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Hawaii's Scandinavian primary: A vote against those old faces

By Manfred Henningsen

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Aug 20, 2014

~~<p>The catastrophic primary defeat of Gov. Neil Abercrombie to state Sen. David Ige in all but two voting districts has generated among political observers a desperate search for explanations. One of the most frequently mentioned reasons has been Abercrombie's disregard for U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye's wish, expressed in his so-called deathbed letter of December 2012, to appoint U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's victory in his primary-election race for reelection removes the deathbed letter from the list of explanations for Abercrombie's devastating defeat.</p>
<p>The statewide losses of the governor silence to some extent the suspicion that this was an ethnically motivated election. Though it would be difficult to find an ethnic pattern that could explain this overwhelming result, there are still voices that suggest the old-time AJA power network that launched the mostly unknown Ige as candidate against Abercrombie has somehow come through in punishing the governor for not listening to the dying shogun. Some had the d&eacute;j&agrave;-vu feeling of revisiting 1974 when the outspoken, liberal and charismatic haole Tom Gill was defeated by George Ariyoshi, who has played a major role in promoting Ige.</p>
~~

The catastrophic primary defeat of Gov. Neil Abercrombie to state Sen. David Ige in all but two voting districts has generated among political observers a desperate search for explanations. One of the most frequently mentioned reasons has been Abercrombie's disregard for U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye's wish, expressed in his so-called deathbed letter of December 2012, to appoint U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement. U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz's victory in his primary-election race for reelection removes the deathbed letter from the list of explanations for Abercrombie's devastating defeat.

The statewide losses of the governor silence to some extent the suspicion that this was an ethnically motivated election. Though it would be difficult to find an ethnic pattern that could explain this overwhelming result, there are still voices that suggest the old-time AJA power network that launched the mostly unknown Ige as candidate against Abercrombie has somehow come through in punishing the governor for not listening to the dying shogun. Some had the déjà-vu feeling of revisiting 1974 when the outspoken, liberal and charismatic haole Tom Gill was defeated by George Ariyoshi, who has played a major role in promoting Ige. Login for more...



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