The candidates are in, the fight is on and the punches are flying as we set tongue in cheek and "flASHback" on the week’s news that amused and confused:
» As Mufi Hannemann departed Honolulu Hale to run for governor, he gave himself an A-minus for his 5 1/2 years as mayor. He graded himself down the half-point for excessive modesty.
» His Democratic opponent, Neil Abercrombie, called Hannemann’s final week of city hall news conferences "an orgy of self-promotion." Reminds me of what Erica Jong said: "Jealousy is all the fun you think they had."
» Hannemann accused Abercrombie of wanting to retire to Washington Place after serving in Congress. Hannemann, on the other hand, is hoping to retire to Congress after serving in Washington Place.
» Abercrombie ripped Hannemann for bickering with the governor on rail transit and the federal government on sewage treatment. These kids. Neil hates it when Mufi doesn’t bicker exclusively with him.
» James "Duke" Aiona, the leading Republican candidate for governor, reminded voters he’s there for the general election and offers a different look from the two Democrats. He’s the one who isn’t covered in mud yet.
» While her would-be successors slugged it out, Gov. Linda Lingle was in Aspen, Colo., for a GOP governors meeting known to attract big political donors. She’ll leave office with the state general fund half empty and her campaign fund half full.
» The City Council set a special election to replace Hannemann for Sept. 18 instead of the November date some candidates wanted. With the tradewinds blowing so lightly, the atmosphere can take the extra hot air for only so long.
» Gary Hooser resigned his Senate seat to run for lieutenant governor but had to wait to file because of a Furlough Friday. LG hopefuls usually don’t have to start cooling their heels until after they’re elected.
» Cam Cavasso is running TV spots asking people whether they think he’s crazy for running against senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye. I suppose buying TV ads is as good a way to find out as paying a shrink.
» Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell was arrested for allegedly getting into a "wrestling match" with a police officer after a traffic stop in Kailua-Kona. He could face charges of speeding, resisting arrest and hitting the referee with a folding chair.
» And the quote of the week … from Hannemann in his speech to the Carpenters Union: "When I look in the audience, I look like you, you look like me. Is that a right thing to say?" Only if he needs their hammers to nail down his race card.