President Obama has moved the May G8 summit from his hometown of Chicago to the presidential retreat Camp David. The Chicago Tribune reports that an aide stated the president wanted a “intimate’ setting.
While the G8 may be leaving the windy city, Chicago will stay play host the International Security Assistance Force and NATO meeting.
"It's not about Chicago being able to handle logistics, as evidenced by the fact that the NATO and ISAF meetings will be held there, which are far larger than the G8 meeting," said Caitlin Hayden, Obama's National Security Council spokeswoman, "There are a lot of political, economic and security issues that come together at the G8."
It was reported that Obama did consult with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, whom is his former chief of staff, about the move.
With Chicago having invested months of planning for the upcoming G8 summit, moving it seems like a massive waste of resources. Though, many did question if Chicago could handle the shear amount of security associated with such an event. Also, there has been much backlash from businesses owners, claiming that the G8 would be disruptive if they had to close for one reason or another. Also, some were concerned that Chicago’s public transportation system would be temporarily suspended for an indefinite amount of time, given that this is normal protocol when the president enters a large metropolitan city.
The Group of 8 meetings will happen May 18 and 19, covering topics ranging from economics to security issues.