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Hirono would serve well in U.S. Senate

LAST UPDATED: 09:24 p.m. HST, Oct 28, 2012

>> Oct. 19-28: Our picks on key races

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle have faced off in multiple debates in their contest for the U.S. Senate, and it was clear who had the better skills onstage. Lingle is more poised and adroit at thinking on her feet. Hirono has improved at presentation over the years but can be halting and at times, somewhat defensive.

This is no small thing — communications are important in representing voter interests — but it's not the main thing.

Where it counts the most, Hirono has been a consistent advocate for government actions and policies that serve Hawaii, and she would be the most reliable vote on some key issues coming up on Capitol Hill in the near and long term.

In particular, her support of the Affordable Care Act, of a balanced approach to budgetary and entitlement reform, and of curbs on waste in military and other government spending recommends her for the job. Overall, her experience in the House has prepared her to be the better candidate for one of Hawaii's two seats in the U.S. Senate.

Lingle, as Hawaii's two-term Republican governor, had to deal with the after-effects of the 2008 financial crash and the recession it produced. Budget shortfalls led to furloughs for the state's workforce. Ultimately the state's teachers took that same route, and parent unhappiness culminated in a sit-in at the governor's office. Lingle's response? She had them arrested.

The Legislature's Democratic supermajority certainly contributed to the discord over the years and Lingle can't bear all the blame for her stalled agenda. But, while the former governor has touted bipartisanship accomplishments among her credentials, history doesn't back up that narrative. One example: Her standoff with Pat Hamamoto, then schools superintendent, and the lack of cooperation with the Department of Education meant that most educational moves that Lingle advanced could have been enhanced under friendlier circumstances.

And there were the memorable side-trips four years ago to join the presidential campaign tour of John McCain and Sarah Palin, with the Hawaii governor engaging enthusiastically on the stump in a take-down of Barack Obama.

Hirono, by contrast, is almost drama-averse. She has not wavered in her commitment on several issues critical to national interests as well as those specific to Hawaii. Above all, she champions health care reform.

Though in need of additional measures to help bend the cost curve for health care, the Affordable Care Act still represents the most comprehensive first step toward greater access to health coverage and a more efficient delivery system. President Obama's Republican counterparts still haven't put forward anything approaching the same potency. And if presented with the option of an up-or-down vote on repealing Obamacare, Lingle said she's a "yes" for repeal. We say "no" to that.

Other positions:

» Hirono is the more solidly anti-war candidate, and accepts the Obama timetable on winding down the Afghanistan war in 2014, informed by ground conditions. Her voice would be important in defense debates, helping to ensure that future military entanglements are considered more prudently.

» While acknowledging that younger people must plan to supplement Social Security retirement income, she believes the program must be made more sustainable immediately by raising the cap on income levels that are assessed for the tax.

» She remains a staunch defender of the Medicare defined benefit over its conversion to a "voucher" plan; we agree, but we also see the need for some accommodation to contain costs.

» The congresswoman has pledged to work on behalf of federal funding for the rail project. Her opponent has proposed seeking some indefinite route for redirecting those funds for other uses, also unspecified.

» Of the two candidates, only Hirono would press for the expiration at year's end of Bush-era tax cuts for the very wealthy, a solid right step in the direction that's needed to build a more balanced fiscal policy.

As a member of Congress, Mazie Hirono has upheld the values of her party and, in most cases, those are the positions that do most to strengthen the middle class. Those middle-class voters in Hawaii can support her and know where she stands. Judging by her past history on the Hill, she stands with them.

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Maneki_Neko wrote:
Well, butter my buns and call me a biscuit!

