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Colleen Hanabusa: National Dems had "bum information" on Hawaii special

By Felicia Sonmez

Hawaii state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D) said ahead of a meeting with national Democrats in Washington this week that she's willing to bury the hatchet with them -- but not before reminding them of their poor judgment in deciding to oppose her in the May 22 special election for Hawaii's 1st district seat.

Hanabusa said that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's preference for former Rep. Ed Case (D) in the special election was based on "bum information" in an interview with the Fix Monday. "I'm president of the Senate. I'm not a neophyte when it comes to understanding political alignments and misalignments," she added.

Hanabusa came in second behind Rep. Charles Djou (R) in the three-way special election in May for the seat of former Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D), who resigned to run for governor.

(Case has since announced he will not run for the seat in the fall and is throwing his support behind Hanabusa; Hanabusa, who says she's talked with Case "at length" and notes that members of Case's team have joined up with her campaign, called her former rival's move "a magnanimous gesture.")

National Democrats had opted against supporting Hanabusa in the special out of concern that her record was too liberal for her to pick up the necessary support from independents to beat Djou.

But now that Hanabusa is the sole Democrat running in the race against Djou, national Democrats have begun to rally behind her. The DCCC has named her one of its "Red to Blue" candidates, and Hanabusa noted that DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other top Dems have expressed their support for her after the special.

"Hopefully, what they will get to know is me and why I was able to do what we were able to do in that election," Hanabusa said of House Democratic leaders, adding: "I think it's important to just simply put things aside and say, 'What has happened has happened, and how do we move together into the future?'"

Hanabusa said that going forward, she expects that Djou's incumbency will be the central issue of the campaign.

"Charles Djou will now have a record, which he did not have when we started this whole special election," Hanabusa said. The two votes that Hanabusa pointed to were Djou's votes against the extension of unemployment benefits and against financial regulatory reform. She said that while Djou has touted himself as independent from national Republicans, he's "voted just purely along partisan lines."

The district leans toward Democrats. It voted for Obama with 70 percent in 2008 -- although four years earlier Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won it by a much narrower margin, 53 percent to 47 percent. It's also ranked on The Fix's latest House Line as the ninth most likely seat to flip party control.

As for the White House's potential involvement in the race (the district was Obama's home for much of his youth), Hanabusa said she's not sure what lies ahead.

"I have no idea what they're going to do," Hanabusa said, laughing. "They're not on my list, by the way. I don't have an invitation for that yet."

By The Fix  |  July 21, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  House  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: How the White House veered off message on Shirley Sherrod
Next: Bill Clinton surpasses Barack Obama in popularity

Comments

"No incumbent for Congress has ever been defeated in a general election in this state, and it's not like the district will never vote GOP. Jimmy Carter never won this district, Abercrombie succeeded a Republican (Pat Saiki), and Abercrombie only won 50-46 in 1996, which wasn't a great GOP year."

It wouldn't be a surprise if it was a close race, 5 points would be close given the margins in past elections. People keep mentioning that Hawaii has never voted an incumbent out of Congress but really only two Hawaii Republicans, Fong and Saiki, have been re-elected to Congress since statehood, right? Saiki was first elected in 1986, that strange year where Abercrombie won the special election for the vacant seat (that Heftel left to run for governor) but lost the Democratic primary to run for the full term to Hannemann. Democrats divided, Republican wins, sounds familiar. Saiki was re-elected two years later (Reagan was still popular even in Hawaii) and served until 1994. Saiki was a pro-business, fiscal moderate who was liberal on social issues of the time. She even picked up union endorsements along the way. It's unclear if the same kind of incumbent-ftw conventional wisdom applies to the Djou-Hanabusa race as Hanabusa has the union endorsements. If Democrats turn out the vote as usually happens when motivated (like upon the release of iffy poll numbers), it shouldn't end up that close on election day unless something really goes awry. Which side goes negative first and how much outside money gets spent?

OT: Abercrombie and Hannemann are in a rematch, 24 years later, this time as the top two contenders in the Democratic primary for governor. The GOP gubernatorial candidate is hoping for 1986-redux no doubt.

