Report: Hawaii already vying for Obama library

Hawaii is pushing to be the home of the Obama presidential library, according to a report Saturday by the Associated Press.

With the approval of Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), University of Hawaii professor Robert Perkinson is coordinating a statewide campaign with a budget granted by the university. According to the report, Abercrombie has talked with President Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng and to Obama's childhood friend Bobby Titcomb about his plans.

The AP also said the state’s development authority has set aside several pieces of land as potential library sites, with an emphasis on picturesque Hawaiian views. Obama's adulthood hometown of Chicago, where he began his political career, is widely seen as the frontrunner to house the library.

New York Times story earlier this month set off initial speculation, stating that Obama adviser and friend Valerie Jarrett was maneuvering into the library project after the president tasked his deputy chief of staff with planning. The Times also reported that former Deputy Campaign Manager Julianna Smoot has already begun talking to potential donors. 

The White House, however, maintains that “there isn’t even an effort that exists yet,” on a library, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The library effort will formally get underway in early 2014 when a nonprofit foundation to fundraise and evaluate sites will be set up.


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