Of course Chicago made Amazon’s short list for HQ2. Now we’ll see if it’s a winner, or just a contender.

No one should be surprised Chicago is on Amazon’s list of 20 potential locations for HQ2, its coveted second headquarters.

It would have been astounding — not to mention embarrassing — if the city didn’t make the cut.

Nonetheless, Amazon’s lineup doesn’t offer much guidance. It’s spread out all over the U.S. and also throws in the possibility of Canada by including Toronto.

The decision also showcases Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ genius for using this site selection process to drum up more attention and business for his company. Click on Amazon’s tweet today about the final 20 and you end up smack dab on an Amazon home page that’s also hawking “today’s deals.”

Amid such heady competition, Chicago can make a pretty compelling case for winning HQ2.

Indeed, if Amazon is intent on a centralized U.S. location — one that provides ready access to a major international airport and also sports some urban flair — Chicago has an edge against other Midwestern rivals like Indianapolis and Columbus, Ohio, which also made the short list.

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The city is touting an educated workforce, an emerging technology community, widespread transportation options, attractive lifestyle and the availability of appropriate campus sites. With current housing and new developments in the pipeline, the Chicago area also can absorb an influx of thousands of new workers at a reasonable, although climbing, cost of living.

Can fellow Amazon finalists New York or Boston provide the same? I doubt it.

This is key.

Keep in mind that one of the reasons Amazon seeks a second headquarters is because it’s run out of room to grow in Seattle, which is occasionally running out of patience with Amazon’s expansion. The company has been blamed for sopping up Seattle’s available commercial properties, straining the local infrastructure and raising the prices of everyday living.

Chicago’s backers will make the compelling case that the city and surrounding area can welcome a growing Amazon without bursting at the seams.

While there’s a strong business case to be made, this is Chicago after all, so anything could happen to rattle the delicate Amazon bidding process.

A City Hall scandal, a less-than-enthusiastic welcome from business leaders or sniping between local site developers trying to make the case for their own sites would signal dysfunction or a lack of discipline and spell big trouble for the offer.

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What’s more, we don’t know if the city’s reputation for violent crime will factor into Amazon’s thinking. Then there’s the open-ended question about how much the city and state are willing to provide Amazon in taxpayer-backed incentives or breaks.

The current Chicago-backed package is around $2.2 billion. But will that pot now be sweetened? New Jersey, a finalist, is willing to dole out up to $7 billion.

Privately, site selection experts have told me that such sweeteners will not be the ultimate deal-maker or deal-breaker for Amazon. Maybe that’s true. But the e-commerce behemoth sure has a huge appetite for government-backed perks.

Already, Illinois has awarded Amazon over $100 million in tax subsidies for building warehouses and distribution centers in Joliet, Monee and Aurora, according to Good Jobs First, an economic policy researcher that tracks such incentives.

Amazon says it will spend $5 billion in the area where it builds HQ2 and hire up to 50,000, outpacing Apple’s announced plan this week to build a second major campus somewhere in the country — an opportunity Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said he will also hotly pursue.

Anything can happen, but there’s nothing in Amazon’s history or finances to indicate it won’t deliver on its HQ2 projections.

Having fielded 238 proposals, Amazon is revving up to dive into its selected 20 markets. It will make a decision later this year.

This is getting serious. Chicago must now prove it’s a winner and not just a contender.