Game On For ‘Whip-Smart’ School­marm

MidWeek (Hawaii) - - Front Page - MOSTLY POL­I­TICS Dan Boylan

Yes, i t ap­pears t hat Colleen Hanabusa, hav­ing tasted the bit­ter fruits of be­ing a mi­nor­ity mem­ber of the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, has de­cided that damned near any­thing would be bet­ter.

Cer­tainly, the U.S. Se­nate would have been much bet­ter for her as one of 100 rather than one of 435. Back in 2014, Hanabusa waged a statewide cam­paign to un­seat ap­pointed in­cum­bent Sen. Brian Schatz. But when the Demo­cratic pri­mary votes were counted, she lost by a tan­ta­liz­ing mar­gin of 1,782 out of the ap­prox­i­mately 230,000 votes cast.

Yet elec­toral de­feat didn’t threaten Hanabusa’s liveli­hood, as she’s an able at­tor­ney who spe­cial­izes in la­bor law. went. Still, Hanabusa car­ried within her the lit­tle but powerful en­gine of po­lit­i­cal ambition.

Plus, she’s ex­tremely con “skill sets,” as she calls them. To quote my­self, Hanabusa “is whip-smart,” and I would add usu­ally the smartest and best-pre­pared per­son in the how­ever, can lead to ar­ro­gance cused Hanabusa of the same.

In­deed, ar­ro­gant enough fol­low­ing the 2014 elec­tion to ac­cept Mayor Kirk Cald­well’s call to serve on the HART board, a project most sane men and women have run from. Then for­mer U.S. Rep. Mark Takai, Hanabusa’s suc­ces­sor, an­nounced his di­ag­no­sis of pan­cre­atic cancer. At the Demo­cratic con­ven­tion a few months later, a Takai staffer said that his boss would not seek re-elec­tion, would re­sign mend that fel­low Democrats elect Hanabusa in both the spe­cial and gen­eral elec­tions

On her re­turn to Washington, Hanabusa has ap­par­ently dis­cov­ered anew that be­ing a mi­nor­ity mem­ber is head-bang­ingly frus­trat­ing. Thus, she’ll harken to the pleas of those who have en­cour­aged her to run against in­cum­bent Gov. David Ige. So, game on. Ige is an easy tar­get. The most re­cent polls show his ap­proval rat­ings be­low 35 per­cent. Worse, 52 per­cent al­ready ac­knowl­edge that they would like to see some­one else in the of­fice. Why do so many find Ige want­ing? “He’s no leader!” in­sists a Down­town buddy of mine. “He can’t talk,” says an­other. “He’s bor­ing. It’s em­bar­rass­ing.”

eral friends of mine re­cently cringed at the men­tion of the gover­nor’s name. None seemed moved by the state’s low un­em­ploy­ment rate, the 1,000 school class­rooms that have been cooled (to be sure, a year later than promised, thanks to old wiring and no fault of Ige’s), or the cool­ing of leg­isla­tive tem­pers at Ige’s in­sis­tence, and the re­cent spe­cial ses­sion dur­ing which cool pack­age to com­plete rail – which Ige promptly signed.

Nope. The man is “bor­ing, he can’t talk, and it’s em­bar­rass­ing.” Boot him.

Come on, guys and gals. Bor­ing as a dis­qual­i­fier for Hawai‘i’s gov­er­nor­ship? Bor­ing is Hawai‘i’s gu­ber­na­to­rial norm.

Gov. Bill Quinn could sing an Ir­ish ditty at a fundraiser, but he was a cor­po­rate lawyer. And Gov. Jack Burns? I’ve heard him, I’ve in­ter­viewed him at length, and I liked him, but a scin­til­lat­ing speaker? A racon­teur?

No, Burns could bore. So, too, could Gov. Ge­orge Ariyoshi. He ex­pressed bet­ter with his eye­brows than he did with his speeches. Govs. Waihe‘e, Cayetano and Lin­gle? Com­pe­tent all, but ha­bit­u­ally bor­ing as well. Only Neil Aber­crom­bie failed to bore. That said, ex­pres­sions like Neil’s “I’m not your friend, I’m your gov worse than bore.

And I ge’s chal­lenger? Hanabusa, as noted, is smart, able, well-pre­pared. All of that, but a bit of a school­marm as well.

Wel­come to the game.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa

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