Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sorry Hawaii, He's Ours

While Hawaii is trying to claim Barack Obama as their own, it's clear Illinois is going to win the where-he's-from battle.
In spite of the excitement over the Inaugural ball, Hawaii has a bit of a chip on its shoulder. Obama, after all, is a Senator from Illinois, and the incoming President comes off as more a Land of Lincolner than a son of the Aloha State. It's been that way throughout his political career.
Some Hawaiians have a ready explanation for Obama's reticence about the state where he was born. They say local people were raised to be humble, a tradition that dates back to the 19th-century beginnings of Hawaii's plantation era, when everyone came from someplace else and pineapple and sugarcane workers needed to get along in order to survive in their new home. So it would be uncharacteristic, they say, for a true son of Hawaii to go to a big city like Chicago and brag about the sun-drenched beaches, tight family ways and tasty food of his home state. Instead, they say, someone like Obama would most likely try to fit in while sticking to the values of his birthplace.
Yeah, whatever. But don't feel bad Hawaii, Kentucky feels your pain. Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky but is forever associated with Illinois for some of the same reasons as Obama. Remember though, Illinois has been on the losing end too. Ronald Reagan was born and raised in Illinois but became forever associated with California in his adult life.

In a related story, this was a very nice farewell to Illinois from its now former senator. He cites Lincoln's departing remarks. Springfield even gets mentioned. I'm guessing Obama didn't send Hawaii one of these.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you now how much I hate to correct you, but Obama is not a son of Hawaii either.

I have it on good account from a neo-Conservative that I talked to this weekend that Obama's now deceased grandmother made a statement that Obama was not born in Hawaii and that he went to Hawaii not to visit his dying grandmother but instead to have the governor of Hawaii seal his birth certificate to hide the fact that he was born in Papua New Guinea (actually I made up the Papua New Guinea part). Why would a dead grandmother lie?