The SA again goes pro-Machine to support someone who we paid a million dollars in salary, gave fabulous healthcare benefits, provided a paid-up retirement plan we'd die for and generally made life sweet as can be. In return, she accomplished absolutely nothing of substance. Not one bill passed. Obviously behind the door when smarts were distributed (see debates) and nothing more than a mouthpiece for Dan.

on October 28,2012 | 04:18PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
And she will beat Ms. Lingle and represent the views of the majority of this state.
on October 28,2012 | 04:38PM
eric4senate wrote:
Well if so it would be because the biased powers that be are so at manipulating peoples beliefs and have a negative focus . Been lying about furloughs and even the fact that Lingle had them arrested no Politician has that right. The HPD arrested them because they broke the law on purpose with ample warnings to obey the law. Credit the fact that they didn't try to hide the obvious which is that Hirono sucks at thinking and speaking. It acknowledges that she supports all those corrupt things mentioned. She will not represent or has ever tried to represent constituents like me. Trying writing to her she often doesnt respond back. If she does it after the vote or months down the road and is a cookie cutter response. DJOU used to at least send correspondance to get peoples feedback. Hawaii be akamai and avoid the smear tactics and vote for Lingle's Leadership over Mazie's Laziness.
on October 28,2012 | 10:07PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
No thanks. And I suspect there won't be many voting for you either.
on October 28,2012 | 10:24PM
allie wrote:
Lingle was and is bad for Hawaii
on October 29,2012 | 06:20AM
allie wrote:
I waived a sign for Mazie Saturday in Manoa and we had many of the folks there wildly waving back. Lingle is done. Let us support people who support Hawaii. Lingle tried to bujy this election with outside money and failed.
on October 29,2012 | 06:19AM
turbolink wrote:
Goodness! Just lask week you referred to Ms Hirono as a "dreadful" candidate in SA news comments. You must be having quite an argument with yourself.
on October 29,2012 | 08:17AM
AmbienDaze wrote:
of course they wave back in manoa. try sign waving for mazie in hawaii kai or kahala and see what you get back.
on October 29,2012 | 02:08PM
allie wrote:
on October 29,2012 | 04:12PM
starripoff wrote:
Really? They waved back so that means Lingle is done. what a lolo you are!
on November 3,2012 | 08:20PM
turbolink wrote:
Most interesting that the SA would slip this in on Sunday afternoon after most folks already read the paper. Why that timing? Not comfortable with your call?
on October 28,2012 | 04:57PM
turbolink wrote:
Like Congresswoman Hirono, the SA seems unable to point out any accomplishment, only her expected positions. How sad.
on October 28,2012 | 05:02PM
americantaxpayer wrote:
Unbelievable? The newspaper thought process and opinion is so scary.........
on October 28,2012 | 05:10PM
Tutu543 wrote:
I knew this was coming as I read their debate coverage.... Mazie did not understand any of the issues, even those bills she has supported, but the SA's coverage actually made her sound just the opposite. I already voted for Lingle based on the knowledge and experience she demonstrated in the debates. This endorsement is a joke!
on October 28,2012 | 08:25PM
allie wrote:
Lingle is self-centered and cynical. She fails to understand her own very bad record.
on October 29,2012 | 06:21AM
Wazdat wrote:
Sure, MAZIE a person who has done NOTHING for this state in over 20 years as elected oficial. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE VOTERS of HAWAII. Lets CHANGE the leadership, what is the worst that can happen ?
on October 29,2012 | 03:10AM
allie wrote:
She tried but Tea Party refused to let anything go through.
on October 29,2012 | 06:20AM
starripoff wrote:
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....bullcrap! tea party's main concern is balancing the budget and staying within the budget; what the heck is wrong with that?
on November 3,2012 | 08:29PM
starripoff wrote:
wouldn't it be great of SA actually had a brain or two (wishful thinking) and could actually think for THEMSELVES???? what's worse is the reasons they give; if an independent or a GOP had the same views, SA still wouldn't endorse them; actually a SA endorsement is the kiss of death; don't know why SA even bothers - guess pretending like they are responsible journalists which is a big fat joke; how can any one with half brain even consider her as viable???

yup, lucky me, I'm in her district; called the other day to ask her view about the Benghazi situation; staff in HI said call D.C.; D.C. said she made a statement on 9/12 apparently endorsing the video theory; lame, lame, lame

recently found out the family of one of the four men killed lives in Hawaii and in hirono's district; so why no help for her "constituents"?; why no outcry to find out why there was no help for them; my heart breaks for these families and they deserve answers; we don't get any until AFTER the ELECTION and then nobody will pay attention no matter what the outcome; this is AMERICA and WE DO MUCH BETTER THAN THIS!! this is pathetic just like hirono!!!
on November 3,2012 | 08:27PM
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