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Hirono is Inouye's informal primary pick

By Derrick DePledge


U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye says he will not formally endorse a candidate in the U.S. Senate race next year until after the primary election, but he is telling people who ask him that he prefers U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono to former U.S. Rep. Ed Case.

The senior senator said last spring after U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka announced he would not run for another term that he would not endorse in the primary. But over the past few months Inouye has made several positive comments about Hirono and he and Akaka attended a labor fundraiser for her campaign in Washington, D.C.

"My thinking has not really changed. But, after all, I'm just like anyone else. I'm actively involved in government affairs. I'm a voter. And I have my likes and dislikes. And for me to continually say, ‘I have nothing to add. I have nothing to add,' makes me look ridiculous and foolish," Inouye said by telephone Wednesday from Washington.

"And so when people ask me, I say, ‘Well I've been Mazie's friend for a long time and I've watched her work and I like the way she does things.'"

Asked whether he considers that an endorsement, he said: "Well, if you want to consider that, that's fine, because obviously if I'm going to say those things about her when I go to the polls I'm going to vote for her."

Case has said he apologized to Inouye in the spring for any ill will that might remain from his unsuccessful primary challenge against Akaka in 2006. Inouye and other establishment Democrats helped Akaka with fundraising and endorsements to fend off the insurgency.

But Inouye said he remains disappointed. The senator says he has not received a satisfactory explanation from Case.

"What I am going to do? Am I going to just sit around and do nothing? I was hurt," he said of his reaction to Case's challenge to Akaka.

"He hasn't given me any explanation, and if that's the way he's going to deal with me, I don't want to deal with a person like that."

Case, asked about Inouye in September, said: "Senator Inouye told me and others and has said publicly a number of times that he is not going to endorse in the primary. And I continue to take him at his word.

"I also enjoyed a very good working relationship with him and the other members of the delegation throughout my time in Congress."

Jesse Broder Van Dyke, an Akaka spokesman, said the senator has not made an endorsement but has been supportive of Hirono's campaign. "Senator Akaka has a good working relationship with Congresswoman Hirono and has attended fundraisers for her and other national candidates," he said. "Senator Akaka is not endorsing anyone in the primary and is looking forward to completing his term and seeing who the people of Hawaii select to succeed him."

Prominent politicians often walk a fine line when it comes to endorsing in primaries since, for the most part, neutrality is the standard for political parties in contested primaries.

Inouye favored Case in his unsuccessful primary for governor against Hirono in 2002 but did not actually endorse him. Inouye openly backed Akaka over Case in the Senate primary in 2006 and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa over Case in a special election for Congress last year.

Inouye said he thinks the Hawaii Senate race will receive national attention next year because the political balance of the Senate may be at stake. If Demo­crats lose the Senate, Inouye would lose his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee and his title as Senate president pro tempore.

"I think it will because the margin is narrow and if the Senate goes the other way, we might have additional problems," he said.

