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Wednesday, April 16, 2014         

flASHback


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Zingers fill Abercrombie's journey to Washington Place

By David Shapiro

POSTED:



We'll observe Gov.-elect Neil Abercrombie's Monday inauguration with a "flASHback" retrospective on his rise to the state's top job:

» Democrats Abercrombie and Mufi Hannemann and Republican James "Duke" Aiona jockeyed for an edge as early polls tested hypothetical matchups for governor. If only it was really hypothetical and not our actual choices.

» Abercrombie postponed his big speech to open his campaign headquarters because of a tsunami alert. Too bad. Renewable energy researchers could have learned a lot about whether wind generates more power than water.

» Abercrombie, Hannemann and Aiona exchanged accusations of shady campaign fundraising. For once, they all may have been right.

» Hannemann derided Abercrombie for wanting to retire to Washington Place after serving in Congress. Hannemann, on the other hand, hoped to retire to Congress after serving in Washington Place.

» Amid the campaign noise, there were reports on the Big Island of normally tiny coqui frogs growing as big as tennis balls. The easiest way to visualize what it meant was to picture Abercrombie at Hannemann's size.

» Abercrombie scored a surprisingly lopsided 22-point win over Hannemann in the Democratic primary. If you were scripting the battle for the WWE, it would be like The Rock getting thrown out of the ring by Papa Smurf.

» Abercrombie celebrated an endorsement from Barack Obama, while Aiona claimed the support of University of Hawaii football mascot Vili the Warrior. Talk about a contrast. One is an admired local son who symbolizes the best of Hawaii to the nation. The other is president of the United States.

» Aiona accused the Abercrombie camp of negative campaigning over Aiona's ties to a controversial religious group. Republicans struck back by stepping up their negative praying.

» A 72nd-birthday party for Abercrombie turned into a campaign event. He promised to cut state spending 20 percent by using his AARP discount.

» Abercrombie vowed not to support an increase in the state's general excise tax, saying, "You swim in the water you're in." We'll see if he still feels the same way after the flush.

» Abercrombie had a plan for A New Day in Hawaii, a plan for implementing his plan and a plan for the role of his running mate, Brian Schatz. Basically, Schatz would reprise the Tattoo role on "Fantasy Island" and proclaim, "The plan, boss! The plan!"

» Abercrombie, who got his start in public life as a vociferous protester of the Vietnam War, was elected governor of Hawaii. What a political journey — from "Hell no, we won't go" to "Hell freezes over."

And my favorite Abercrombie campaign quote ... on his promise to better utilize state workers: "Public employees are the most underresourced resource that we have." And his overobfuscated obfuscation was an eloquent tribute to them.

David Shapiro can be reached at volcanicash@gmail.com or blog.volcanicash.net.






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