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Hawaii Senate: A Referendum on Iraq?

Any regular reader of The Fix knows that the Connecticut primary between Democratic Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and wealthy businessman Ned Lamont is shaping up as a referendum on the war in Iraq.

Lieberman's unstinting support for the conflict has led to considerable unrest among the party's liberal base, who are lining up behind the antiwar Lamont in hopes of toppling a titan. (Lamont is up with three television ads in advance of this weekend's state convention.)

But, few political junkies -- even true Fix fanatics -- are likely aware that a similar situation is playing out in Hawaii's Democratic primary between Sen. Daniel K. Akaka and U.S. Rep. Ed Case. In that contest, Akaka is touting his vote against the 2002 use-of-force resolution while Case has said he would likely have supported it had he been in Congress at the time.

"I believe our country cannot tolerate the combination of the leadership of another country sworn to do us harm and weapons of mass destruction," Case said in an interview this afternoon. He added that Akaka's vote against the use-of-force measure was a "mistake at that time."

Unlike Connecticut, the Iraq war is not the lone (or even the most important) issue in the race, but it will almost certainly play a key role in voters' minds as they head to the polls.

Let's take a closer look at this under-the-radar contest.

Akaka has held elected office in Hawaii for 30 years. He served in the U.S. House from 1976 to 1990, when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Sen. Spark Matsunaga, who had died in May of that year. Akaka won a full six-year term in 1994 with 72 percent and coasted to a 73 percent reelection in 2000.

As a result, Case caught much of the political establishment (not to mention The Fix) by surprise when he announced he would challenge Akaka in the state's Sept. 23 primary. In retrospect, though, Case's candidacy is not particularly suprising given the arc of his career.

In 2002, he challenged Lt. Gov. Mazie Hirono in the state's Democratic gubernatorial primary, running as a reformer and attacking the party establishment, which was firmly behind Hirono. After losing to Hirono by two points, Case quickly jumped into the special election for the 2nd District caused by the death of Rep. Patsy Mink (D).

There were actually two specials -- the first to fill the remaining five weeks of Mink's term, the other to hold the seat in the following Congress. In the former race, the establishment wanted to clear the way for Mink's widowed husband, John, as a memorial to her. Case refused to play ball and defeated John Mink. He went on to win the second election in early 2003 easily.

Case makes no secret that this race is in keeping with his efforts to wrest control of the party from the Democratic machine. "Senator Akaka is the product of a political culture that has been in place in Hawaii for 50 years," Case said. "At one time it served Hawaii well. Today it is not serving Hawaii well.

That call for change is at the center of Case's challenge to Akaka. The challenger has cast the race as a generational choice -- Akaka will be 82 on Election Day; Case will be 54.

The Akaka campaign views the senator's seniority as an argument in his favor. "In the Senate it's all about seniority," said Elise Yadao, communications director for the Akaka campaign. "Both of our senators are in good health and their ability to serve is not a question."

Case responded that with both Akaka and the widely revered Sen. Daniel K. Inouye in their 80s, the time is now to begin grooming younger representation. "We need to layer the seniority," Case said. Implicit in Case's argument is that Inouye is considerably more effective for the state than Akaka, an argument bolstered by Time Magazine, which recently named him one of the five worst senators.

Even Akaka's campaign admitted that there is considerable work to be done to ensure that the people of the state are made aware of Akaka's accomplishments. "He hasn't had to campaign in 16 years and people need to refresh themselves again with how much this man has done," said Yadao. Even Akaka's radio ads, which began running last week, make clear the level of re-introduction that needs to be done. One of the two ads walks listeners through Akaka's biography; a second describes him as "rarely in the spotlight but always hard at work behind the scenes."

The race appears to be a dead heat at the moment. A QMark Research & Polling survey conducted for the Case campaign showed Akaka with a narrow 40 percent to 38 percent lead over Case. While the poll has some methodological issues (it was in the field for more than two weeks, an unusually long time), the Akaka campaign has not responded by releasing any polling of their own, although they have acknowledged they had done a survey. It's safe to assume that if the Akaka camp had numbers that differed widely from those released by Case, they would have been made public immediately.

