Former first lady Michelle Obama said Tuesday that her husband, former President Barack Obama, could have built his presidential library anywhere in the world because many feel he is “their president.”
Obama, speaking at the Obama Foundation Summit at the Illinois Institute of Technology, explained Chicago’s Jackson Park was selected as the site for the Obama Presidential Center because it was close to the couple’s former home and situated near her South Side childhood home.
“There’s power in the selection of Jackson Park,” the former first lady said. “Barack and I don’t do things incidentally. There’s a strategy.”
Obama then argued the library could have even been built outside of the United States.
“Barack’s presidential library could have been anywhere in the world, because there are so many people who feel like he is their president,” she stated.
“New York wanted it. Hawaii wants it. Because it’s also an economic engine,” she added.
Michelle Obama appeared at the fireside chat with her brother, Craig Robinson, and interviewed by The Warmth of Other Suns author Isabel Wilkerson.
In June, a federal judge ruled plans to build the $500 million presidential center on Chicago’s lakefront could move forward, dismissing advocacy group Protect Our Parks’s lawsuit objecting to the use of public park land.