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Gabbard pauses to mourn as list of applicants grows

By B.J. Reyes

LAST UPDATED: 06:35 a.m. HST, Dec 22, 2012

U.S. Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard said Friday she is "taking a moment" to grieve the loss of U.S. Sen. Daniel Ino­uye before thinking about applying for the vacancy created by his death Monday.

"It really is unthinkable for me, right now, to even talk about that, as we've just watched the beautiful service in the National Cathedral for him and as we bring him home to put him to rest," Gabbard said in an interview Friday. "I know myself along with so many other people are mourning the loss that we all share, and that's where I'm at.

"Like many others I'm taking this moment to grieve for him and for all of Hawaii."

Inouye was remembered in Washington, D.C., on Friday with a service at the National Cathedral attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton and other dignitaries. Services and memorials continue for Ino­uye in Hawaii today and Sunday.

Meanwhile, former state Rep. Blake Oshiro, an aide to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, confirmed he has applied for the vacancy, and state Sen. Donna Mercado Kim (D, Kalihi Valley-Moanalua-Halawa) announced her intent to apply. Kim is vice president of the state Senate and serves as chairwoman of the Senate Special Committee on Accountability, which most recently investigated the University of Hawaii's handling of a bogus Stevie Wonder concert.

Former Office of Hawaiian Affairs chief advocate Esther Kia­aina, who unsuccessfully ran in the Demo­cratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District, also applied, a source said.

Others who have applied or announced their intent to apply for the vacancy include U.S. Rep. Colleen Hana­busa, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, state Sen. Will Espero and Tony Gill, chairman of the Oahu Demo­crats.

Abercrombie must appoint a replacement from a list of three names provided by the state Demo­cratic Party. The party has said it will accept applications until 5 p.m. Monday and whittle the list to three at a meeting of the state central committee on Dec. 28.

As of Friday afternoon the state Demo­cratic Party had received 11 applications for the vacancy. Party Chairman Dante Carpenter said the list of applicants will be made public after the Monday deadline passes.

Inouye, in a letter delivered shortly before his death to Abercrombie, asked that Hana­busa be appointed as his replacement. Abercrombie said this week he feels any talk of who he might nominate is premature until he receives the list of nominees. Abercrombie also said he does not want to preclude the work of the central committee by indicating any preference.

Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

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honokai wrote:
Don't do it Tulsi. You don't need to be on this list. You should only be there if you the Governor has shown an interest. To the rest of these politicians --- adding your name to the list doesn't improve your stature. Either you got it or you don't. And if you don't, posturing here is a mistake.
on December 22,2012 | 03:10AM
Yoshi41 wrote:
Personally I appreciate that Tulsi has not applied for the position yet. I feel it is disrespectful to Senator Inouye's legacy of service and aloha that so many people are already clamoring for his position before the late Senator has even been laid to rest.
on December 22,2012 | 08:53AM
islandhula wrote:
I agree, though I hope she does apply. It's critical for Hawaii we have someone young enough to build seniority and wield some real influence.
on December 22,2012 | 09:33AM
nathistory wrote:
Besides being a good progressive Sen Inouye was generous with his time. Between these Progressives Blake seems like the most generous plus he gets bonus points for diversity.
on December 22,2012 | 04:22PM
OB1NONO_ME wrote:
If Tulsi applies - I'll never vote for her again and encourage others to do the same. CD 2 resident.
on December 22,2012 | 04:24PM
bobbob wrote:
Agreed, she should not. If she does, she just proves she's a crooked power hungry politican just like all the rest. Serve out your term that people of hawaii voted you for.
on December 22,2012 | 05:15PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Yoshi41, the Democrat Party’s central committee will meet at 8:00 am on Wednesday, December 26th, to select three candidates to replace Senator Inouye. Today is the 22nd. He will be laid to rest on the 23rd. The 25th is a holiday. Senator wannabes who wait until after Inouye has been laid to rest might miss the train.
on December 22,2012 | 09:42AM
bobbob wrote:
I agree. Hanabusa is already going to be the choice, and you don't want to be seen as capitalizing off someone else's death. She should get experience in her current position before grabbign for more power like so many other hawaii politicians such as fufi.
on December 22,2012 | 05:14PM
honokai wrote:
edit: .... if the Governor
on December 22,2012 | 03:11AM
Benny wrote:
Hawaii's congressional delegation will be the most junior i n Congress. The only one with a semblance of seniority would be Congresswoman Hanabusa. She should stay in the lower house of Congress and build on her seniority and influence. So should Tulsi work at the post to which she was elected. The next four years in Congress will be crucial to the Nation's fiscal and social postures. The US House of Representatives is instrumental in the formulation of the national budget. This is where the action is. Since the the senatorial appointment is an interim one, then Hanausa and Galbard could consider running for US Senator.in 2016. The Democrate Central Committee should advance to the Governor 3 nomiees who will be a temporary steward to Inouye's vacated office. Four years hence, let candidates run and be elected as a US Senator. In America, election to high office should be primary to appointment. Let the voters choose!
on December 22,2012 | 04:06AM
bender wrote:
I disagree. Once someone is named to the Senate it will be difficult for either Hanabusa or Gabbard to unseat that person. In essence, the Governor will be selecting more than a 4 year senator, that person will have incumbancy. I fear that the Democrat Central Committee will recommend some of their more liberal applicants such as Schatz. They will view this as an opportunity to further the cause of the special interest groups that now dominate the Democrat Party of Hawaii.
on December 22,2012 | 05:54AM
Bdpapa wrote:
That's probably why one of these liberal candidates will get the position.
on December 22,2012 | 06:08AM
Wazdat wrote:
Schatz can't be as bad as Mazie or Collen, its worth a chance.
on December 22,2012 | 08:46AM
bender wrote:
Why is the Decomcrat Central Committee waiting until the 28th to meet? And what if they can't agree and need to meet for several days before they reach some sort of decision. Then the gov still has to think it over and that will be a monumental undertaking in its own right. It is important that we have Senator Inouye's replacement ready for the January 3rd swearing in. On the other hand, I suppose the delay gives everyone time to send in their bribes and do their horse trading.
on December 22,2012 | 06:37AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The Democrat Party has moved up its meeting to Wednesday, December 26th. Senator Inouye’s replacement can be sworn in immediately because he or she will be filling a vacant seat. Hirono must wait until noon on January 3rd after Akaka’s term expires.
on December 22,2012 | 09:49AM
omd111 wrote:
If Gabbard applied it would just be another person who has done NOTHING. Just like Mazie, and Hanabusa. Done nothing and will do nothing but rubber stamp.
on December 22,2012 | 07:00AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Tulsi successfully extended parking hours for lunch wagons in Honolulu. That is essentially her one legislative accomplishment. Incredible flip flopping on other issues and votes "with reservations". Yeah, she is eminently qualified to sit in the Senate. Good lord, people, are you really so masochistic that you want this level of representation?

