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Question of the day

Friday, Feb 24, 2017

* Tribune

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Thursday that Illinois should take a day each year to honor former Democratic President Barack Obama, but it shouldn’t come with a day off work. […]

“It’s incredibly proud for Illinois that the president came from Illinois. I think it’s awesome, and I think we should celebrate it,” Rauner said when asked about the measure by a reporter at an unrelated event. “I don’t think it should be a formal holiday with paid, forced time off, but I think it should be a day of acknowledgment and celebration.”

In line with Rauner’s view, a Senate bill would designate Aug. 4 as Barack Obama Day — but it would be a commemorative day instead of a state holiday. […]

Other proposals to honor the former president and his influence in Illinois have surfaced in the General Assembly. One plan would label the stretch of Interstate 55 from the Tri-State Tollway to East St. Louis the “Barack Obama Presidential Expressway.” A separate measure would dub the Tri-State the “President Barack Obama Tollway.”

We’ve already got a Kennedy Expressway, an Eisenhower Expressway, a Reagan Tollway, a Grant Park, a state holiday for Lincoln’s birthday, etc.

* The Question: What should Illinois do to honor Barack Obama? No snark and please explain.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Blue Bayou - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    Rename the baseball team in the north:

    The Chicago Baracks

  2. - Wylie Coyote - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:06 pm:

    All of the above are “memorial” designations. Maybe a little bit too early for the very-much-alive Obama?

  3. - Franklin Delano Bluth - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:07 pm:

    In my opinion, give him a highway and let August 4th be “Barack Obama Day” but don’t give state workers a day off for another few years or so. I just feel like he’s still a bit too politically volatile and I can see the ILGOP rushing to “these lazy government workers just want another day off!”

    But we should really name as many things as we can after the guy in my opinion. He is going to be a historical figure in this country for as long as it lasts, and Illinois should be proud of him!

  4. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:09 pm:

    Tear down the Stratton Building.

    Build a first-class and ascetically appropriate building so close the Capitol Building for legislator office space…

    … Name it the Barak Obama Office Complex.

  5. - Nick Name - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:10 pm:

    I vote for OW’s idea.

  6. - The Captain - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:11 pm:

    Obama was always advocating for public service. We have some holidays where public service is often part of the holiday, remembrances for Memorial Day, helping the underprivileged on/near Thanksgiving and Christmas, etc. but Illinois could pass a state holiday honoring public service on the day of Obama’s birthday (without necessarily even acknowledging him by name) and charitable organizations could build programs around how to use an influx of volunteers that day. It would be a good way to honor Obama without necessarily being a vanity/celebrity recognition (like naming something after him). August 4th may be a bit on the warm side but it’s a good time of year for people to get out and do something nice for others.

  7. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:12 pm:

    “What should Illinois do to honor Barack Obama?”

    Rename the Tri-State.


    “I Hope I have Change for the Obama Tollway…”

    – MrJM

  8. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    nothing yet

    I believe there’s going to be a library

  9. - Biker - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:14 pm:

    State Holiday, no school, no work, day off or bust!

  10. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:16 pm:

    Also, to offset…

    Have a statue outside the Complex honoring Governor Stratton, and recognize him on the Grounds as he loses the naming of the new complex.

  11. - Kevin Highland - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:17 pm:

    Nothing yet. Wait 50 years.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Be Cool

  13. - NoGifts - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:18 pm:

    Rename Jackson Park to Obama Park, and the presidential museum will be there too. His old neighborhood and a gem of the city.

  14. - A Jack - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:19 pm:

    Make the Obama fist bump, the official Illinois handshake.

  15. - NoGifts - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    Because we already have Presidents’ Day, and that covers all presidents.

  16. - A Jack - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:20 pm:

    And make the fist bump the only allowed greeting at all official functions.

  17. - Liberty - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    What is the equivalent of the Grant Memorial Highway Rt 20?

  18. - AlfondoGonz - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:21 pm:

    Rename Midway “Barack Obama Commerical Airport.”

    I don’t know why, I just think he is more relevant than the Battle of Midway.

  19. - PublicServant - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    Rename Lake Shore Drive to President Barak Obama Drive.

  20. - Earnest - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    Put him on our license plate.

    I don’t really like August 4 as his day because school is not in session, so it won’t drive any lessons or conversations in classrooms. I like the idea of including him with President’s Day and that it falls in Black History Month.

  21. - PoW - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:26 pm:

    LOL, Willy wants to tear down a building, and construct a shiny new complex with BHO’s name on it.

    Where are those funds coming from???

