Good looks cer­tainly can help you get elected

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - VIEWS & VOICES -

Your story, “Gab­bard’s looks cost cam­paign thou­sands” (Star-Advertiser, Aug. 8), im­plied pos­si­ble wrong­do­ing and elicited re­sponses both pro and con.

Four years ago, un­known Tulsi Gab­bard up­set Mufi Han­ne­mann, who had a vast and im­pres­sive back­ground in aca­demics, ath­let­ics and na­tional and lo­cal pub­lic ser­vice. More im­por­tant, Han­ne­mann had a well-es­tab­lished cadre of loy­al­ists.

Do we re­call any cam­paign is­sue ex­pounded by Gab­bard to ex­plain her im­prob­a­ble up­set? Why are we re­luc­tant to ad­mit that we were cap­ti­vated by her strik­ing, pho­to­genic looks, and that in­flu­enced our votes?

That a per­son’s at­trac­tive­ness cre­ates a fa­vor­able bias in so­cial, busi­ness and, yes, po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tions, is a re­al­ity.

Not to de­tract from Gab­bard’s po­lit­i­cal courage and elo­quence as a con­gress­woman, but her looks are an im­por­tant part of her pub­lic ser­vice and clearly a le­git­i­mate cam­paign ex­pense. Ge­orge Naka­mura Mililani

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