Most presidential libraries are mere monumental structures. Instead of adding to the list of these monuments, President Barack Obama declares his own Library would be a public hub accessible to all Americans regardless of race, gender and identiy. In what can be described as an ego trip, Mr Obama added, “‘See what I did.’”
Mr. Obama and the former first lady, Michelle Obama, returned for a day to the city they call home to unveil renderings of the Obama Presidential Center, a modern, stone-and-glass complex on Lake Michigan that they said would be a different kind of presidential library. In an address to several hundred people on the city’s South Side, Mr. Obama, who was tieless and in a jovial mood, said that the center could be “a transformational project for this community.”
“The main thing that Michelle and I contributed was just saying, ‘What is it that we want to see 10 years from now?’” he said, recounting his conversations with the architects who designed the center. “And we don’t want to see some big building that’s dead, and kids are getting dragged to it for a field trip. What we wanted was something that was alive, and that was a hub for the community and for the city and for the country.”
Just some months ago, Mr. Obama and his First Lady signed a record-setting book deal with Penguin Random House.