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It takes 6.5 years for President Obama to visit all 50 US states

President Richard Nixon did it in less than three years. President George Bush completed it in one term. Obama has now matched their feat by visiting South Dakota, his 50th state.

By: Associated Press | Towertown | Updated: May 9, 2015 8:31:55 am
Obama, President Obama, US Obama, Barack Obama, US 50 states, Obama term, US elections, South Dakota, Dakota governor, USA news, World news, international news, America news President Barack Obama is greeted by South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, center, and Daugaard’s wife Linda, left, during his arrival at Watertown Regional Airport, Friday, May 8, 2015 in Watertown, S.D. Obama traveled to South Dakota to deliver the commencement address at Lake Area Technical Institute, where he will promote his proposal to offer two years of free community college to qualified students. (Source: AP)

President Richard Nixon did it in less than three years. President George W Bush completed it in one term. President Barack Obama has now matched their feat by visiting South Dakota, his 50th state, on Friday.

It took him nearly six-and-a-half years.

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“I am thrilled to be here,” Obama said, opening his commencement address for Lake Area Technical Institute and promoting his proposal for free community college. “I have now been to all 50 states as President and I was saving the best for last.”

“To the other 49, I hope you take no offense,” said Obama, who is now the fourth president to set foot in every US state.

Lake Area Tech is among the nation’s top community colleges, recognized for rigorously preparing students and for a two-year graduation rate that’s higher than the national average. Obama said community college education should be available to everyone, just like K-12 education, because the schools play such an important role in preparing students for the high-skilled, technical jobs of the future.

“As a country we can’t afford to let any striving American be priced out of the education they need to get ahead,” he said.

Obama had traveled to 46 states by the start of the year, leaving four reliably Republican states on the to-visit list. Trips to Idaho and South Carolina — two of those remaining — were quickly arranged, followed by Utah.

Obama had been to South Dakota before Friday’s stop, but that came in 2008 when he was campaigning for president. Last year, he spoke in North Dakota at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation that straddles South Dakota.

Bill Clinton was the other president to visit every state while in office.

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