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The Chicago Tribune this morning reports that the announcement yesterday by Mayor Rahm Emanuel that he will not seek a third term “throws a big unknown into the city’s efforts to score Amazon’s second headquarters, which would be the crowning achievement in a line of corporate wins under his leadership … Emanuel has been hands-on in trying to woo Amazon to Chicago, touting the city’s growing tech sector, assembling 600 heavy hitters on a committee to support the bid and even hiring William Shatner to narrate a pitch video because Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is a ‘Star Trek’ fan.”

Amazon has said that a second North American headquarters city will be a full equal to its Seattle headquarters, with a planned investment of $5 billion and an expected hiring of as many as 50,000 employees. Chicago is one of 2o cities that made the finalists cut.

The Tribune says that opinions seem to be split on the impact of Emanuel’s departure - some say that Emanuel’s passion and aggressive approach will be missed, but others say that Chicago’s appeal transcends any singular political personality, and that there are so many development projects in the pipeline that Amazon will find the city enormously appealing.
KC's View:
Everybody is claiming to have inside knowledge about which cities are going to be chosen … but at this point, I suspect that few people actually know anything.

I’ve argued all along that Boston or Austin strike me as having the best chance of winning this contest, and that some combination of the three DC-area locations also seems to make sense. Toronto also could have an outside shot, but there are a lot of political implications to such a choice.

But I don’t know anything. And few of us will until Jeff Bezos decides to tell us.