That does not mean Akaka does not have advantages of his own going into the primary -- notably his financial edge. At the end of March, Akaka had $868,000 on hand to Case's $266,000. In the first three months of 2006, Akaka raised $352,000 to Case's $346,000 -- $185,000 of which came in the form of a transfer from his House account. Case admitted that his D.C. fundraising has been negatively affected by the establishment's support for Akaka but added that he plans to use Akaka's funding sources as a symbol of the "spiderwebs [Akaka] is entangled in." That message could work, but without adequate financing the voters of Hawaii may not hear Case's voice.

The biggest question mark in the Hawaii primary is how the Iraq war will play -- especially considering that there is no voter party registration in Hawaii as well as an open primary, meaning that self-identifying Democrats, independents and Republicans can vote in the Akaka-Case primary if they so choose.

To hear the Akaka side tell it, Case's alleged support for the war will be a major stumbling block for many primary voters. "There is an extreme difference in their positions on the war," said Yadao.

For his part, Case said that describing him as favoring the war is "a tremendous oversimplification" of both the issue and his position. Case said that while it would have been easy for him to simply say he would have voted against the use-of-force resolution, it would not have been the principled stand. He uses that same appeal to basic principles to justify his belief that setting a timeline for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq is a mistake.

"Senator Akaka has never committed or confirmed what he implies, which is that he supports unilateral, precipitous withdrawal," Case added.

Make sure to add Hawaii to your watch list of contested Democratic primaries. The results from Connecticut -- set for Aug. 8 -- and Hawaii should give us some strong hints about the mood of the electorate when it comes to Iraq and the midterm elections.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 18, 2006; 4:23 PM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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There's a heated race for one of Hawaii's Senate seats. On one side we have Daniel Akaka, who voted against authorization for the war in 2002, and is calling for the withdrawal of troops by July 2007. Akaka voted against the reauthorization of the Patriot Act, and still fights to get the Hawaiian recognition bill through Congress. Case on the other hand pledged support for the war in Iraq and rejected a timetable for withdrawal. He also voted yes in November 2005 to make the Patriot Act permanent.
With the Democratic party supporting Akaka, and Ed Case's comments about Lieberman having a right to do what he's doing in the Connecticut race I present my latest cartoon on this most important tug of war.

Posted by: what now | September 6, 2006 11:50 PM | Report abuse

As of yesterday, Akaka has indeed spoken for himself in a public debate with Ed Case.

What misinformation has Akaka's staff been spreading about Case?

Posted by: Rinta | September 2, 2006 4:47 AM | Report abuse

Congressman Case is indisputably the most capable environmental advocate among the Hawaii Congressional delegation. Without his early championship of full protection for the Northwest Hawaiian Island marine environment, Senators Akaka and Inouye would have been all too happy to continue to allow the area to be subjected to extractive uses - despite the overwhelming public support in Hawaii for greater protection. Thanks to efforts by Case while in the state legislature and as a Congressman, President Clinton AND President Bush each took steps to grant the area permanent lasting protection.

Perhaps more importantly, Case consistently has put the interests of his own voters ahead of partisan machinations which prioritize the prevailing national political winds ahead of the advancement of Hawaiian interests.

Disappointly, Akaka's staff appear more interested in spreading misinformation about Case than in talking about Akaka's record - and its no wonder! Not only can Akaka not advance legislation, he refuses to even speak for himself in a public debate! Senator Akaka continues to hide in the old boy's club rather than allowing voters to see for themselves who can provide the best leadership for the state. Hawaii deserves better.

Posted by: C Von Scheidt | August 17, 2006 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Hi Tina, Can I take it from your reply that you are a member of the Case team and replying on his behalf?

Can you clarify your statement (below)?

"if he [Case] is able to bring the issue of business, jobs, workers, and pay to the table for all people to agree, that might show he is effective. Corporations are made up from people, helping to maintain the health of the company. "

It sorta sounds like you are saying that Case won't do anything to support the unions or raise the minimum wage unless the corporations agree.

Is my interpretation accurate?

That sounds like a cop-out to me.

The Hawai'i Democratic Party has endorsed raising the minimum wage and supporting unions. If Case isn't going to do this unless the corporations agree (e.g.: "when hell freezes over") then he is out of step with his own party.