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
Hirono is a far-left Democrat. Hirono has sponsored 45 bills since Jan 4, 2007 of which 42 haven't made it out of committee and none were successfully enacted. (source GovTrack.us) Is this what Dan is referring to when Dan says, "I've watched her work and I like the way she does things." This voter would agree it makes Dan look ridiculous and foolish.
on October 6,2011 | 03:00AM
Sunny wrote:
I'm supporting Ed Case, we need to plan for a future without Dan and Mazie in Washington!
on October 6,2011 | 07:30AM
wiliki wrote:
Hirono is an immigrant and was raised by a single mother. She knows a lot about poverty first hand. She will fight for our rights and programs to help minorities.
on October 6,2011 | 01:15PM
OldDiver wrote:
Mazie Hirono is a member of the progressive Democratic caucus. If he were alive today Republican President Dwight D Eisenhower would be a member of the Progressive Democratic caucus. The Republican party has move so far to the right that even President Richard Nixon today would be considered liberal. In fact Obamacare is nearly identical to the healthcare plan Nixon proposed. Ed Case is a self admitted Blue Dog Democrat. In other words a Republican who calls himself a Democrat for political campaign reasons. When it comes to the middle class versus the billionaires who run this country, Ed Case sides with the billionaires.
on October 6,2011 | 03:03PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
Mazie is that really you?
on October 6,2011 | 06:09PM
honokai wrote:
we all know who has the best Senatorial presence, demeanor, and potential --- but unfortunately our politicians live in a partisan world --- so we won't be hearing any endorsements for her from the side the wears the D
on October 6,2011 | 03:17AM
OldDiver wrote:
Ed Case was never known by anyone to have presence and demeanor. Being a two face speaking out of two sides of his mouth kind of guy is very dangerous for Hawaii. No respect in the US Senate means nothing for Hawaii.
on October 6,2011 | 03:07PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Time for a change. Senator Inouye has done a lot for Hawaii but his time has come. I'm not sure what Hirono has done during her stay. Can someone provide a link where the public can look at the accomplishments of their elected officials? Same goes for Hanabusa.
on October 6,2011 | 04:23AM
honokai wrote:
halloween is few weeks off --but you can try---usdebtclock----dot----org---
on October 6,2011 | 05:00AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Thanks honokai.
on October 6,2011 | 06:37AM
bender wrote:
Dan says he ain't formally taking sides but he informally announces he's for Hirono. What a hypocrite. He fully understands the consequences of his "informal" endorsement. What is perplexing is that Dan must know that Hirono is as useless as lips on a chicken so the question is WHY waste his vote on her.
on October 6,2011 | 06:20AM
bender wrote:
I'm wondering how this became news. Did Senator Inouye's office call the newspaper to let them know. The newspaper only adds to the problem because now it is widely known that Senator Inouye "informally" endorsed Hirono. Before only a handful of people knew for sure. Maybe this newspaper is "informally" endorsing Hirono as well. And if Lingle decides to run then Senator Inouye is all but handing the senatorial seat to her because Hirono can't beat Lingle.
on October 6,2011 | 08:19AM
usahwn wrote:
His comments reflect how ignorant he takes the voters in Hawaii to be; I will not endorse anyone in the primary but go public he is voting for hirono. what else could this mean ...besides I hate Case
on October 6,2011 | 06:20AM
Highinthesierras wrote:
Akaka was not a representative who deserved reelection so Dan's endorsement of him showed poor judgement. Similarly, he is showing bad judgement again this time, as what we need are folks who don't genuflect at the UNION before taking a position. Case will help us move away from UNIONS' domination of every aspect of our politics.
on October 6,2011 | 06:47AM
LemonySnickets wrote:
Those who vote for lingle will regret it.
on October 6,2011 | 07:01AM
mcc wrote:
Lingle before Mazie.
on October 6,2011 | 07:18AM
Bdpapa wrote:
Lingle got my vote!
on October 6,2011 | 02:44PM
Dawg wrote:
Giv'um Mazie. You have served the State well. Aloha
on October 6,2011 | 07:12AM
McCully wrote:
King Dan is not formally endorsing Hirono, but is telling everybody to support her instead of Case. What do you call that? What an iodiot!!!!!!!!!!!!
on October 6,2011 | 07:16AM
Sunny wrote:
He's protecting his okole in case CASE wins!
on October 6,2011 | 01:15PM
mcc wrote:
What has Lazie Mazie done for the people of Hawaii except be another vote for whqtever Dan wants. Time for a change.
on October 6,2011 | 07:17AM
lee1957 wrote:
I'll stop short of a formal endorsement, but I'm going to vote for her and I want her to win. Nice double speak, Dan!
on October 6,2011 | 07:21AM
AhiPoke wrote:
The right to run for office and cast a vote are two of the most important things that a citizen has. It's interesting that our senior senator believes that he needs to bless all candidates who run for office as a democrat. While I respect that he's brought a lot of money to our state I think his time has come. His comments provide a perfect example of why we need term limits. I believe our founding fathers intended political offices to be filled by citizens representatives, not professional politicians.
