This Saturday, Chicago will hold its annual Bud Billiken Parade, “the oldest and largest African American parade in the country,” without its previously announced Grand Marshall President Barack Obama.
Organizers were surprised to learn in late June that he would be backing out; what is even more surprising is that Valerie Jarrett is sending the replacement, her staffer Michael Strautmanis.
It is quite a let-down for organizers of the parade, the theme of which is “Education: Built to Last; a Tribute to President Barack Obama,” a topic that appears to have been built around the expectation that the President would be taking part.
And communications have been confusing; the chairman of the parade reports that all communications had gone through the White House, but the cancellation was done through the campaign office.
“The president will continue to be a strong supporter of the parade, and of its broader mission: placing a priority on education, supporting our children, and making sure they have the skills they need to achieve their goals,” read a statement from Obama for America, the president’s re-election campaign.
What is confounding is that the President will actually be in Chicago this weekend for a series of swanky fundraisers, where $40,000 per person can get you within mingling distance of the President…
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