Hawaii gearing up for Presidential library bid - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii gearing up for Presidential library bid

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Virginia Hinshaw Virginia Hinshaw
Barak Obama Barak Obama
Dylan Nonaka Dylan Nonaka
Erin Westover Erin Westover
Nate Black Nate Black

By Tim Sakahara - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii is stepping up its efforts to get a presidential library but it will be up to President Obama to choose if he wants it here, Chicago or someplace else.

George W. Bush's presidential library breaks ground tomorrow.  That's two years after he left office and yet people are already clamoring over President Obama's library.

President Obama was born here and he certainly knows how to have a good time here but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll choose to have his presidential library here.

"Well it will be his choice and we respect that choice," said Virginia Hinshaw, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Chancellor.

UH is looking to make his decision a little easier.  Representatives are travelling to some of the other presidential libraries researching the requirements and studying possible locations here on Oahu and on the neighbor islands.

"It's still a pretty long list," said Hinshaw.  "This is one where you need to get organized and if you're going to be ready you need to organize many years ahead."

The University of Hawaii will invest money to make the initial pitch to the president but the construction costs for the library come from non-profits and the president's own fundraising efforts, not taxpayer money.  Still not everyone is sold on idea.

"Well I think what's more important than having a presidential library here is what goes in it and if the presidential library contains the records of high unemployment through his presidency and a takeover health care system and all kinds of government bailouts, is that something we really want? I don't know I'll let the people decide," said Dylan Nonaka, Hawaii Republican Party Executive Director.

"I think it should definitely be here in Hawaii. I think there is a lot of support for him here just because he went to school here and people love him," said Erin Westover, UH Manoa student.

"It would be a first for Hawaii. 50th state but first president and first in a lot of good ways," said Nate Black, UH Manoa student.

The Associated Press recently asked the president's spokesperson about his preference on the library location.  The response was "no comment."

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