Posted by: Karen Keauhou Chun | May 21, 2006 9:30 PM | Report abuse

In answer to your question about Case and unions, if he is able to bring the issue of business, jobs, workers, and pay to the table for all people to agree, that might show he is effective. Corporations are made up from people, helping to maintain the health of the company. Funny how wealthy Democrats like Steve Bing, George Soros, and Terry McAuliff never get the same abuse as other business people who are Republicans. I guess it is just politics.

Quite a few Republicans in Congress are lawyers, and like John Cornyn of Texas, served as Supreme Court jugde of Texas and Attorney General before being elected to the Senate. Lindsey Graham of S Carolina served in the military as a JAG, and went from member of Congress to member of the Senate. I prefer a few lawmakers being in office to help make some sense of our laws, and we need them on all sides.

Posted by: Tina | May 21, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Good point, Thomas, on the impact of challenging an incumbant of the same party weakening that party's chances of election.

The Case camp has positioned the Hawai'i Democratic Party's concern about a strong Democratic Representative (with a guaranteed re-election) declaring against another strong Democratic Senator (who was also guaranteed re-election) as being good'ol boys politics.

But the truth is, that it weakens the Democratic party's re-election chances in Case's Rep seat. To add confusion, Case is dragging around a Republican to his "Talk Story" meetings and it looks like he's positioning this Republican to take over his House seat. What's with that?!

Posted by: Karen Keauhou Chun | May 20, 2006 10:59 PM | Report abuse

As a liberal Jewish Democrat (although I am not really religious anymore but rather culturally Jewish), I take great offense at Tina identifying Linda Lingle as Jewish. She may be Jewish but what does that have to do with anything? People's personal religious preferences should be irrelevent unless it directly affects their public policy (for instance using the bully pulpit of the presidency to say that one religion is better than another or having no religion. There is already enough anti-semitism without you needing to exacerbate the problem (albeit probably unintentionally). There are Jews who are Democrats as well as Jews who are Republicans, Independents, and other parties--the same is true for Christians, Muslims, and other religions I would guess so one's religion should be irrelevant in politics unless we live in or are advocating a theocracy.

Posted by: Jason | May 20, 2006 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Whether Case gets elected or not, the fact he is challenging a sitting Senator is a big political news point. Look at Chaffee in Rhode Island, the Democrats would love to see him weakened by the challenger and be able to go in for the KILL, so to speak.

From a political viewpoint, to challenge any incumbent is newsworthy in itself. Case is willing to give up his safe seat in Congress in order to make the Senate race stronger and better for Hawaii instead of a RUBBER STAMP for the long long long time AKAKA. I will be watching with interest as a political viewer.

Posted by: Thomas | May 20, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused about the "business skills" comment. Is that because Ed was managing partner of a law firm? No offense to the lawyers who I'm sure are reading this, but I don't see lawyering as a business skill. And if it were, then pretty much everyone in political office has business skills. HELLO!

Maybe we're talking about Steve Case here. Yes, I would concede that Steve Case appears to have business skills. Are business skills a genetic trait?

Posted by: Shay | May 20, 2006 3:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm confused. You are talking about unions "abusing their power". Are you implying that Ed Case will curtail unions and favor corporate interests?

I'm not sure this is accurate. Ed Case has a reputation as a Republican in Democrats clothing, but I would be shocked if he was this far to the right.

Frankly, here on Maui where the average (rundown) house is over half a million dollars, we really don't need any more minimum wage Walmart and hotel jobs. We already have 3 generations stuffed into one house because the wages don't pay enough. Unions are our best hope of changing this.

Can an Ed Case campaign person weigh in here with Ed's position on unions? I looked on his campaign website but he doesn't list his positions on issues such as this.

Posted by: Karen Keauhou Chun | May 19, 2006 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Carl for adding some information to the debate. If Case wins the Senate, he brings business sensibility to the office, not just the ranting of the liberal wing of the Democrats.

