Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Suggests Naming Airport After President Obama


Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel, currently fighting for his political life in a heated run-off campaign, floated the idea Wednesday of naming an airport after the Windy City’s favorite son: President Barack Obama.

When asked at a candidate forum at Chicago State University why he was no longer supporting his own proposal to name two high schools after Obama and influential religious and community leader Arthur Brazier, Emanuel said that he was still looking for ways to “acknowledge people who have done significant things.”

“We have an airport, two of them, you know, Midway Airport, O’Hare Airport,” Emanuel said. “[Obama and Brazier] are people who have been transformative in the city of Chicago. But we have airports named after battleships.”

President Obama worked as a community organizer in Chicago before enrolling at Harvard Law School in 1988. He then returned to the city, where he taught at the University of Chicago Law School and worked as an attorney before representing the city’s South Side in the Illinois State Senate.

O’Hare Airport was named after a pilot from World War II, while Midway Airport was named to commemorate the decisive naval battle of that conflict. (Midway refers to a strategic atoll in the Pacific Ocean, not a battleship, however.)

After Wednesday’s debate, Emanuel’s spokeswoman Kelley Quinn told the Chicago Tribune that the mayor has no plans to rename either airport.

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