Rahm Emanuel conjures up false facts to get Chicago airport named after Obama

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last week that Chicago has airports “named after battleships”—but facts are tricky when you don’t know them.

Emanuel traded on his relationship with President Obama while answering a question at a candidate forum, when he suggested the possibility of naming one of Chicago’s airports in Obama’s honor, the Chicago Tribune reported.

“We have to, in some way, whether it’s President Obama or in the other case, Dr. Brazier, acknowledge people who have done significant things. We have an airport, two of them, named after, you know, Midway Airport, O’Hare Airport,” Emanuel said. “These are people who have been transformative in the city of Chicago. But we have airports named after battleships.”

After failing to win an absolute majority during November’s general election, incumbent Emanuel is in a hotly-contested runoff against Jesús “Chuy” Garcia, a Cook County commissioner and former state senator (a position Obama also held).

The Tribune pointed out Emanuel’s historical error, correctly reporting that O’Hare is named after decorated World War II Navy pilot Edward “Butch” O’Hare, and Midway is named in remembrance of the 1942 battle in the Pacific—neither airport is named after a battleship.

Twitter users were quick to mock Emanuel’s lack of historical knowledge.

Some were offended at the mayor’s disrespect for our WWII heroes.

And the cynics also chimed in.

The perfect tribute to Obama might not be an airport after all.

Emanuel’s staff later walked back the mayor’s impromptu remarks, stating that the mayor has no plans to rename either airport. “Look, I made a mistake, and I was quick to change it. I’m not perfect,” Emanuel said.

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Steve Berman

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