Lenny Klompus, the deputy campaign manager for former Gov. Linda Lingle’s Republican Senate campaign, has taken issue with U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye’s remarks on Sunday at the state Democratic convention.
Inouye, D-Hawaii, who supports U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono for Senate, said on Sunday that if Republicans capture the Senate he would lose his chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee and title of Senate President Pro Tempore.
He said Lingle left the governor’s office “in shambles.” He also doubted her claims that she would be bipartisan in the Senate and would function as a partner, like his friend, the late U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, did for decades.
“I can’t believe it. She comes on and she says `I am bipartisan,’” Inouye told delegates. “And she says I want to be a partner to Dan, just like Ted Stevens. Let me assure you: she is not any Ted Stevens.”
Sen. Inouye should be commended for his brave heroism on the battlefields in defense of freedom during World War II, and for his decades of service to the people of Hawaii as our state’s U.S. Senator in Congress.
In light of his past service, it’s especially disappointing to see someone of Sen. Inouye’s stature caving to the pressures of his political party to fall into the typical, divisive, counter-productive partisan, DC-style attacks that so often dominate the election season. He should know better than anyone that Hawaii’s voters are tired of the same old political gamesmanship that too often dominates useful dialogue in the public arena.
We all knew that when Democrat leaders from across the state gathered at their party’s convention, they would be talking about anything but the important issues facing the people of Hawaii. But I believe Hawaii voters expect more from a statesman of Sen. Inouye’s stature, who witnesses on a daily, first-hand basis how the U.S. Congress is in a perpetual state of gridlock precisely because of this type of corrosive partisan behavior.
Now should be a time when we are examining the candidates’ records, their stances on the issues, and their visions for Hawaii’s future, not wasting time listening to distortions, insults, and patently false statements that he and others made at their Democrat Party Convention over the weekend.
While singing the praises of President Obama, Sen. Inouye neglects to remind people of what a staunch supporter he was of now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she was opposing then-Sen. Obama in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries. Election season seems to bring out the worst in people, even American heroes like Dan Inouye.