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Stanley Armour Dunham, Madelyn Payne, Barack Obama

Obama in 1979 during his high school graduation in Hawaii with his maternal grandparents, Stanley Armour Dunham and Madelyn Payne, both natives of Kansas.

The Washington Post recently ruffled feathers in Hawaii for what some perceived as a mocking and condescending tone regarding the Aloha State’s hopes for a beachfront presidential library.

In a Dec. 12 blog post, WaPo’s Jaime Fuller summarized the proposed designs for President Barack Obama’s library, which the University of Hawaii is vying with three other schools to host. Fuller wrote of Hawaii’s efforts: “They want to make sure you know that they want to build the first ever presidential library on the BEACH.”

In response, Kam Napier wrote at Pacific Business News: “It’s hard to stomach the condescension on display in snark like Fuller’s when we know firsthand the talent, intelligence, ambition and commitment of Hawaii people who try to make things like the Barack Obama Presidential Center happen.”

Competing against two Chicago schools as well as New York’s Columbia University, UH is considered the underdog to host the Obama library. But with the president and his family currently spending their seventh straight holiday vacation in the islands, it’s hard to deny the president’s emotional ties to the state where he was born and where he spent most of his childhood and adolescence. As Michelle Obama once said, “You can’t really understand Barack until you understand Hawaii.”

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