So South Carolina is one of only three states President Barack Obama has not visited while in office.
Low on the list. We're used to that.
But not from a president.
George Washington slept here in 1791. George W. ordered a cheeseburger at the Rockaway Athletic Club in Columbia in 2005.
And we've known a lot of presidents in between.
Here are the Top 5 reasons Obama should visit South Carolina:
5. It's the polite thing to do.
We like polite, even if we do start civil wars and shout "you lie" from time to time. But what could be more impolite than Obama's cavalier move to keep South Carolina as the nation's nuclear dump by halting the planned repository at Yucca Mountain, Utah? "You lie" looks genteel in comparison. So work with us here.
We don't criticize people who play golf, we envy them. Bill Clinton played golf on Hilton Head Island many times as the sitting president, and we never once complained. We saw a few of his mulligans, but did not report his alleged score. Obama should come to South Carolina for the express purpose of playing golf. He could do a lot for the nation by setting up a Hilton Head tee time with another veteran of our courses -- House Speaker John Boehner.
3. The military.
We make Marines. Army victory starts at Fort Jackson. We train drill instructors, chaplains and pilots for the Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and National Guard. We heal people in naval hospitals, and are home to a naval weapons station. South Carolina is a commander in chief's paradise. Michelle Obama has worked hard to help military families through her Joining Forces initiative. We have plenty of military families.
With Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island celebrating 100 years of training Marines this year, Obama should do what Ronald Reagan did in 1986 and come give Parris Island a personal salute.
Reagan got his loudest "ooh rah" when he said: "To all of those who say we must always cut defense first, that America can't afford a strong military, I have just one thing to say: Tell it to the Marines."
Obama needs to come tell it to the Marines.
2. We made Obama.
For starters, we were first in freedom. Ex-slave Robert Smalls of Beaufort served with distinction in the U.S. Congress during Reconstruction, setting the table for a future Obama. And South Carolina did as much for Obama's 2008 primary win as Oprah Winfrey. We voted for Obama 2-to-1 over Hillary Clinton, slamming the brakes on her momentum from New Hampshire and sending the skinny senator from Illinois on the road to the White House.
1. The first lady is Gullah to da bone.
Her people are from Georgetown. She spent childhood summers in the gospel-soaked heat of the Jim Crow Lowcountry.
The story is told best in a quilt. Vermelle "Bunny" Rodrigues of Georgetown led the group that made a quilt depicting Michelle Obama's heritage when she became first lady. It's called "From the Slave Cabin to the White House" and its centerpiece is Michelle Obama in a cap and gown. Education is the key, Rodrigues said. The quilt now belongs to the Smithsonian.
We had a Gullah float in the 2013 inaugural parade, but we need the big cheese to come to the scene.
If Michelle Obama does not come to lend a word of support to the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor during her tenure as first lady, it will be a sin and a shame.
And that brings us back to being polite.
Has anyone in South Carolina warmly invited the Obamas, or made them feel wanted?
Please, if you will, consider it done.
Follow columnist David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.
- Examining Michelle Obama's Gullah roots , April 4, 2009
- Inaugural parade one giant leap for Lowcountry culture , Jan. 19, 2013