on October 6,2011 | 08:00AM
dalawyer wrote:
Vote for Bu in 2012.....Bulaia for Gov! On a more serious note, Hawaii needs a change in leadership and direction. Hirono vs. Case will be a defining moment for Hawaii. Danny boy is getting up there in age and groundwork needs to be established now for the sake of Hawaii's future. Vote Case! Out with the "old boy" network!
on October 6,2011 | 08:51AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Inouye has to say he prefers Hirono to Case because Case is a maverick who defied the Democrat Party when he ran against Senator Akaka in the 2006 primary. So do not read too much into his comments.
on October 6,2011 | 09:17AM
HD36 wrote:
All they care about is getting re-elected. Career politicians need to get out.
on October 6,2011 | 09:47AM
butinski wrote:
How quickly people forget what happened. Why is Dan Inouye mad at Ed Case? Because Case double crossed him during the Akaka election. Case, then a representative, gave his word to Inouye that he would not compete against Akaka. He then proceeded to do the opposite without giving Inouye notice. Bottom line: You can't trust the overly ambitious Ed Case.
on October 6,2011 | 10:20AM
IWAKUNI wrote:
See? I knew KIng Dan (or HGEA, Larry Mehau, the DNC, etc.) had staff members patrolling the SA forums! Good to see that they actually hire literate individuals, which certainly wasn't the case a decade ago. So you guys ready to tear down all the Case signs in Kalihi again?
on October 6,2011 | 11:08AM
butinski wrote:
rebuttal to IWAKUNI. Why do you assume that I'm a staff member of Dan Inouye's or his colleagues? Far from it. I'm an independent voter with no ties and will vote for fiscal conservative Republicans Lingle and Djou in the next election. As for Ed Case. history speaks for itself. He brought it upon himself by breaking the trust between himself and Inouye. In any culture, a person's word should mean something. Shouldn't it?
on October 6,2011 | 01:29PM
AhiPoke wrote:
Interesting. Out of curiosity, since you're an "independent voter", how do you know that Case gave his word not to compete against Akaka. This is not an attack, just curious.
on October 6,2011 | 04:08PM
butinski wrote:
to AhiPoke. If you were around during the last senate election, you'll recall that Inouye gave out that piece of information and it was in the local papers. Case did not rebut. In any case, no pun intended, I believe Lingle will win and make this subject moot. By the way, I voted against Duke Aiona(R) for governor.
on October 6,2011 | 05:25PM
IWAKUNI wrote:
And this is precisely why being a Republican saves you from so much of the disgusting, under-handed, back-stabbing nonsense that come with the local Democrat political machine. We put up candidates, our candidates all support each other, and at the end of the day you may still hate our candidates but at least you know where they stand and you know for damn sure that they don't answer to 1) criminal underworld bosses, 2) Dan Inouye (which is the same thing as #1, I suppose), or 3) HGEA. It's nice to be with the law-abiding folk.
on October 6,2011 | 11:12AM
cojef wrote:
I find the dialog in the comments much more interesting then the news account. The constant banter against Case can be attributed to breaking a promise not run against Akaka a tired old workhorse, who spent his entire Senate career pursuing enactment of a "Hawaiian Nation" for the native Hawaiian, unsuccessfully. I feel for Senator Akaka and all the native Hawaiians, for not having their visions and dreams fullfilled. A new champion for Hawiian rights must be found! Both Democrats and Republicans should find a suitable candidate. This candidate should be another native Hawaiian. Why not the likes of Duke Aiona. I'll get shot down for this remark, but what the heck, I'm living in the mainland, and don't know "doodly-poop" about Hawaiian politics. Hirano is too liberal to support the Hawaiians interests, as she has progressive agenda, like Obama, where Big Government will control your daily lives, from soup to nuts..
on October 6,2011 | 11:23AM
Kawipoo wrote:
I am glad the old wind bag or the godfather of Hawaii politics has spoken. If you don't agree a horse head will be in your bed. Maize Hirono is worthless. A career politician who jumps from one job to another without accomplishing anything.
on October 6,2011 | 11:40AM
squidman22 wrote:
All the grains of rice in a musubi ALWAYS stick together.
on October 6,2011 | 01:53PM
bigserf wrote:
What has Hirono done all these years in Congress? She's INVISIBLE! Has she tried to get the Federal Government to to pick up there share of the tab for the influx of Micronesians? What about our dependence on oil and the stranglehold of the monopolies that control our state and economy,....HECO, MATSON and the oil and gas companies? She has avoided any controversy or conflict by not doing ANYTHING or taking a stand on ANYTHING! So now she shows up with all her accomplishments? NOT!!!
on October 6,2011 | 02:39PM
Rivergrouch wrote:
Hirono is absolutely useless in Congrss just like when she tied to run for Govenor and LOST....She is another YES person like the rest of the "good ole boyz" in Washington...What we need is leadership and Case is the one!!!!!!!!
on October 6,2011 | 04:03PM
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