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HI-Sen: Abercrombie Appoints LG Brian Schatz to Senate

by: shamlet

Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 19:05:17 PM EST

Holy Schatz. Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) may have just committed political suicide and left a powerful legacy at the same time by picking young LG Brian Schatz over Sen. Dan Inouye's preferred successor, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Key quote from the Governor:

Nothing was pre-ordained.

But going against the dying wishes of Hawaii's most beloved political figure is one heckuva gutsy move.

This throws a giant monkey wrench into the Hawaiian political scene. Unlike Hanabusa, Schatz is almost certain to not get a free-ride in the 2014 Primary. Reps. Colleen Hanabusa and Tulsi Gabbard may see this as an open invitation to take him - or Abercrombie - on in 2014. And with HI having very late primaries, the bloodier the better for Republicans' chances.

The HIGOP's A team - Linda Lingle, Charles Djou, and Duke Aiona - need to start thinking about their next move, because even without the benefit of a HI-1 special, things look far brighter for two of them now than they did an hour ago.

shamlet :: HI-Sen: Abercrombie Appoints LG Brian Schatz to Senate
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Right or wrong politically
Inouye shouldn't be the one to decide.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

Abercrombiw appointed Schatz
Because he didn't want another Special Election but you can bet that Hanabusa and probably Gabbard will primary him and maybe even Hannemann.

[ Parent ]
In hindsight
The hints were there that he really didn't want to appoint Hanabusa. From when he confirmed lukewarmly the existence of a letter.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

Go to Wikipedia fast
Fasy before someone changes Schatz's page.  

26, Male, R, NY-10

Terrible optics, but the Seniority argument is a powerful one.  A big problem with it is Schatz might not win a primary now though.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

Congratulations Governor Hanabusa!
And (probably) Senator whoever primaries Schatz (Gabbard?)

(-10.00, -3.49), libertarian socialist, "When smashing monuments, save the pedestals. They always come in handy."

-- Stanisław Lem

Or Governor Lingle/Djou
if Abercrombie somehow wins his primary.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
I doubt Lingle runs for her old job, but Djou possibly yes.  Still an uphill climb, but this is a big step.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Probably the other way around
Hanabusa's likely going to just primary Schatz and let someone else run for Gov.  It would prevent a messy multi-way primary fight, since she'll probably clear the non-Schatz field and leave a more tempting prize open for Governor.  Abercrombie probably wasn't planning on running for re-election anyway.

23, Libertarian Republican CA-18
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]
Hanabusa for Gov is terrible optics
It'll look she's just running because she's mad about not getting picked.

Age 21, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)
Idiosyncratic, pro-establishment. Liberal but not progressive.  For the poor, the children, the planet, and the rule of law.

Berkeley Class of 2015.

[ Parent ]
Well, obviously it would appear that way
And I imagine if she were smart she would base her campaign on such a concept.

I am a Tom Rukavina Democrat.

[ Parent ]
The question is, will people still be PO'ed about this in two years?
If there are ways to run against Abercrombie that seem less like a mission of personal vendetta, Hanabusa would be wise to run on those. Or if people are still mad that he went against Inouye's dying wish, she can just let him have it.

Personally I think she will run against Schatz and someone else will primary Abercrombie with the support of the machine.

[ Parent ]
The thing is we won't know until it's too late
the people that are far and away the most likely to be POd about this are Japanese women.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Also key
During a meeting earlier Wednesday to select the three finalists for Gov. Abercrombie to choose from, members of the Hawaii Democratic Party voted 48 times for Schatz, 42 for Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa and 39 for attorney Esther Kiaaina

26, Male, R, NY-10

Ah ok
I was going to ask how was Schatz even on the list, but this explains it.

33/M/D/NY-01 DKE:Socks The Cat

[ Parent ]
Sure Abercrombie told them ahead of time
and they made it so to kind of save face.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Save face?
If they didn't want his LG, they didn't have to submit his name. They could've submitted names they knew he wouldn't choose.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
What I'm saying is
It's far more likely he has pull with the committee rather than the other way around.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
The state party is also fairly fractured
You have the liberal, labor-influenced majority typified by Hanabusa and Hirono, and then you have the more moderate Hannemann/Case bloc. There are also racial issues to consider. It's unlikely that the party would have come to a true consensus, so Abercrombie may have only needed to swing a few votes his way to get Schatz the plurality.

[ Parent ]
It looks like it's fractured
It was split in 3. If Dems in HI are as split as the party, a primary fight might not be successful.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I think they each had 3 votes
The split is in two: White reformers vs. Asian old-liners. Count John A. Burns as a kind of "Honorary Asian" and the split is a clear-cut fissure going back to 1962,

The lone exception is 1976-Sen, which was more about personal ambitions... but everything else:

Burns/Gill, Ariyoshi/Gill & Fasi, Ariyoshi/Fasi, Ariyoshi/King (the white-backed candidate despite being half-Asian), Waihee/Heftel, Cayetano/Lewin, Hirono/Case, Akaka/Case, Abercrombie/Hannemann, Hirono/Case again.

Was White vs. Asian. With the Asian candidate winning.

Abercrombie in 2010 was the first time the white candidate won for anything higher than the House.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Served as chair of the HI Dem party and many of the committee members were likely very familiar with him from his time in that roll

Male, LA-01

Cassidy, Rounds, Ernst, Handel, Land for Senate!  

[ Parent ]
The new senator is traveling to D. C. with the president

26, Male, R, NY-10

Talk about going from obscure to the all-star game. He votes the way the Prez wants.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
They had to quickly remove the,,,
"Senator Hanabusa" sign from his seat on Air Force One.

[ Parent ]
He may want to cash in some chips now
And ask for a prominent statement from Reid in the next month about what a great senator he's been, jumping in and dealing with the fiscal cliff. He's unlikely to ever have as much influence (and Reid's ear) as he does now.  

34, R, CO-1 (Degette)

[ Parent ]
the thing I hate
Is when a Governor of a State mentions a partisan reason during such an appointment.  By saying "It's better for the party" if there's no special election, he's conceding that his party is more important than the obligation of his office.  Corzine said something similar when appointing Menendez.  It really bothers me, and I find it odd that they think it's okay to say something like that publicly.  It would be like President Obama saying publicly, "I'm going to appoint a bunch of swing state Republicans to cabinet posts so we can win special elections because that will help my party..."

The Reason
I think Abercrombie did it to save money. He didn't want two special elections. In addition, he also may want someone who serves for a several decades. Hanabusa is 61, while Schatz is just 40.

Male, PA-15, Libertarian leaning-Republican

Who becomes HI new Lt Gov?
Does Abercrombie appoints a new one or does the senate president become Lt Gov or is there a special election or does it stay vacant?

Open Question
The Senate President can take it, but he can also refuse it without complicated machinations (unlike, say, SC). Next the House Speaker can either take or refuse it. After that it passes to the (appointed) AG. And then I think Abercrombie can appoint someone.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
Pretty cool

26, Male, R, NY-10

[ Parent ]

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