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February 16, 2009

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peter

It is simply wrong to say that BHO is the first urban President. Both JFK and Teddy Roosevelt grew up in cities (Boston and NYC, respectively), and were at home there. Although TR lived as an adult in the wilds of the Dakotas, he was such an urbanite that he spent two happy years running (and reforming) the New York City Police Commission. I don't how more urban a person could possibly be!

Ian Leslie

I'm not claiming that Obama is literally the first president to have lived in or felt at home in a city. I'm suggesting that he's the first president whose 'brand' or public image is definitively urban (btw I know that word is sometimes used by marketers to mean 'black' but here it means, 'urban'). Teddy R was and will forever be associated with the great open spaces of America; FDR was more Hyde Park than Upper East Side in the public mind (a very different Hyde Park from the Obamas' Hyde Park, of course).

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