Presidential Library: Hawaii Edition

In an attempt to get your mind off of the still quite cold temperatures, today’s post is about the warm and sunny (possible) location of the Obama Presidential Library…Hawaii!

Hulopoe Bay, HI
Hulopoe Bay, HI (2012) Andy Beal Photography on Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii’s governor, thinks the President should embrace Hawaii’s Aloha spirit and house at least part of his presidential library in the 50th state.  American studies Associate  Professor Robert Perkinson is also a major force behind the initiative to bring President Obama’s presidential library to the Aloha state.  However, the windy city also has a strong connection to Mr.Obama and has expressed some skepticism about whether visitors would head to Hawaii to “pursue book learning“.

So Mr. Perkinson is staking out an underdog claim, making it clear that Hawaii would be happy to share with Chicago some portion of Mr. Obama’s postpresidential legacy. (A potential model, he said, is that of former President Bill Clinton, whose presidential library is in Arkansas, but whose foundation and global initiative are based in New York.)

President Clinton is not the only president who has his presidential library and foundation/museum in separate cities. President Gerald R. Ford’s  library is located right here in Ann Arbor and his presidential museum is across the state in Grand Rapids, MI.  (Interesting to note, President Ford was actually born in Omaha, NE but grew up in Grand Rapids.)  He spent his college years in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan.  If Ford’s library and museum are a geographic guides, perhaps Honolulu, New York City (home to his alma mater Columbia University), and Chicago will all be in the discussion.

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