Gov. Linda Lingle is a Jewish/Republican woman, and that fact that she managed to build relationships with the people in Hawaii added to her being seen as a hard-worker for the people with a good mind for business. As much as the Democrats complain about people making money in the world of business, I wonder if they realize that those same people are the ones who create the jobs needed to help build our strong economy. Unions also invest money in the stock market, and the dividends are used to pay out the retirement benefits and helping union members with healthcare costs. I have never said unions are a bad thing, it is the abuse of their power which I question when it runs against the business world. That is why I think Case would be a good member of the Senate, he would bring some business skills to the DC "debate society".

Posted by: Tina | May 19, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked that Case is tone-deaf enough to call Akaka's vote AGAINST the war a mistake. Almost as shocked as his rationale for challenging Akaka in the primary to begin with. Especially given the help Case got from Akaka's people after Patsy Mink died.

I've worked with Akaka's staff, and I've met Sen. Akaka himself. All of them are very kind, friendly people who do seem to show a degree of humility; neither Akaka nor his staff displayed any of the ego nonsense so common on Capitol Hill (in fact after returning from Hawaii they'd occasionally bring us some fresh pineapple--which absolutely can't be beat!). Thus you hear little about some of Akaka's good work on important but un-sexy issues like financial literacy or veteran's affairs.

Why is Akaka's age an issue at 80 while it was just fine for a non-functional 100 year old Strom Thurmond to be a senator? Akaka's health and functioning seem just fine. Case is playing an ageism card that he should be ashamed of and which Hawaii's voters will probably reject.

I expect Case will lose this race, and in my mind he clearly deserves to.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | May 19, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Akaka's stance on the war is not "unclear". He says:

"I opposed invading Iraq without taking time to do three things. First, to exhaust all means short of war to enforce United Nations resolutions concerning Iraq. Second, to build an effective international coalition both to fight the war and to win the peace. And third, to ensure that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction. I was one of 23 Senators to make that difficult decision."

Those of us in Hawai'i are pretty fed up with our state Democratic politicians getting elected and then lining up to support Bush's policies which enrich corporations by looting the rest of us. (We're pretty upset at your bankruptcy, war and patriot votes, Ed)

Senator Akaka is NOT one of the politicians we're ticked off at. Also, I think nonHawai'ians don't understand our culture. Senator Akaka embodies the humbleness (ha'aha'a) that is much valued here.

Additionally, we have a very high rate of our young people in the military so we are not dazzled by the fake patriotism of the yellow-ribbon crowd. We know what real patriotism is -- putting your life where your mouth is -- which our kids are doing while those who are sending them to war are cutting their benefits and renegging on their promises to our soldiers.

Akaka supports our military people in the ways that count - health care, educational assistance, armor, etc. We know that real support means taking care that our soldiers are not sent off to fight unless it really is the last resort. We trust Akaka to keep on supporting our young people the way he has -- by seeking diplomatic ways to avoid war.

Posted by: Karen Keauhou Chun | May 19, 2006 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Chris you should know by know that if a poll seems to seriously different from the facts on the ground then unless another poll says the same thing it's safe to assume that the poll is faulty. The race isn't close. True Case seems like a crafty politician who has quickly jumped up the ladder and opposed the leaders of the HI democratic party and had mostly succesfull runs but you have to look on the facts on the ground. In Case's favor you have his obvious political skill and the recent time's article claiming akaka is one of the worst senators based on inefectiveness and that Akaka might look bad if his Native Hawain Bill fails but in Akaka's favorite is that there is simply no way that a moderate would beat a popular liberal incumbent in a democratic primary in a liberal democratic state especially due to the war(Case definatly against withdrawl while akaka's position is unclear) and that this is a year when democrats want their politicians to stand up agianst republicans as often as possible.

Posted by: rtaycher1987 | May 19, 2006 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Case is out of touch with blue Hawai`i. He's a member of the Coalition of Conservative Democrats (aka the Blue Dogs) and endorsed Joe Lieberman for President (while much of his district was supporting Dennis Kucinich or other anti-war candidates).

And his voting record is abysmal. Among his many mean-spirited votes:

* voting for the outrageous bankruptcy "reform" legislation (which will devastate many Hawai`i families)

* voting for the House Republicans' draconian immigration bill (which would classify hard-working, tax-paying immigrants as felons)

Posted by: Dave | May 19, 2006 5:27 AM | Report abuse

The following AP article is in response to my "untrue citings" noted above. I apologize if my brief referencing caused any undue confusion:

Posted at 3:25 p.m., Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Hawai'icongressmen divided over Patriot Act

Associated Press

Hawai'i's two Democratic U.S. representatives were divided in their votes today to renew a modified USA Patriot Act to combat terrorism.