Posted by: tuber | July 22, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

That WJC should now be more popular than Obama
Must to the former great comfort be--
After all he thought the latter unqualified
(Then--and likely today) for presidency.

Of course, when WJC was still in the game
He didn't conform to rules of decorum
(Especially vis a vis interns in the Oval Office
When only two constituted a quorum).

In any event, neither one (for some strange reason)
Competes with GW for the "unpopular prize"--
Likely because their "kingly lack of clothing"
Isn't apparent to those who can't see, despite having eyes.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | July 22, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Dems opposed Hanabusa for being too liberal? This in a seat that elected Neil Abercrombie? And they instead back of a guy who would turn off Dems based on his 2006 run against Akaka? Idiots.

I wouldn't be too surprised if Djou held on here. No incumbent for Congress has ever been defeated in a general election in this state, and it's not like the district will never vote GOP. Jimmy Carter never won this district, Abercrombie succeeded a Republican (Pat Saiki), and Abercrombie only won 50-46 in 1996, which wasn't a great GOP year.

Posted by: joeyjoejoe | July 22, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

DrainYou (falsely) claimed:

"Glenn Beck is a racist."

Hopefully, personal attacks like this will be disallowed under the new comment system.

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 22, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

CH is reported to have said:

"They're not on my list, by the way. I don't have an invitation for that yet."

What do we think this means? I cannot read any sense into those two sentences. Did she mean "I'm not on their list"?

What list? She is not invited to her own list?

The article implies that these sentences were uttered in support of the view that the WH has not become involved in her race. Perhaps she meant the WH had "not invited her to dance" so they were not "on her dance card", which she called a "list". Maybe it was an obscure literary allusion.

A puzzlement, indeed.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | July 22, 2010 6:52 AM | Report abuse

The Breitbart Race Baiting Circus, brought to you by: Faux News


"Breitbart focuses on race. Today's episode with Shirley Sherrod, who was forced to resign from the Agriculture Department on the basis of a doctored and intentionally misleading videotape (see below), is an especially ugly case in point, calculated to stir the very worst racial resentments. This time the political world--the NAACP, the Agriculture Secretary--moved as quickly as the media world to unthinking response, and I suspect it happened precisely because race was involved. I don't doubt that the administration's understandable desire to avoid racial issues played a big part in how this turned out."


"But what's galling to me--gut-wrenching, really, like watching old news footage of blacks being beaten and clubbed at lunch counters--is that Breitbart obviously understood the powerful effect his tape would have, posted it anyway, and then assumed the role of ringmaster, expertly conducting the media circus, fanning the flames. It's hardly the first time. But the moral ugliness of what's just happened is glaring, and it's hard for me to see how the media can justify continuing to treat Breitbart as simply a roguish provocateur. He's something much darker."


http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/07/the-breitbart-circus/60137/


.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 22, 2010 4:19 AM | Report abuse

DrainYou, I hope you're not laboring under any misapprehension that Cillizza has any passion for the truth. I doubt he cares about it at all.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 22, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

Will The Corporate Media Fall For Race Baiter Breitbart's Attempt To Spin His Latest Spectacular Failure/Character Assassination? (Chris Cillizza, I'm looking at people like you)


"After launching what has now been conclusively shown to be an unfair and false attack on Shirley Sherrod, Andrew Breitbart is scrambling to justify his decision to post the deceptive video. He now says that his blog post -- which smeared Sherrod as racist -- was "not about Shirley Sherrod. It's not about Shirley Sherrod. I can say it 20 times. It's about the NAACP." In fact, there is ample evidence that Breitbart directly went after Sherrod."


