The topic came up as the mayor fielded a question on why he quickly proposed, then abandoned efforts to name a new North Side high school after Obama and the South Side’s Stony Island Parkway after the late Arthur Brazier, a revered African-American civic leader who founded the Woodlawn Organization and was pastor of the Apostolic Church of God for 48 years.
…The mayor gave his answer in acknowledging he erred in seeking to name a North Side high school after the president, when Obama got his start in politics on the South Side.
“Look, I made a mistake, and I was quick to change it. I’m not perfect. When I make a mistake, I hear it and change it,” Emanuel said. “And I don’t have a problem saying that. But I won’t make an apology for the fact I think President Obama is a great president. I wanted to honor him. I wanted to be the city to have the first high school named after him. In my rush to do it, I clearly offended people, so I backed off of it. I will never back off of my love and affection for a great president. But I made a mistake.”
But here’s the question: why do we lionize politicians? Grover Norquist gave us Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. You can always tell a tourist or recent DC arrival by how they refer to the airport, ‘Reagan’ versus ‘National’. Mine isn’t an ideological objection per se but I’ve always called it National and that doesn’t change because local politicians tell me it should or because the signs change.
The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is one of the more bloated federal real estate projects, either fitting or ironic depending on whom you ask.
I suppose I’d rather see a sponsorship deal, then there’d be revenue attached rather than mood affiliation gains for an in-group of supporters. That’s true regardless of President or Party.
Funds could be used to upgrade the decrepit conditions of O’Hare or Midway.