Congressman Neil Abercrombie voted against the bill, calling the act "a blank check to trample civil liberties." Congressman Ed Case, meanwhile, favored the measure, which was approved and sent to the Senate.

The vote in the House was 251-174, with 44 Democrats joining 207 Republicans.

"The Patriot Act is an unrestricted license for the government to snoop and bully anyone for any reason," Abercrombie said. "Instead of thoughtfully strengthening laws that actually work to thwart terrorists, Congress is giving government a blank check to trample civil liberties."

Case disagreed, saying he voted for the Patriot Act, "because the significant anti-terrorism tools it provides law enforcement."

President Bush urged against any delay in Senate action.

"The Patriot Act is essential to fighting the war on terror and preventing our enemies from striking America again," Bush said. "In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment."

Congress overwhelmingly passed the Patriot Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The law expanded the government's surveillance and prosecutorial powers against suspected terrorists, their associates and financiers.

Republicans say the country will be left vulnerable if the Patriot Act is not renewed.

But the bill's opponents say the original act was rushed into law, and Congress should take more time now to make sure the rights of innocent Americans are safeguarded before making 14 of the 16 expiring provisions permanent.

"One of the most troubling aspects of the bill is that there's no meaningful accountability for these abuses, or even any way to learn of their occurrence," Abercrombie said.

He said he supports some of the bill's provisions, but said those benefits were outweighed by the measure's threat to civil liberties and should be addressed in separate legislation.

Case said 14 provisions have not been controversial. The remaining two, access to business records and roving wiretaps, have been essential tools for law enforcement.

"I believe the amended Patriot Act properly balances our collective need to protect ourselves against the reality of terror with our collective commitment to individual rights," he said.

Included in the House-Senate accord is a measure to restrict and record the sale of products necessary to cook methamphetamine, including ingredients in many cold medicines. If passed, the act would also give $99 million a year for five years to arrest and prosecute dealers and traffickers, plus $20 million for two years to help children affected by the meth trade.

(by the way, I'm not Mr. Hodges. I'm Ms. Chan Hodges.)

Posted by: Shay | May 19, 2006 2:39 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the great primer, Chris, "under the radar" indeed. This race has received too scant attention, even in Hawaii, where it is pivotal.

Readers should beware of casual innuendo, particularly Mr. Hodges's (who honestly, respectfully disclosed his party activity, allowing followers to consider his remarks accordingly). His second point is just flat-out untrue, easily provable by the fact that Mr. Case was not even in Congress at the times of the votes he "cites." The Democrat establishment certainly was solidly behind then-Lt. Gov. Hirono four years ago, and that was the only condition providing sustenance to and what little success could be enjoyed by such a pathetic campaign and candidacy, which bellowed the same vague, always undefined code words of "values [that] reflect those of the people of Hawaii." Just what are these "values," and what politician for a minute can claim a monopoly or any special clairvoyance as to what those "values" are at any one time? That expression should be left to the voters.

Mr. Case has upset the apple cart in Hawaii's antiquated politics by not waiting his turn or requesting permission, except for that by, again, the proper source: the voters.

Rep. Case may be ambitious, but ambitious for what? He has stated very clearly that if he is unsuccessful in this race, he'd be perfectly content to return to private life and contribute to society through other outlets, something most entrenched Hawaii politicians find unfathomable. His candidacy has already given the electorate a "change" in the form of a rare, welcome treat: discussion of substantive issues and a choice!

Hawaii is very Democrat, but not very democratic.

Posted by: Carl | May 19, 2006 1:18 AM | Report abuse

I just re-read the article, and I have a few corrections:

1. The "Democratic Establishment" was absolutely not behind Mazie Hirono.
2. We do of course have voter registration in Hawaii.

