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After Obama’s unsuccessful bid to bring the Olympics to Chicago, Emanuel lobbies Obama to bring the 28-member NATO meeting and G-8 Summit to town in 2012. The Sun-Times reports:

An Obama White House administration official told the Chicago Sun-Times that the two distinct meetings will take place at the same time in the president’s adopted hometown, in locations to be determined. The 2012 summits in Chicago “will provide President Obama with opportunity to continue his leadership of our most important security alliance, to fulfill commitments made by allied leaders in Lisbon in November 2010, and to sustain our joint work to revitalize NATO to prepare it to effectively meet challenges of the 21st century,’’ the official said.

Bringing the summit to Chicago will present a major security challenge for the city.

The meeting will run from May 15-22, 2012 and will be an opportunity for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff, to show off the city to the world.

But the meetings will also bring massive security and financial challenges to the cash-strapped city. Similar gatherings of world leaders have attracted thousands of protestors. When Pittsburgh hosted the G-20 summit on global economies in September 2009, a public-private host committee partnership was created to help share the costs, much as for a political convention.

Here are some of the videos from the G-20 in Toronto last summer, a little of what Chicago can look forward to.

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[vsw id=”GaYbq484abs” source=”youtube” width=”425″ height=”344″ autoplay=”no”]

Again from the Sun-Times:

Sending the meetings to Chicago is a tangible demonstration of the Chicago White House clout. Chicago landed the G-8 and NATO by appointment, not through a competitive process.

A City Hall source said Emanuel talked to Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley about hosting the events in Chicago.

Despite the risks, Emanuel claims this will allow the city shine on an international stage; boost the city’s pathetic economy, and improve the 8.9% local unemployment rate.

“From a city perspective, this will be an opportunity to showcase what is great about the greatest city in the greatest country,’’ he said. “It’s an opportunity for the City of Chicago economically, but also a message internationally about why Chicago is a city that’s on the move and, if you’re thinking of investing, Chicago is a place to invest.”

“There’s no doubt about that. And one of the things I’m gonna be working on is raising the private resources necessary to supplement what we have to do,” the mayor said.

“While there is no doubt there will be security needs. This is also an opportunity for the city that is unprecedented from an economic standpoint and job-creation standpoint.”

Apparently the Chicago’s early summer roving gang problem isn’t a big enough challenge for Mayor Emanuel. Hopefully G-8 riots aren’t the real test he is looking for.


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