There might be no more fitting monument for Barack Obama's presidency than a presidential library and museum built in Chicago by close cronies with $100 million that the notoriously corrupt, Democrat-controlled government of flat-broke Illinois doesn't have. But that doesn't mean it's a good idea.
Democrat lawmakers are backing off just such a plan after an Illinois House committee, minus Republican members, approved spending that $100 million via what Fox News calls “a procedural move that allowed them to use votes from a previous meeting.” Illinois owes about $7 billion in past-due vendor bills and has a $100 billion pension shortfall. Still, its Democrat House speaker wants to borrow that $100 million for the Obama library — despite not knowing where the money would come from or how it would be repaid.
But hey, this is Illinois. And with Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's former chief of staff, as Chicago mayor, Chicago businessman and Obama crony Martin Nesbitt leading the project's nonprofit foundation, and Susan Sher, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, heading University of Chicago involvement, don't expect legislative shenanigans — or the state's dire financial straits — to be real obstacles.
Competing Obama library proposals expected from Hawaii and New York City, due at the foundation by June 16, might be ideas as bad as this Chicago plan. But it's hard to believe they'd reflect as tellingly so much that's wrong with Obama's Chicago-style administration.