    Supposedly, Barry’s library is going to cost approximately $1.5 billion. OUCH

  22. - LakeviewJ - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Name the two chambers- Senate for Obama, House for Lincoln.

  23. - The 647 - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    State holiday with paid day off - but first Monday in August not August 4th. Eliminate Columbus Day so it is number of holidays neutral. Also, name an expressway after him. I don’t care which one.

  24. - Ron Burgundy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:28 pm:

    I’m fine with a highway and a commemorative day with no day off. Whether that should happen while he is alive or not I will leave to others to decide. I don’t remember the timeline on the equivalents for Ronald Reagan.

  25. - RNUG - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    I can’t answer; you said no snark.

  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:31 pm:

    - Piece of Work -

    Have you been to the Stratton? It’s not even up to speed for the 1990s.

    There’s nothing historically significant with its design, nothing that makes it impossible within its ascetics or design to keep it.

    It has been discussed from time to time to demolish the building and start over.

    Further, as to the cost…

    Isn’t the State selling the JRTC?

  27. - Albany Park Patriot - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    Wouldn’t be a state action, but Jackson Park will need to be renamed.

  28. - stlboy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:34 pm:

    How about just name the first Saturday in August in his honor.
    Many people will be off, no holiday pay and we can all bar b q, boat, picnic, whatever.

  29. - Anon - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    Make August 4th a state holiday, Lincoln-Obama Day (or “Illinois Leaders” Day), and get rid of the Lincoln holiday in February (everyone would prefer the day off in August rather than February).

  30. - illinoised - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    I abhor the Columbus Day holiday, which honors a not-so-nice person who wasn’t even the first European to set foot on American soil.
    Drop Columbus Day and replace with Obama Day as a paid day off.

  31. - NeveroddoreveN - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:39 pm:

    FREEdom Day 8/4: Free entrance into all State museums, free camping at all state parks, free fishing licenses, and free tolls at the Barack Obama Toll

  32. - wordslinger - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:40 pm:

    Too soon. Nothing yet.

    But tell me again how Rauner isn’t a politician by not getting sideways of the question.

  33. - One to the Dome - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    Definitely for starters, a school on the SOUTHSIDE - in the district he represented. Not north where it was suggested.

  34. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    Is there any thought of taking down Stephen Douglas’ portrait in the chamber? It’s been there forever, but he was never president.

  35. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:49 pm:

    Will there be a bill soon to strip away all the silly name recognitions of these highways? It cheapens the meaning of the numbers that the highway was really supposed to stand for :)

  36. - blue dog dem - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    I agree with RNUG.

  37. - OurMagician - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 12:50 pm:

    Designate i-55 the Barack Obama highway between the Tri State and ESL, and rename Calhoun County as Lincoln or Reagan County.

  38. - ILPundit - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:07 pm:

    Illinois now has legitimate claim to 4 Presidents. Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, and Obama. I would have new statues of each placed in the 1st Floor, South Hallway and rename it the Hall of Presidents.

  39. - East Central Illinois - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:26 pm:

    With respect to all - I don’t see that designating a highway, interstate, or whatever with anyone’s name is that great. I-90 is I-90, I-55 is I-55, I-57 is I-57; to people outside of those areas, the state and/or federal identifying name and number is what is used. I’m not sure people driving from (insert any state here) and using their map are going to see that they are driving up from the southern states on I-57 and now it magically turns into President So-So Highway is any big deal. More costs, more signage.

  40. - A guy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:29 pm:

    Put the whole idea on ice for a while. Wait for history to have time to evaluate his time as President. And, he’s still alive. And pretty young. Wait at least 10 years to do anything. He will have a Presidential Library and I believe a school is already named for him. Not to mention whatever Private things are named or dedicated for him.

    Take a decade and let’s see.

  41. - CornCob - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:38 pm:

    Nothing while he is still alive

  42. - anonymous retiree - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:39 pm:

    Agree nothing while he is alive

  43. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    Rename the Jackson Park golf course after him. Golf is his favorite sport and favorite thing to do, after all!

    What golfer wouldn’t love that?

  44. - VanillaMan - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:00 pm:

    Name Norb Andy’s back room after him. You could always spot him there bumming smokes and smiling.

  45. - PoW - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:01 pm:

    Yes Willy, I have been in the Stratton, likely more times than you.

  46. - the old man - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:03 pm:

    Write a curriculum for ever Civics/Government class in every middle school and high school which lists all of Obama’s failures, which list all the damages he did to the country in eight years and let his legacy live forever.

