Obama Will Come Back To Chicago Wednesday For 2 Events: Report [Updated]
By Stephen Gossett in News on May 1, 2017 7:20PM
Updated May 3 at 12:00 p.m.: You can watch the livestream for Obama's Presidential Library roundtable here:
Update, 3:50 p.m.:
Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle will take the lid off a conceptual model design of the Obama Presidential Center during his trip to Chicago on Wednesday, a source told Tribune architecture critic and reporter Blair Kamin.
Barack and Michelle Obama to unveil conceptual model for Obama Presidential Center on Wednesday in Chicago, a person familiar w/ plans says.— Blair Kamin (@BlairKamin) May 1, 2017
An advisory from the Obama Foundation sent out on Monday notes that Barack and Michelle Obama will join Mayor Emanuel, alongside other local officials, for a "community event," at 11 a.m. Chicago time, at the South Shore Cultural Center on Wednesday. "President Obama will host a roundtable discussion to update the community on the progress of the Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park and hear directly from members of the community on their ideas for the Center," the release states. Attendance is invitation only.
When Barack Obama returned to his University of Chicago stomping grounds for a speech and conversation last week, it was billed as the first step toward greater post-White House visibility. Sure enough, that seems to bearing out further, as the former president will return to his adopted hometown Chicago for two events on Wednesday, the Tribune reports.
Obama will visit the Chicago Club on Wednesday evening, a source told the Tribune. According to the Sun-Times (which first reported that appearance), an invitation states that Obama will “share his thoughts and vision for the Obama Presidential Center as well as some reflections on his administration.” Also, Forty-Four will appear at an event at the South Shore Cultural Center that same day, a source told the Tribune.
Neither event has yet officially been made public by Obama's office.
The report comes just one week after Obama made his much-anticipated (and heavily critiqued) return to the public eye, when he made his first public speech since leaving the White House. Last Monday, Obama led a discussion with a panel of students and young people about civic engagement. Some on the left criticized the speech for being too choreographically evasive of President Donald Trump and his policies. Others made the argument that poking too hard might only unite the oft-divided GOP against the one thing on which they seem to always agree: not liking Barack Obama.
And in case you wondering, after Obama's recent $400,000 speaker fee flap, Obama is not being paid at least for the Chicago Club event, according to the Sun-Times.
We'll provide more details as they become available.