Hawaii Slow To Cash In On Obama

The city of Chicago is working feverishly to pull in tourist dollars after Illinois’ junior senator, Barack Obama, was elected president of the United States.

Experience Presidential Chicago, urges the Web site of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Tours and guides are popping up all over the Windy City.

But wait. Didn’t Obama grow up in Hawaii? What’s up there?

Not much writes Richard Borreca in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. He describes how Hawaii has been slow to capitalize on the fact that the president-elect spent his childhood (aside from four years in Indonesia) in Honolulu. While Chicago, Kenya, Indonesia and even the city of Obama, Japan, jump on the bandwagon, nothing much is happening, Obama-wise, in Hawaii.

Obama on Oahu in August. (AP)

Could there be some political animus? Hawaii voted overwhelmingly for Obama, but its Republican governor made remarks when campaigning for Arizona Sen. John McCain that implied Hawaii was not really Obama’s home state. And Rex Johnson, former director of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, resigned after he got in trouble for forwarding pornographic, racist and sexist e-mails, including a joke that referred to Obama with a racial epithet.

Borreca writes in the Star-Bulletin that the Hawaii Tourism Authority will discuss an Obama promotion during the first week in December.

About time. Because if I were planning an Obama-cation in December, I’d be thinking of Honolulu before Chicago. Just sayin’.


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