'Best for last': Obama visits South Dakota, his 50th U.S. state

Reuters News
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Posted: May 08, 2015 7:20 PM

By Jeff Mason

WATERTOWN, S.D. (Reuters) - President Barack Obama crossed the last state off his presidential bucket list on Friday with a stop in South Dakota, the final of the 50 U.S. states he has visited since taking office in 2009.

Fresh from a trip to Oregon, where he advocated for a trade agreement with Asian countries during a speech at Nike Inc's headquarters, Obama made a stop in Watertown, South Dakota, to give a commencement address at Lake Area Technical Institute, considered one of the top community colleges in the nation.

Obama has made boosting community colleges one of his key domestic policy priorities.

South Dakotans did not seem upset that the president waited until the final quarter of his presidency to come to their state.

"We knew he was saving the best for last," said South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard ahead of Obama's remarks.

T-shirts with "Saved the Best for Last" and Obama's picture on them were available for sale at a local store.

"I have now been to all 50 states as president, and I was saving the best for last," Obama said.

"To the other 49, I hope you take no offense," he quipped.

Obama went to South Dakota as a presidential candidate in 2008 but had not been back since.

There could be political reasons for that. The state is overwhelmingly Republican and has not voted for a Democrat in a presidential election in decades.

(Editing by Will Dunham)