Hail to the chief (wherever he or she is originally from)

Few Americans probably realize that the birthplace of the nation's next president could be the Panama Canal Zone. That is, if US Sen.John McCain, the son of a military family stationed in Panama at the time, should win the Republican nomination and go on to take the White House in the Nov. 4 election. To date, 20 different states have been the birthplaces of presidents, and a 21st would be added this year if either Democrat Barack Obama (Hawaii) or Republican Mitt Romney (Michigan) were elected. Among other leading candidates, Rudolph Giuliani (R) of New York, Mike Huckabee (R) of Arkansas, and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) of Illinois, hail from states that previously have placed native sons in the White House. The number of US presidents by state of their birth:

Virginia – 8

Ohio – 7

Massachusetts – 4

New York, New Jersey – 2

North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, South Carolina –1

– various sources

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