Veteran Chicago journalist Ben Joravsky explains why Chicago’s better off without the G-8 summit:
One, we're not equipped to handle it. Two, we can't afford it. And, three, it has the potential to give the Republicans great campaign material for the coming election.
President Obama has done Mayor Emanuel a great favor, because there’s no real upside to the summit for Chicago. Banks on La Salle Street were planning to close. Many major corporations located downtown were telling their employees to stay home. The fear of violence from the demonstrators was bound to dampen economic activity. There’s no real need to showcase Chicago, international travelers are well aware of the town.
Some may view as an embarrassment to Emanuel. The Chicago Sun-Times reported to President Obama only gave Emanuel “an hour’s advance notice.” But Emanuel is the lucky one. Violent demonstrations or not, the G-8 would have put the spotlight on Chicago. Do we want to shine a light on the recent loss of 200,000 people? The high retail sales tax? The bad public schools? The relentless legacy of public corruption?
President Obama helped his former Chief of Staff dodge a major bullet.