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Search begins for Obama presidential library site

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Photo - President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in Washington, about helping the long-term unemployed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks in the East Room of the White House, Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, in Washington, about helping the long-term unemployed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The search for a home for President Barack Obama's presidential library is officially underway.

With Obama's blessing, top supporters are launching a foundation that will develop and build the library, which will both house his presidential records and serve as a lasting monument to his legacy.

The nonprofit Barack H. Obama Foundation will be led by a close Obama friend from Chicago, Marty Nesbitt, and by a former White House social secretary and top official in his re-election campaign, Julianna Smoot.

A vigorous competition to host the library has already ramped up. The state where Obama was born, Hawaii, and the state where he has lived for decades, Illinois, have been lobbying the Obamas publicly and privately.

New York, where Obama went to college, also has expressed interest.

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