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Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) official portrait
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D)
Ordinarily, when a sitting senator resigns or passes away, there's a flurry of speculation about who his or her successor might be. But following the death of Sen. Dan Inouye, things might be very different. That's because shortly before he died, Inouye transmitted a personal message to Gov. Neil Abercrombie, a fellow Democrat, asking that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be named as his replacement, calling her his "one and only choice." It's very hard to see how Abercrombie could deny the wishes of a dying man, particularly one as revered in Hawaii as Inouye, and especially since Abercrombie confirmed that Inouye was of sound mind when he made his request.

What's more, Hawaii law requires that a successor hail from the same political party as the senator he or she is replacing, and the leadership of the Hawaii Democratic Party will provide three names to Abercrombie, which he can then choose from. So presumably Hanabusa's name will wind up on that very short list.

It's easy to play Great Mentioner nonetheless—theoretically, Abercrombie has plenty of options, such as Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, Rep.-elect Tulsi Gabbard, or even himself. But as I say, I can't really imagine Abercrombie playing the maverick here. (Hanabusa and Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono reportedly have a frosty relationship, but surely that's not reason enough for Abercrombie to spurn Inouye.) Of course, anything can happen—and sometimes it does. Like they say about baseball, this is why they play the games.

(One side-note: Whoever does receive the appointment would then have to run again in 2014 for the final two years of Inouye's term—and then again in 2016 for a full term. But in a state as solidly blue as Hawaii, Republicans have virtually no shot, particularly when their best possible candidate, ex-Gov. Linda Lingle, got crushed by 63-37 by Hirono earlier this year.)

And if Hanabusa does get elevated to the Senate, then that will trigger a special election in her 1st District seat—the second such special for this seat in three years. Ordinarily, I'd expect a ton of names to come out of the woodwork for a safely blue open seat, but as we saw earlier this year when HI-02 was open thanks to Hirono's Senate run, interest was a lot lower than you might predict. So we could see a free-for-all, or we might see a much smaller affair. We'll just have to wait and see. (Let's just pray ex-Rep. Ed Case does not attempt yet another comeback.)

Incidentally, if you are interested in some trivia about Inouye's long career, UMN's Smart Politics blog catalogs the extraordinary 412 fellow senators who served alongside Inouye during his 49-year tenure. And with Inouye's passing and the imminent retirement of Hawaii's junior senator, Dan Akaka, that would leave New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg as the only World War II veteran in the Senate. Also of note: As the senior-most senator following the death of Robert Byrd of West Virginia, Inouye had been president pro tempore of the Senate (and thus third in the line of presidential succession). Now that honor will fall to Vermont's Patrick Leahy.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Depends on the Hawaii Dem Party then... (6+ / 0-)

    Is Hanabusa on good terms with the party?  I have to imagine she'd be chosen by the Gov if she was one of the choices, as he made this personal message public.  So if anything Abercrombie seems to be pressuring the state Dem Party to make Hanabusa an option for him to choose.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:31:14 AM PST

    •  I had the chance to meet Rep. Hanabusa and hear (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bear83, llbear, Nulwee, JBraden

      her speak in Honolulu a month ago. I was very impressed. She is clearly whip smart, thoughtful, articulate and seemed to support progressive values ("seemed" only because there wasn't much of an opportunity to truly delve into her politics in that particular setting).

      I'd love to hear what Hawaii progressives have to say about her.

      The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

      by flitedocnm on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:54:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hanabusa is as progressive as anyone being (5+ / 0-)

        considered.  The short list would include Mufi Hanneman (not happening) and Tulsi Gabbard and Ed Case (definitely not happening).

        Hawaii is a conservative state in many ways.  The idea of Abercrombie, a governor with poor approvals, going against the wishes of Inouye to appoint someone other than Hanabusa is just flat-out unlikely. Even if it weren't, Hanabusa has a leg up over all the competition.

        Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

        by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:17:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Clarifications for people that care about HI (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DemSign, JBraden

          politics:

          Hannemann is the same guy that played the "haole" card on Abercrombie in the Democratic party. I don't even particularly like Abercrombie and I was absolutely disgusted and full-throttle supporting Abercrombie after that. Abercrombie will never appoint him.

          Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

          by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:24:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Marriage Equality (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nulwee

          When I last spoke to her in DC, she was for civil unions and not marriage equality. I don't know if her views have changed or not. If she hasn't, then that makes her a downgrade from Inouye.

