SECOND CITY SNUB! Mayor Rahm Quashes Plan To Name $60 Million High School After Obama

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President Barack Obama has come a long way since the halcyon days of 2009 when then-Newsweek editor Evan Thomas called him “sort of God.” Today, he’s back at war in Iraq and his record-low approval rating stands at 38 percent.

But wait. It gets so much worse.

On Thursday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel kicked Obama down even further by announcing that that the city has abandoned plans to name a new selective enrollment high school after the president.

Chicago’s Barack Obama College Preparatory High School is no more, Emanuel said. The school, scheduled to open in the fall of 2017, will likely still be built, but it will now be called something else, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Problems with the name arose immediately after Second City officials breathlessly announced plans to build the $60 million top-tier high school. (RELATED: New $60 Million Chicago High School Will Be Named After Obama)

Criticism has come primarily from Chicago’s black community. Detractors have called the new school’s North Side location — just west of the ritzy Gold Coast neighborhood — a slap in the face to poor residents on the South and West sides of the city.

Certainly, the point is a fair one. The school will sit atop the remains of the former Cabrini-Green public housing project on a site that is now convenient mostly to wealthy white people and just a few blocks from the still-gleaming Walter Payton College Preparatory High School.

“Over the last few months, my team has listened to questions and concerns from the community, ranging from location of the building to the naming of the school,” Emanuel said in a statement. “We take that community input seriously, which is why — as we continue to look for a thoughtful way to honor President Obama — we will look for other possible names for this future school.”

Emanuel’s decision to rename the school is almost certainly an attempt to shore up support among black voters and other interest groups as he gears up for re-election. (The election will occur in February 2015.)

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis, who has indicated that she may run against Emanuel, condemned the mayor despite the name change. (RELATED: Fresh off WEIGHT REDUCTION SURGERY IN MEXICO, Karen Lewis May Run Against Mayor Rahm)

“This notion of putting one more selective enrollment high school on the North Side in walking distance to Walter Payton was a problem,” Lewis told the Chicago Sun-Times. “You’re expanding Walter Payton. Now you’re gonna build another selective enrollment high school and name it for Barack Obama? Barack Obama is a South Sider. Plus, in Chicago, we don’t name schools after living people unless it’s a charter school, and they bought the naming rights.”

Emanuel and Lewis detest each other and have engaged in many political fights in recent years. Most of these battles have ended with Lewis getting beaten like a drum. In May 2013, for example, the Chicago Board of Education voted to shutter 49 elementary schools over Lewis’s protests. Earlier this year, the city announced an ambitious plan to implement its “turnaround” model for three low-performing elementary schools in poor, predominantly black neighborhoods. (RELATED: Chicago Teachers Union To Mayor Rahm: Improving Failed Schools Full Of Black Kids Is RACIST)

Emanuel said city officials have not yet chosen a new name and will be considering several.

The White House did not answer a request from the Tribune for comment about the rejection of his namesake

In better news for Obama, a school district in the suburbs of Chicago recently announced plans to rename a middle school in his in honor and a second middle school in honor of first lady Michelle Obama. (RELATED: Michelle Obama Exalted For Matrimonial Achievement With School Named In Her Honor)

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