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President Barack Obama delivers a prime time address from the Cross Hall of the White House on Sept. 10, vowing to target the Islamic State with air strikes "wherever they exist." On Monday, the finalists for the Obama library and museum were announced: the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Hawaii. | Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images

Odds favor Chicago sites — U. of C. or UIC — for Obama library

WASHINGTON — The finalists for the Obama library and museum announced Monday — the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Columbia University and the University of Hawaii — face a very heavy lift to win the competition. The Chicago-based Barack Obama Foundation, in naming the final four, also released an 18-page bid document — called a “Request for Proposal” — that sheds light, for the first time, on the gigantic financial commitment the bidders must make — in perpetuity.

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. | AP

Obama library finalists: U of Chicago, UIC, Hawaii, Columbia

WASHINGTON — The Barack Obama Foundation on Monday announced the finalists for President Barack Obama’s presidential library and museum: the University of Chicago; the University of Illinois at Chicago; Columbia University and the University of Hawaii.

Obama schedule, guidance Sept. 15, 2014. Awards Medals of Honor

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama on Monday meets with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the former Chicago Public Schools chief, awards Medals of Honor to military heroes and headlines a fundraiser for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Obama schedule, guidance Sept. 13, 14, 2014. Busy week ahead

WASHINGTON--President Barack Obama has no official events on Saturday and Sunday, with a busy week ahead, including a visit to the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, where on Tuesday he will receive a briefing on the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa and on the respiratory illness outbreak in several states, including the Chicago area.

The Ready for Hillary bus, which was made in Iowa, was in New York in June as Hillary Clinton launched her book tour. | Getty Images

5 things to know as Hillary Clinton heads to Iowa

WASHINGTON — Hillary and Bill Clinton hit Iowa on Sunday, her first trip back since she came in third in the 2008 caucuses, triggering a frenzy of rising expectations that this means she is getting closer to a 2016 White House run.

A bid to place the Obama presidential library at the site of the former Michael Reese Hospital will not make the cut when the finalists are announced next week, sources have told the Chicago Sun-Times. | File Photo

Obama library: 2 Chicago sites cut from list; U. of C. bid lives

WASHINGTON — Obama Presidential Library Foundation chief Martin Nesbitt is poised to announce the bid finalists next week with two Chicago sites without university affiliations — at Lakeside and Bronzeville — not advancing to the next round, I am told by multiple sources. The University of Chicago is expected to be on a shortlist of bidders who will be asked to submit a very detailed proposal for the library and museum.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill. | Ashlee Rezin/for Sun-Times Media

Kirk fundraising off 'rumor' Michelle Obama will run for his seat

WASHINGTON — Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., is invoking first lady Michelle Obama as a possible 2016 opponent in a recent fundraising appeal, citing the “press and rumor mills” as his source — even though she has shown no interest in running for elected office. It’s even doubtful President Barack Obama and the first family will immediately return to Chicago after leaving the White House, since youngest daughter Sasha will still be in high school here in January 2017, when a new president is sworn in.

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and vice chairman of the Senate GOP political operation, said Jim Oberweis won't be getting much help in his bid to defeat Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. | Photo by Michael Bonfigli/The Christian Science Monitor

Oberweis no priority of the Senate GOP political shop: Portman

WASHINGTON — Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a vice chairman of the Senate GOP political operation, said Thursday he expected his organization will not be helping Illinois GOP Senate nominee Jim Oberweis because other races — with candidates who have a better chance of winning — have a priority. While he had nothing much to say about Oberweis, he gushed over Illinois GOP governor nominee Bruce Rauner, who he knows from their Dartmouth days.