Hawaii Republicans gather to watch Trump inauguration
  • Monday, February 18, 2019
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Hawaii Republicans gather to watch Trump inauguration

  • DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM

    There was a no-host breakfast at Big City Diner in the Ward Entertainment Center to view the Trump inauguration on TV. About 63 Hawaii Republicans attended the event. Among them were Steve Stock, left, and Clif Burchfield watching the beginning of the TV broadcast of the inauguration.

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Hawaii Republicans buoyed by the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump gathered this morning at Big City Diner on Auahi Street to celebrate a new era of American politics.

They cheered as Trump appeared on television at the start of the inauguration ceremony and many said they wanted to enjoy the moment in the company of like-minded Trump supporters in an island state dominated by Democrats.

Like others, Charlie Goodwin, the retired Special Agent in Charge of the Honolulu FBI field office, had high hopes for the country — and for Hawaii — from a Trump administration.

“I’m hoping there will be more economic benefits for everyone,” Goodwin, 65, of Hawaii Kai, said long before the sun rose over Honolulu.

Goodwin especially hopes that Trump shows more support for law enforcement, among a long list of steps that Goodwin believes will help the country — “whether it’s business or the military.”

“First of all, he needs to bring jobs back to the United States,” Goodwin said.

Specifically for the islands, Goodwin said, “I’m optimistic Trump is going to rebuild the military, which is important for Hawaii.”

Pete Di Rocco, 69, of Kailua, a retired Customs and Border Protection agent, said he was one of the original three Hawaii Republicans who got Trump’s name on the Hawaii ballot.

Di Rocco grew up in Queen’s and has long been a Trump supporter.

“I grew up not far from where Donald grew up and I’m a big fan of his because he’s a man of his word,” Di Rocco said.

Di Rocco expects that Trump would question the wisdom of the oft-criticized Jones Act that affects shipping throughout the Pacific and likely would want to see more “accountability” for Honolulu’s financially troubled rail project.

Di Rocco especially hopes Trump makes good on his campaign promises to shore up America’s borders and boost the U.S. military.

If Trump faces any push back, Di Rocco said, “I expect him to use the bully pulpit to call them out for being obstructionists.”

Di Rocco has not been as excited about a U.S. president since Ronald Reagan.

Chris Predergast, a 63-year-old real estate broker from Pearl City, was slightly more muted than the 62 others who gathered at Big City Diner.

“I’m not hook, line and sinker for any candidate,” Predergast said.

Predergast said he had been “actually excited about President Obama” but he “sides more with Republican values.”

“Hawaii will see the benefits of a fiscally conservative administration,” Predergast said.

Trump critics, Predergast said, had “painted a false narrative (about Republicans). We are not misogynists. We are not racists. We are not anti-union. The opposition party did a real good job of painting that picture.”

Predergast hopes that Trump will make life better for average Americans and invigorate young Republicans, especially in Hawaii.

Until then, Predergast remained cautious about what might come next.

Today’s inauguration of Trump, Predergast said, “is like a wedding reception where everyone is smiling. Starting tomorrow, the nitty-gritty begins.”

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  • “I grew up not far from where Donald grew up and I’m a big fan of his because he’s a man of his word,” Di Rocco said. Which words are you referring to? When he talked about grabbing p*ssy? When he calls people with offensive, bullying names? When he denigrates women, minorities and the disabled? In those many instances, I hope Mr. Trump is NOT a man of his word.

    • But as few as you say we are …OUR POTUS TRUMP WON.
      Now it’s time to get to work…you I mean, who’s party is in complete & total disarray..even with your overwhelming majority here in Hawaii.

    • giggle…agree that “Republicans” out here are all weird acting. They are so out of step with Hawaii’s history and people. The Dems. out here just love them as the inept Republicans make Dems. look like a decent group by comparison.

    • You got the 5 field workers who “filled up” the diner in the photo above. And you got the 5 here posting multiple times an hour (so it looks like a lot more, but it’s 5). So now we’re talking double digits! If those 10 keep making babies, might overtake the Dems as soon as the 2516 elections. Yikes!

      • Just shows that Hawaii voters are a bunch of sheep, who will vote party line regardless of how bad their candidate is. Twice voting for Obama and then for Hillary proves my case. Democrats will call republicans all kinds of names. There is only one name democrats should be called on this inauguration day, and that is LOSER.

        • Everyone gets the same president. If one group is losers, then everyone is a loser.

          Are we all LOSERS or WINNERS?

      • 1) Wouldn’t it be more desperate to post sporadically over multiple hours than “multiple times in one hour”? If someone reads one comment, he logically reads them all…and may have responses for several. Nothing desperate about that, eh?
        2) 63, not 5…but I know it’s a nuisance to actually *read*.

  • Thank God American is coming to its senses and did not elect a career politician who is in it for themselves. If President Trump can deliver on 1/3 of his promises he will put American back on track on being great again. ???????????????????????? And President Trump

  • Trump critics, Predergast said, had “painted a false narrative (about Republicans). We are not misogynists. We are not racists. We are not anti-union. The opposition party did a real good job of painting that picture.”
    You might not be any of those things but you supported a man who is…

    • Misogynists don’t think they’re misogynists (women just belong in the kitchen and wherever men wisely want them).

      Racists don’t think they’re racists (in fact, are nice to the lesser minorities—if they behave “nicely”).

      Alcoholics don’t think they drink too much (a few drinks—during coffee break—helps them get through the day).

      Pedophiles don’t think they have a problem (they just LOVE kids).

      Trump fans don’t think it matters that he’s hiding his tax returns, changes his plan daily, forgets every promise, intentionally lied about Clinton and Obama, and won only with the help of Russia (because “HiLIARy is a felon”—that’s the only thing that matters!). Btw, has Trump picked a special prosecutor yet?

  • The most laughable comment in this article is that Trump “is a man of his word.” The speaker might try talking with any of the thousands of small contractors and sole proprietors who Mr. Trump has stiff over the years by not honoring his own signature on contracts.

    Being a 70 year-old who is stuck in his awful ways, he has not paid contractors who worked on his new hotel in Washington. No surprise there. He has always been a loathsome liar.

  • Trump received over 129,000 votes in Hawaii, so not everyone here is a fan of the Democrats. Most people who are Republicans and Libertarians have real jobs and actually work, not sponge off government handouts, so not everyone can take off from work at inauguration time to attend such an event.

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