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Ed Driscoll

America’s “First Pacific President?”

November 14th, 2009 - 4:25 pm

At the Corner, John J. Pitney Jr. does the job that AP used to do, before they transferred all of their staff over to research Sarah Palin’s book, and fact checks a slightly hyperbolic claim by the president:

“As America’s first Pacific president,” said President Obama in Tokyo, “I promise you that this Pacific nation will strengthen and sustain our leadership in this vitally important part of the world.”

It is true that the president was born in Hawaii (sorry, birthers), lived from ages six to ten in Indonesia, and attended a Honolulu prep school. But he is not our first Pacific president. Richard Nixon was born in California in 1913, and spent much more of his life in the Pacific region than the current president has. Moreover, while Barack Obama made his career in Chicago and Springfield, Ronald Reagan made his in Los Angeles and Sacramento.

And the incumbent is hardly the first chief executive to have lived in another Pacific Rim country. William Howard Taft was governor-general of the Philippines. Dwight Eisenhower had military postings in the Philippines and the Panama Canal Zone. Herbert Hoover worked as a mining engineer in Australia and China; he even learned to speak Mandarin. Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Bush 41 all served in the Pacific during the Second World War. What they did as adults was perhaps more consequential than what Obama did as a child.

Meanwhile, as far as what Obama is doing for today’s children, Big Hollywood presents:  “The ‘Fourth Graders For Obama’ YouTube Channel.”

Related: And speaking of the Pacific Theater of World War II, as John Hinderaker of Power Line tweets, “Was Truman right to end WWII? Obama can’t say.”

Related: From the Anchoress: “I feel like Brandon deWilde…”

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