  47. - Enviro - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    There will be the Barack Obama Library. Perhaps a vegetable garden could be added near the library to honor Michelle Obama.

  48. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===I have been in the Stratton, likely more times than you.===

    Considering neither of us know each other, how you can make that assumption is another comically inept statement. I wouldn’t assume you’ve been there more or less than me. I asked, since I don’t know you if have been there.

    I’ll be embarrassed for you. It’s ok.

    To my suggestion and timing,

    Did to Rauner’s gross malpractice in budgeting as Governor, realistically I can’t see Stratton being torn down at the minimum of 6 years, and that’s me being generous.

    In the window of 7-10 years, I still feel the Barack Obama Office Conplex would be a fine tribute to the former President.

    As the Old State Capitol is Lincoln’s with his speech and service, the Office Complex for Obama allows both Capitol buildings, old and “new” a connection to former Presidents that served in the legislature.

    (Hat tip to - Nick Name -)

  49. - Anon - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:14 pm:

    1.) Naming a toll road is unacceptable.

    2.) Get Logan out of the state song and put President Obama in it. Sure, it ruins the significance of the tears component but at this point Logan drafted laws that made it illegal to be black in the State of Illinois. Removing him from an official state song and replacing him with the first black president is significant, along with affording President Obama equal standing with President Lincoln and President Grant in the state song.

    3.) Following that, a monument appropriate with is stature. Whether it be a significant public building, or other public works, and or a state holiday. That’s a little tricker to pass at the moment because there a lot of small minded folks that find themselves unable to recognize both achievements of President Obama and the historic nature because doing though.

    We might need to wait for some of those folks to die, or at very least state leadership that is courageous enough to stand up to bigotry disguised as whatever.

  50. - PoW - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:21 pm:

    And yet, once again Willy, you can’t answer how they will fund a brand new shiny office building. Maybe Barry will pay for naming rights–thoughts?

    I’ve been to UIUC more than you, I’ve been to EIU more than you and the odds are with me that I’ve been to the Stratton more than you.

  51. - Roman - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:23 pm:

    How about a statue under the capitol dome? There’s a spot sort of hallowed out on the first floor that I think has a portrait of Washington hanging now.

  52. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Nothing. He’s still alive, the world became more dangerous during his term, race relations worsened during his term, and there was no major crisis he fixed. This is as dumb as giving him a Nobel prize just because he was president. Might as well give one to Donald.

  53. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:28 pm:

    Funny thing about braggarts…

    When they have to face facts, they change subjects.

    The paying for the building? Once the grossly inept Rauner finishes his second term, and not much is left in Illinois’ credit rating, higher education, social services, and Springfield sees people leaving far quicker than before Rauner talked about shutting down the state of Af-Scammy… a Capitol Project will probably, or could be a sweetener for a reasonable governor looking for… 60… and 30.

    Now I won’t challenge you - Piece of Work, I’m sure you can jump higher, run faster, swim longer, throw farther, you can do everything better… I’ll just laugh at you and enjoy your Trump-like bragging.

  54. - Swift - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:34 pm:

    They may need to work on the Interstate names, they are going to be shortened to the “BOPE” & “PBOT” respectively, kinda silly sounding in my opinion.

    Although Rich said no snark, I suspect he meant snark directed to President Obama, not the current president, so I think the best way to honor Obama would be to rename the block of Wabash in front of the Trump Hotel in Chicago after Obama.

  55. - PoW - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    Willy, maybe you can reintroduce the Edgar Ramp and use some funds to build the BHO Office Building just West of the Capitol. Worth a try, don’t ya think

  56. - Illinoised - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 2:57 pm:

    I’ve been in a jail cell more times than OW and PoW.

  57. - Franklin Delano Bluth - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 3:14 pm:

    I like NoGifts idea about renaming Jackson Park as well as having the Obama library there, would be a cool way to honor him.

  58. - CornCob - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 3:22 pm:

    **Following that, a monument appropriate with is stature.**

    I think the Chia-Obama works quite nicely.

  59. - IDEA - Friday, Feb 24, 17 @ 3:26 pm:

    Illinois State Museum is a little blah these days and the exhibits are the same as they were YEARS AGO. How about renaming it the Obama Illinois State Museum and feature a replica of his office from the Capitol, information about his announcements at the Old State Capitol, encourage young kids to give back to their communities and become involved in politics. Springfield could use another tourist attraction to generate some revenue. The museum could work with his Presidential Library and have guest lectures and traveling exhibits. After all, Springfield helped him transition to the U.S. Senate and White House.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed until Tuesday
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