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Obama Presidential Library: University Of Chicago Already Angling For It?

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Less than a year into President Obama's first term, his former employer -- the University of Chicago -- is making it clear that it wants his presidential library when the time comes.

Leaders of the elite South Side university have approached the Obama Administration several times to express interest in building the Obama Presidential Library at the school where he taught law classes just a few blocks from his Hyde Park home.

Thus far, their wooing has been in vain because the president thinks it's too soon to talk about a library, Bloomberg News reports.

"We are trying to understand the situation as best we can now," university president Robert J. Zimmer told Bloomberg. "Until the president really wants to talk about it, has some kind of direction that he's thinking about, we really feel more specific questions are premature."

First Lady Michelle Obama also worked for the university as a vice president for community and external relations at the medical center, and the Obama daughters, Sasha and Malia, attended the U of C Lab School.

"Decisions about a presidential library are made by the President, typically toward the end of his term in office," the university said in a statement. "Right now, the appropriate course for the University is to better understand the history and structure of the federal government's modern-era presidential libraries, and how they benefit scholarship, their communities and the nation. Until the President wishes to address this issue, more specific questions are premature."

Typically presidents start thinking about their presidential libraries when they begin to consider their legislative legacies. Less than a year into his first term, President Obama is still deep in several political fights, especially over health care reform.

Yet even looking ahead, there's some doubt that Obama will want a library as it has previously been considered.

Dr. Eric Whitaker, a close Obama friend who is an executive at the university's medical center, told Bloomberg Obama wasn't thrilled about the idea when asked about a library at the inauguration. "He didn't know if that would be something he would want to do," Whitaker said, adding that Obama floated the idea of a virtual library that wouldn't idolize him.

Should there be an actual structure, Hawaii may have as good a claim on it as Chicago. Obama was born in the Aloha State and only made Chicago his home after law school.

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