A day of unity

September 21st, 2008
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The morning and afternoon following the primary election was a day of coming together for winners and losers of both parties, as each held its traditional Unity gathering.

Democrats kicked off the day at 7:30 a.m. in the Ala Moana Hotel, for a breakfast and program with speakers including Maya Soetoro-Ng (Barack Obama’s half-sister), U.S. Reps. Neil Abercrombie and Mazie Hirono, and local party leaders.

Republicans held an outdoor luncheon at party headquarters on Kapiolani Avenue, and heard from Gov. Linda Lingle and Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, among others.

Lingle_Unity
Gov. Linda Lingle addresses the GOP Unity Luncheon

Lingle and Aiona stressed the need for candidates to do what they can to get out the vote come Nov. 4, something that the lieutenant governor said could be affected by the party and the candidates themselves.

“What you as candidates need to understand is you have to focus,” Aiona said. “You really have to focus on your race. It should only be you and the people in front of you and nothing else.

“What you need to do … is touch as many hands as you can. Engage in as many conversations as you can and the conversations should be directed to what we’re doing here in Hawaii — not what’s happening up in Washington, D.C., but what’s happening right here in Hawaii.

“Last but not least, learning our lesson from last night, bring your voters out. Identify your voters and make sure that they come out on Nov. 4 and vote for you on Nov. 4.”

Democrats also stressed the need to come together, after a few hard-fought primary battles.

Soetoro-Ng spoke of her new friendships built over the past year within the party while campaigning for her brother, and urged the party faithful to also make sure and bring voters to the polls on Nov. 4, not just for the local races but for the presidential race, too.

One Response to “A day of unity”

  1. Kolea:

    More advice to GOP candidates from Duke Aiona:

    “What you need to do … is touch as many hands as you can. Engage in as many conversations as you can and the conversations should be directed to what we’re doing here in Hawaii — not what’s happening up in Washington, D.C., but what’s happening right here in Hawaii.”

    Sounds like an explicit admission that the national Republicans are unpopular with Hawaii voters, so local Republicans need to avoid associating with George Bush, or John McCain, if they hope to do well locally.

    It’s interesting that Lingle is not following that advice. In her eagerness to develop her contacts and funding sources among national Republican networks, she has sucked up to GW Bush (“the greatest president”), John McCain and, heaven forbid, Sarah Palin. I guess she thinks she has more to gain than she will lose, but much of the bloom is off her rose. She has been unable to deliver the promised “New Beginning,” and her reputation for independence and integrity has been tarnished by the Bob Awana, Ted Liu, and Melanie Chinen scandals.

    Her biggest asset has been that she is not part of the Democrats’ “Old Boy Network.” That was Ed Case’s central claim as well. But Hawaii voters decided they would rather have Danny Akaka voting aginst Bush than Ed Case voting with Bush. Will we want to send Lingle, voting with the national Republicans in the Senate, or a Democrat, who can work with President Obama and the Senate Majority?

    I am glad Lingle is ignoring Aiona’s advice. I believe it will cost her more than she knows.


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