"Shirley Sherrod told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Breitbart's video completely distorted the meaning of her remarks, and media outlets - aside from Fox News, which repeatedly aired the cropped video and called Sherrod a racist - began calling for Breitbart to release the full video. Breitbart was then forced to admit that he did not have the full video and that he had smeared Sherrod as a racist based on a three-minute clip that cuts her off in the middle of her speech, indeed in the middle of a sentence. CNN later interviewed the "white farmer" who Breitbart claimed Sherrod discriminated against, and he said her critics "don't know what they're talking about" and that Sherrod had done "her level best" to help him save his farm. With the full video now available, everyone can see plainly that the facts are basically the opposite of what Breitbart claimed them to be."


"The whitewash began immediately. Big Government inexplicably criticized the Obama administration for believing and reacting to what Breitbart had called "video proof" of racism by a federal official. Glenn Beck and FoxNews.com also appear to be concealing Breitbart's failure and Fox News' own horrendous coverage."


"And now Breitbart is trying to cover his outrageous smear of one woman by baselessly attacking a whole group of people as racist. Will the corporate media comply....again?"


http://mediamatters.org/blog/201007210024


.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 22, 2010 1:58 AM | Report abuse

There's a good chance that several of the Fix's regular posters who are constantly arguing with each other actually originate from the same organization.

==

Dude, get a grip.

This is a forum where a bunch of bored people let off steam and a few serious mental cases show their sickness. Not a single vote in any election at any level will be changed here.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 22, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

People on the left and right have to fight about politics in a place where making sense (or being funny if you are not making sense) matters. Further, people who are in the middle, moderates, liberals, people who don't like to fight about politics, have to be able to be heard. Screeching dominates the Fix and he has promised a fix. Don't worry, I am not holding my breath.

==

Nor should you.  Nothing predicts the future like the past and the history of moderation here has been pretty awful.  The reappearance of the one troll even more despised than 37th at the same time a new system is purportedly going into effect is anything but a good sign.

Prior censorship relaxed after a few posts?  How's that going to work?  Just means that the attackers will moderate themselves till they see their posts appearing immediately, then go back to their old ways.  And since the paper can't afford to hire any better moderators than recent high school graduates, we'll get people not sophisticated enough to recognize trolling or personal attacks ("what does ped stand for?  I dunno.") and nothing will change.  The post deletions a few days ago were practically random.

And of course Cillizza plays favorites.  Yeah, crap lists that never include the ugliest offenders, right, feel the confidence.

Given the complete lack of will to maintain a civil blog in the past two years, I place no confidence in any new technology.  All anyone needs to moderate a blog is the admin console.  Cillizza had that, and 37th, zouk, and the rest of the dreck had unchecked rein for all this time.

Posted by: Noacoler | July 22, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I can not talk politics, but I'll say this:

I can neither confirm nor deny whether I would shoot myself if I were Mel Gibson. Oh wait I meant, should have died by my own hand a long time ago, or not, if I were, or better, were I Mel.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"Glenn Beck is a racist."

Hopefully, personal attacks like this will be disallowed under the new comment system.

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 21, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

DrainYou:

You mean LIE just like Ackerman urged on Journolist? This thread is about Dems screwing up Hawaii, not USDA. That is on the Previous thread: "How the White House veered off message on Shirley Sherrod".

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 21, 2010 10:02 PM | Report abuse

White Supremacist Andrew Breitbart and the White Supremacist News Channel, Faux News.


It's time we started calling them what they are. No reference to Andrew Not-Very Breitbart and Faux News should go without noting that they are white supremacists from now on.


This is all part of the Right Wing Noise Machine's propaganda dance. Throw out horrid accusations, then deny you made them, or say they were just a joke.


This is standing operating procedure for todays fringe Republican party and their low IQ base (Teabaggers). They're mentally ill or they wouldn't be so dumb as to buy into all the crap the Right Wing Noise Machine (Faux News, AM Hate radio etc) dishs out to them every night.

.

Posted by: DrainYou | July 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

I thought that Beck spoke out against Sherrod being fired?

