Friday, November 07, 2008

First President from Hawaii

President-elect Obama will be the first American President from the state of Hawaii. Of course, he is also from Illinois. However, he was born in the USA in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 4, 1961. He lived in Hawaii for many years and even attend and graduated from the prestigious Punahou School. That school has other distinguished attendees including Sanford Dole, AOL founder Steve Case, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and Haptom University founder Samuel Armstrong.

This has been noted in Hawaii. The Honolulu Advertiser wrote in Obama: Hawaii's own makes history:

Barack Obama made history last night, becoming the first African-American, and the first person born in Hawai'i, elected president of the United States.

Hawai'i voters, in a show of local pride, gave the Punahou School graduate his largest victory margin of any state in the nation. Obama led U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, 71 percent to 26 percent in the Islands with most of the votes counted. The District of Columbia, which has a predominantly African-American population, went for Obama 93 percent to 7 percent.

Obama's victory means more for Hawai'i than local pride in a native son. The president, for the first time, will have a personal understanding of the Islands, its Native Hawaiian culture, and its unique economic and geographic challenges.

Obama is on record in support of a Native Hawaiian federal recognition bill and Honolulu's mass-transit project.

"We now have a leader of the party across the country who knows Hawai'i, from growing up here, being educated here, somebody who is going to, I think, provide the kind of national leadership that is going to end up helping Hawai'i as a state," Winer said.

Congratulations to the people of Hawaii. You are an important part of the American Union which I think this vote helped to demonstrate.

4 comments:

Jeff Ravetto said...

Good post, and I congratulate Hawaii!

I do have a question related to this, however. Hawaii was admitted to the union in 1959. If someone was born in Hawaii before 1959, would that person be eligible to run for President? I was curious about that, since the Constitution states that a person must be born in the United States in order to be President.

Thanks,
Jeff

M said...

Good question and I have no idea. Hawaii was a US territory from 1898-1959 but I am unsure how that would be interpreted. Better get a lawyer for this question.

Jennie W said...

That's a great question and one that could affect someone from Alaska as well! I was looking for this answer and found this piece on McCain, who was born in the Panama Canal Zone: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/11/us/politics/11mccain.html.

I think this piece answers the question and says the answer is yes, that such a person would be a natural born citizen: http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_citi.html. (Hey, that means my mother, born in AK in 1956, could run (as if she would)!).

Here is the full AK citition: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001404----000-.html and Hawaii: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001405----000-.html. And this section answers the question that yes, McCain is a natural born citizen as well: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode08/usc_sec_08_00001403----000-.html.

That was quite interesting!

M said...

Good response Jennie. I think you would make a good lawyer. :]