The White House released a statement this afternoon that the Group of Eight international summit will be held at Camp David in Maryland, and not Chicago, as originally planned. The statement did not specify why the May 19-21 summit of international leaders would switch locales, only stating that Camp David would provide "a free-flowing discussion."
The White House did make clear that the NATO summit would still be held in Chicago, May 19-21.
Preparations for G8 have become a central, perhaps the central, political subject in Chicago over the last few months. The focus has been on costs and logistics, and how police will provide security for both the world's most powerful political leaders and the thousands of protesters expected to arrive. Progress Illinois and others have focused on the city's controversial efforts to prepare for G8, including a pair of ordinances to deputize outside police forces and add legal hoops for public demonstrators.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel released the following statement on the schedule changes this afternoon, "We wish President Obama and the other leaders well at the G8 meeting at Camp David and look forward to hosting the NATO Summit in Chicago. Hosting the NATO Summit is a tremendous opportunity to showcase Chicago to the world and the world to Chicago and we are proud to host the 50 heads of state, foreign and defense ministers from the NATO and ISAF countries in our great city May 19-21."
It is not clear how much the city needs to prepare for just the NATO summit. The NATO summit is typically not as high-profile as the G8 meeting and does not attract nearly the number of protesters.