According to a survey of George Washington University professors, some 30 percent generally endorse the eventual addition of President Barack Obama’s face to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
The survey, conducted and reported by The College Fix, is hampered by an extremely limited sample size. Nonetheless, the results are fascinating. Of the 10 history and political science profs queried, three suggested that Obama may eventually be added to the huge sculpture of four enormous presidential heads carved into the granite face of a mountain in the Black Hills of South Dakota.
Professor Paul Wahlbeck, who chairs the political science department at GW, says he believes that Obama could be added to the monument because of his race.
“History undoubtedly will accord President Obama a special place by virtue of being the first African-American President,” Wahlbeck told The College Fix via email.
Wahlbeck added that he is, of course, “reluctant to venerate political leaders while or shortly after they served.”
History and public policy professor Edward Berkowitz offered a similar sentiment.
“Historical judgments take time to form and Obama is still in office,” said the social welfare policy specialist. “It could be that he will be one of the great presidents, worthy of having his likeness carved on a mountain, but certainly not yet.”
The third prof, Robert Stoker, also cautioned against premature sculpting.
“I recall how unseemly it was when Republicans started a premature campaign to cement President Reagan’s legacy by naming everything they could find after him,” the political science professor said.
Out of the seven other faculty members survey, six simply replied “no,” Obama does not belong on Mount Rushmore. The remaining professor refused to respond to the survey at all.
Mount Rushmore currently contains four presidential faces: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Those were the four faces on the federally-funded monument when it was dedicated in 1941. None have been added.
Right now, the national clamor to carve Obama’s likeness into Mount Rushmore is somewhere between unnoticeable and nonexistent.
There is a Facebook page, of course, called “Campaign to Put President Obama on Mt. Rushmore!” It was started in March 2010 and it boasts 634 likes.
“With the numerous accomplishments that President Obama has achieved in under 15 months in office, including The Health Care Bill, We The People feel The President should be honored and recognized by his bust being placed on Mt. Rushmore,” a statement — signed by one Greg Jones — near the top of the page says.
Facebook commenter Amber JakaTigger Andrews contends that the photo at the Facebook page is the “worst photoshop job ever.”