Look, Hanabusa is a lock. Stop with acting silly about people like Willie, and Tulsi and Donna and such.

on December 22,2012 | 07:12AM
turbolink wrote:
This is reminiscent of Ms Gabbard's frequent news conferences to give status of her decision to deploy with her unit to Iraq or take her legislative seat. Political theater that the Gabbard family loves. A little humility and pay your dues first would be a refreshing change.
on December 22,2012 | 07:19AM
hawaiikone wrote:
on December 22,2012 | 11:16AM
turbolink wrote:
It's also reminiscent of Ms Hirono running for governor...no mayor...no governor. Hawaii needs leaders with vision and direction, not political opportunists jockeying for pole position.
on December 22,2012 | 01:10PM
Changalang wrote:
Blake Oshiro was a very capable legislator. Colleen, Brian, and Blake all have what it takes. Stretegic implications for causing a special election are valid. Appointing a freshly elected or re-elected incumbent Rep. due to be sworn in would be a tactical error on the Hawaii Democratic Party's part. Smart play is to put in a young capable that can be replaced by appointment; like an LG or State Senator. Opening up CD1 without Godfather Dan to insure a pre-determined Democrat winner could be risky indeed. Dan was omnipotent. A special election in CD1 would be the first blind test without the ever reliable control variable. Strategically, CD1 would be in play for the GOP to retake like Djou did. If Neil appoints Colleen and loses CD1 to any Republican; Democrats will blame and punish him for it in 2014 for his own re-election. Neil's safe play is to appoint Senator Schatz; President Obama's good friend and multi-Union favorite. Brian is solid. Best to leave the Hawaii GOP dead and buried rather than have to worry about a zombie from the wrong Party getting lucky again in CD1.
on December 22,2012 | 07:46AM
entrkn wrote:
Tulsi Gabbard and Brian Schatz are clearly the best choices for the US Senate for the next 30 to 50 years...
on December 22,2012 | 10:33AM
Ronin006 wrote:
And that is exactly what is wrong with government today – career politicians.
on December 22,2012 | 11:22AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
on December 22,2012 | 01:55PM
Yoshi41 wrote:
It is very important to be able to build up seniority in the Senate to benefit the people of Hawaii and also to bring greater influence from Hawaii to federal government.
on December 22,2012 | 01:21PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I'm one of those people who do not think we should make political appointments a lifetime career. Instead, term limits would be a great goal to strive for. This idea of get elected and you have a job for life is behind a lot of our problems.
on December 22,2012 | 01:55PM
naomiow9 wrote:
I think most pols know Hanabusa will be chosen because of Inouye. But they still want to be the 2nd & 3rd names on that list because that will tell them who will get support for Hanabusa's seat.
on December 22,2012 | 04:17PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Good point.
on December 22,2012 | 04:56PM
turbolink wrote:
If that's the case, Ms Gabbard need not apply.
on December 22,2012 | 05:35PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
She hasn't even been sworn in as a congresswoman and already thinking about the senate? She's lucky to just be in congress at all.
on December 22,2012 | 09:41PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Well no shortage of career crooked unon owned politicians seeking the best office the state has to offer.
on December 22,2012 | 09:45PM
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