Another Reason Why Abercrombie Isn’t Popular

Governor Abercrombie isn't very popular in Hawaii -- in fact, he's the least popular governor in the United States and his appointment of Lt. Governor Brian Schatz to fill the late Senator Inouye's seat is another example why.

Abercrombie chose Schatz from a list of recommendations from the Democratic Party of Hawaii that included U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and and Esther Kiaaina, the deputy director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources.

Inouye had asked Abercrombie to name Hanabusa, who represents urban Honolulu's 1st Congressional District, as his "last wish" before he died last week at 88 of respiratory complications.

Hawaii desperately needs a senator who will work tirelessly for appropriations and it's clear that Inouye had Hanabusa in mind for a reason. Instead, Abercrombie went with his own lieutenant -- another white guy instead of someone who more ethnically resembled Hawaii's multicultural tapestry.

  • nathkatun7

    I beg to differ! I think the governor made a smart and strategic appointment. Colleen Hanabusa’s seat in the House might have been jeopardized. Brian Schatz is an excellent selection. He is smart, young, and a very pragmatic progressive. The funny thing is you don’t hear any criticism of the Gov. about this appointment from the people in Hawaii, including Rep. Hanabusa. I wish people from other states would stop second guessing people in Hawaii. I am sorry but popularity does not always equal wise decisions. Just my two cents.

  • West_of_the_Cascades

    “white” (and Jewish) seems by definition to be part of any “multicultural tapestry.” Either we accept that white people can sometimes represent people of other ethnicities (and vice versa — as we’ve done in electing President Obama twice), or we become locked into a system of proportional-by-race representation that will never fly.

    Schatz is, like everyone living in Hawaii, an immigrant — so it’s simply a question of whether he and his ancestors arrived 40 years ago or 100 years ago or 900 years ago. The fact that he is white should not disqualify him from being appointed.

    I’m also not a huge fan of a dying Senator’s wish dictating who the next Senator is. That smells too much like ancient Rome.

    Focus on what the qualifications of the various people are, not what ethnicity they are. Schatz seems qualified. He was one of the earliest supporters of Barack Obama for president. And he’ll be a reliable vote for two years in the Senate, and then voters can decide whether they want to reelect him.

    • nathkatun7

      “I’m also not a huge fan of a dying Senator’s wish dictating who the next Senator is. That smells too much like ancient Rome.”

      I agree with you West! I’m also “not a huge fan of a dying Senator’s wish dictating who the next Senator is.” That almost suggests that an elected office can be treated as an inheritance. A U.S. senate seat can not be treated the same way as you treat a “will” when dealing with family inheritance. I loved and highly respected Senator Daniel Inouye, but his Senate seat was not based on hereditary inheritance. His Senate seat was bestowed on him by the people of Hawaii. The law authorizes the governor of Hawaii to appoint an interim successor to a deceased Senator seat until an election can be held. No where does the law say that the governor is obligated to appoint a successor requested by the dying Senator; especially if he (the governor)deems that the request does not serve the larger interests of the people of Hawaii.

  • muselet

    My jaw dropped when I heard the news yesterday. Now I’m puzzled.

    If it weren’t public knowledge that Daniel Inouye had specifically requested that Colleen Hanabusa be appointed to his Senate seat, that would be one thing; but that’s been all over the news since the day Inouye died.

    Is Neil Abercrombie trying to seem like a strategic thinker or is he just a colossal ass?


    • IrishGrrrl

      My reaction too! Who denies a last request like that? It’s not like the Gov is a Republican….geez….Dems, we’re so very good at shooting ourselves in the foot.