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 21, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Shirley Sherrod Blasts Fox News as "Racist"


I like this woman, she's a truth teller


"They intended exactly what they did. They were looking for the result they got yesterday," she said of Fox. "I am just a pawn. I was just here. They are after a bigger thing, they would love to take us back to where we were many years ago. Back to where black people were looking down, not looking white folks in the face, not being able to compete for a job out there and not be a whole person."

http://mediamatters.org/strupp/201007210037


Fox News is a racist organization. Glenn Beck is a racist. So is Rush Limbaugh. This clownish hack Breitbart guy is a racist. Right wing grous use race baiting and racism to make money and turn voters against Pres Obama. They should tremble at the possibility that one day they will face their maker and, as Lincoln said, at the possibility that "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."


This woman was singled out by the right wing lunatic fringe because she was black, as was the NAACP and the President. There is simply no other way to see it, they wanted to attack a black person in the Obama administration as racist.


"Oh look! It's black people who are the real racists, not us Teabaggers!!".

Posted by: DrainYou | July 21, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Shrink


You should ask the others to respect their boycott as well


At least you appear to have some personal honor.

.

Posted by: YouCanPostThis | July 21, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Hi JakeD2, fool that I am, I am waiting for Chris Cillizza to fix his comments problem.
People on the left and right have to fight about politics in a place where making sense (or being funny if you are not making sense) matters. Further, people who are in the middle, moderates, liberals, people who don't like to fight about politics, have to be able to be heard. Screeching dominates the Fix and he has promised a fix. Don't worry, I am not holding my breath.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2010 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Hi, shrink2. Long time no see : )

Posted by: JakeD2 | July 21, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Political kabuki? It's surprising the district is rated only lean Democrat considering how few elected Republicans are in the state legislature, even within the district. Setting expectations low or what? For now, the two Democrats running in the primary for governor (former Congressman vs. former Honolulu mayor) have been the big news locally.

Posted by: tuber | July 21, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Re: "creating multiple personas, but creating relationships between the personas"

There's a good chance that several of the Fix's regular posters who are constantly arguing with each other actually originate from the same organization.

By creating verbose ongoing discussions, such organizations can effectively take over a discussion board and then, when the time is right, use the platform to insert their real messages.

Posted by: paul65 | July 21, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

BTW Chris:

WRT your attempts to control Fix discussion:

It's a sure sign that your blog or discussion group has been taken over by PAID spammers -- not just garden variety spammers who post all day in their underwear for attention, but paid charlatans -- when posting frequency falls off a cliff everyday at 5 or 6 o'clock (when they quit work because readership falls off a cliff).

I used to work at a hedge fund where the same thing would happen on, for example, Yahoo finance groups everyday at the market close. Penny stock hucksters and others often pay posters by the post to take control of these groups, and they are VERY sophisticated about it, not only creating multiple personas, but creating relationships between the personas, establishing "characters" who are relatively trustworthy compared to others, driving away posters who compete with their message, and all the rest.

My personal opinion is that party organizations and special interest lobbies of various stripes are doing the same thing here, and, if that is the case, you are dealing with a sophisticated group that will be difficult to outmaneuver. At the very least, you're looking at a difficult and ONGOING challenge.

Posted by: paul65 | July 21, 2010 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Hard to understand an article about this without any mention of Sen Inouye, who opposed Case for personal reasons. But for his sponsorship, Hanabusa probably could not waged a viable campaign. Both Hanabusa and Case stubbornly refused to withdraw, split the Dem vote, and let GOPer Djou in.

Posted by: broadwayjoe | July 21, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the fight between Hanabusa and Case was worth all the virtual ink that it produced. It was just a primary, for God's sake. What made it unusual was the dust-up between national party leaders over who to support. But on the (beautiful) Hawaiian ground, it was just a good old-fashioned American contest between two regular politicians.

The voters spoke, one of those politicians won, and the other has generously agreed to lend support and staff to the victor. If the 2 primary opponents can move forward, I don't see any reason why national party leaders can't do likewise.

Can't we all just get along ... and take back this symbolically important, Democratic-leaning district already!?!

Posted by: paul65 | July 21, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

I sooo want to comment, but I can't until he fixes what he said he'd fix, a promise is a promise.

Posted by: shrink2 | July 21, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

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