Game On For ‘Whip-Smart’ Schoolmarm
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