was able to parlay it into a very nice starting job at the University of Chicago Law School.

The really interesting thing about Obama's resume is that it stops being interesting for such a long time after law school. He got a nice starting job at Chicago, but he doesn't seem to have put much of himself into it, and it never turned into anything better. He ran for Congress and lost. He practiced law but never had any important or distinctive cases. He was a state senator, but never advanced to the leadership or showed much legislative aptitude. Then finally, he gets all his ducks in a row, runs for an open Senate seat, gives a fantastic speech at the Democratic National Convention, and he's on the fast track to the White House.

So by my reckoning, Obama is interesting in 1991 and very interesting in 2004, but not very interesting for the thirteen years in between. Other people might judge it differently, but I think I'm applying my standards fairly.

Zach said...

You could make the case that Obama's awful parents makes his childhood interesting. He certainly turned out better than either parent had any right to expect. But that's not quite what I'm getting at in my definition of interesting. Everybody has parents, y'know?

Zach said...

Everybody has parents, y'know?

I didn't mean to slight orphans or foster children there. More like everybody has a childhood, and most people's childhood is only really interesting to them.

Sebastian said...

"The Obama Center is due to be so expensive because it will require the construction of both a presidential library and a museum about the lives of Barack and Michelle Obama." Late to the party, but all is proceeding as I (ahem) foretold. Though I assumed the Os would outgrift the AR grifters, I may have underestimated their desire. Of course, besides the library and museum, they will want their foundation well endowed. A lot of white liberal protection money coming down the pike. From back in his community organizing days, O knows how a good race-baiting shakedown works.

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