Also, I think it's worth noting that Case is ranked 410 out of 435 members of the House:

Posted by: Shay | May 18, 2006 11:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure how many of the responders on this issue live in Hawaii, but as a Maui resident who is active in the Democratic Party, I would like to make the following points:

1. Hawaii is a Democratic State.
2. The majority of the time, Case votes with the Republicans: for example, the war in Iraq,the Patriot Act, Bush's tax cut plan (referred to as the "No Millionaire Left Behind Act" by David Letterman).
3. Hawaii Democrats refer to Case as a Republicrat.
3. If Case had any integrity, he would run as a Republican (because he believes in the Republican Platform). The only reason that Case is running as a Democrat is that he knows he can't win as a Republican.
4. Case uses the term "change" to mean "wouldn't you all rather see more white men in office?"
5. I don't think anyone was that surprised that Case would run for Senate. He's ambitious and he's an opportunist. The good news is that because his values do not reflect those of the people of Hawaii, he will lose the Senate race. And the double bonus is that we got him out of Congress. And so far, pretty much everyone running as a Democrat for his soon to be vacated seat in Congress does in fact appear to embrace the basic Democratic values of fairness, social justice, civil rights, and peace.

Posted by: Shay Chan Hodges | May 18, 2006 10:50 PM | Report abuse

1. Age is (and should be) a large issue in this race. While I don't think politicians should be held to any mandatory retirement age, the fact that Senator Akaka is 82 should be a legitimate concern to the citizens of Hawaii (especially since Senator Inouye is also in his 80s).
2. I get a little tired of everyone treating the Iraq war as a black-and-white issue. I have been against it from the beginning, because I always suspected what has happened would happen (that we'd lose thousands of soldiers in service of a plan that wasn't well thought out, likely setting up a situation that wasn't necessarily better than what existed there before). That doesn't mean that every person (of whichever party) who voted in favor of it in the beginning should be punished for that vote in perpetuity. All Case is saying is that he probably would have voted for the resolution at that time.

Posted by: Staley | May 18, 2006 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Tina - no surprise that you like Case better, since he is MUCH more conservative. However, I am absolutely puzzled as to how being in favor of our use of force in Iraq - today rather than in 2002 or 2004 - can possibly help any candidate.

Accross the country, including in generally conservative areas, people are now overwhelmingly against the war in Iraq and feel that it was a mistake. Given that Hawaii is an extremely blue state, I don't see any way that this issue could possibly help Case.

Oh and Tina - your comparison of Hitler and Saddam is a little over the top. Saddam was and is - without a doubt - a vile human being who has done awful things. But he wasn't a threat to the US, as countless reports since the war started have proven. I know you want to believe otherwise, but those pesky facts definitely get in the way on this issue. Oh for the days when REPUBLICANS used to say it wasn't the job of the US to police the world....

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2006 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Tina - no surprise that you like Case better, since he is MUCH more conservative. However, I am absolutely puzzled as to how being in favor of our use of force in Iraq - today rather than in 2002 or 2004 - can possibly help any candidate.

Accross the country, including in generally conservative areas, people are now overwhelmingly against the war in Iraq and feel that it was a mistake. Given that Hawaii is an extremely blue state, I don't see any way that this issue could possibly help Case.

Oh and Tina - your comparison of Hitler and Saddam is a little over the top. Saddam was and is - without a doubt - a vile human being who has done awful things. But he wasn't a threat to the US, as countless reports since the war started have proven. I know you want to believe otherwise, but those pesky facts definitely get in the way on this issue. Oh for the days when REPUBLICANS used to say it wasn't the job of the US to police the world....

Posted by: Colin | May 18, 2006 6:51 PM | Report abuse

Wow, what a story! Here is a relative of Steve Case of the AOL fame who has over $200 million which could sure help Ed Case win that race. Congressman Case has the right angle about seniority with Akaka in is 80's. If Akaka served in the military during WW2, I would think he could understand the terror of threats on a nation after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the similarity between Saddam and Hitler with ethnic cleansing and genocide.

If the people of Hawaii want a strong leader, I think they might support Case. I have not heard of any Republican challenger, and I trust Cillizza will tell us if there is one.

Thanks for the news.

Posted by: Tina | May 18, 2006 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the writeup on this race. Now how about something on the race to succeed Case in Congress?

Posted by: Staley | May 18, 2006 5:35 PM | Report abuse

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