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Hawaii vacation ends for Obama and daughters

President Obama and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, boarded Air Force One in  Honolulu for their return to Washington. His wife, Michelle, remains on the islands.

Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

President Obama and his daughters, Malia and Sasha, boarded Air Force One in Honolulu for their return to Washington. His wife, Michelle, remains on the islands.

PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii — The 15-day Hawaiian holiday vacation is over for President Obama and his daughters, Sasha and Malia, who arrived back at the White House on Sunday after an overnight flight. But Michelle Obama is staying behind on the islands as a birthday present from her husband.

Michelle Obama, who turns 50 on Jan. 17, will spend time with friends.

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The White House did not say when she planned to return to Washington.

Annual holiday trips to Hawaii have become a tradition for the Obamas, and many of the state’s residents hope the president makes Hawaii a permanent part of his post-White House legacy.

Governor Neil Abercrombie has joined other Hawaiians in urging Obama to locate his presidential library, or at least a portion of it, in the state where he was born.

Robert Perkinson, an associate professor of American studies at the University of Hawaii, is the driving force behind the Barack Obama Hawaii Presidential Center Initiative, and has quietly led fund-raising for the idea.

The state has set aside 8 acres in the Kaka’ako district of Honolulu for the potential project. The site, estimated to be worth tens of millions of dollars, is between downtown and Waikiki Beach, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Diamond Head volcano.

But many of the president’s closest friends and political allies are from Chicago, his current home state, which is considered a top candidate for the president’s papers and artifacts. The White House said a decision on a library site will not be made anytime soon.

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