          •  Those were her views 6 months ago (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nolagrl, The Caped Composer

            So I doubt it.  Unfortunately, anyone is a downgrade from Inouye.

            The list of actual Democrats in Hawai'i who could be considered is not great.  Mufi Hannemann?  He's a Mormon who's linked to the far-right evangelical movement.

            Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

            by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:37:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  anyone else have an issue with this? (4+ / 0-)

    I'm personally fine with Hanabusa getting the appointment, and even if we didn't know about Inouye's message she'd probably still have a very good chance of getting the appointment.

    But as revered as Inouye is regarded in Haiwaii, is anyone else bothered by the undemocratic process here? It's really hard to say no to such a message but isn't the message to the governor inappropriate? I know a committee will submit names and the governor chooses, but still...so undemocratic.

    I'd be thinking the same thing if Tim Scott got his appointment because DeMint wanted it. Sources say DeMint communicated that message but there's no hard evidence of it, unlike the Hawaii case.

    •  I suspect this happens quite often, (5+ / 0-)

      but we never know about it.

      I'm not sure it's "undemocratic" -- it's simply politics. It would only be undemocratic if Abercrombie didn't have a choice.

      The only entitlement that needs reforming is the inbred belief of the 0.1% that they are entitled to 99.9% of the wealth and 100% of the power.

      by flitedocnm on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:50:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Appointment is undemocratic no matter what. (14+ / 0-)

      I don't see Inouye making his preference known as really exacerbating it.

      They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

      by Ponder Stibbons on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:54:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She'd be pretty high on the list anyway (8+ / 0-)

      As the senior member of the House delegation, and the only one who's not an incoming freshman.

      You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

      by Gpack3 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:58:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How is this Undemocratic? (6+ / 0-)

      Whoever gets the appointment will have to run in the next election (2014) for the remaining two years of Inouye's Senate seat. If the people don't like Hanabusa they can vote her out at that time.

      The only way to do it differently is to have a costly special election, where a hug percentage of voters don't turn out to vote. Hardly a great solution.

      I have no problems with this.

      •  I think larcae is pointing out the fact that (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Justanothernyer, JBraden, larcae, Frederik

        the late Senator Inouye's press person thought to tell us that Hanabusa was his "one and only choice." The fact is that Inouye doesn't actually have a choice about who replaces him. We don't have deathbed annointments of successors in our republic, which is what the press person was basically trying to do---put pressure on the Governor.

      •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

        Plus it's up to the states themselves to choose the mode of interim senators, the constitution leaves them free on the how:

        After all, the seventeenth amendement states the following:

        When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
        So, that gives the states the following options:
        - appointment by the governor until special election is held (and here's the option to call an early election or shedule it with the next regularly held general election). The states have the option to decided in which manner the Governor has to appoint: he can be free to chose anybody he wants (most states), or sometimes the state law states that the appointee has to be of the same party as the leaving senator (AZ) or sometimes the governor is even limited further and has to chose from a list provided by the party of the departed senator (HI, WY)
        - no appointment by the governor and vacant untill special election is held. This was what the MA law was changed to when Kerry ran for president.

        Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

        by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:06:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  There is a small-d democratic underpinning (3+ / 0-)

      since both the Senator and the Governor are elected, their judgement is to an extent, pre-approved by the voters. Particularly a Governor is hired for his executive judgement rather than having to poll every decision.
      This is a special case situation, the death or retirement of a Senator, where that executive judgement is put to the test.
      The candidates for this are also people that have been recently elected, approved by voters, presumably vetted and to an extent trusted. And they'll face reelection for the seat shortly.
      So what it loses in democratic process is short term, finite and designed to keep the Republic running smoothly, having someone cover the office, if nothing else. Hopefully that person is competent and a recommendation from the current officeholder should carry some weight.
      Politically, since all of the players are of the overwhelming majority party, it probably won't be controversial.
      Same with Nikki Haley. If she had picked Steven Colbert (which I wholeheartedly support), THAT would have been controversial. Picking Scott is probably what her constituents support.
      And again, if it's not what people in SC support, they'll get the chance to kick his TeaBagging butt to the kerb next year.

      If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

      by CwV on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:40:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  She'll have to run in a special in 2014 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO, Nulwee

      (Unless Inouye's seat would have naturally been up then).  I don't have an issue with it as long as the replacement is from the same party.  Statewide elections would be too expensive to have as a stand alone.  

      I like the Hawaii set-up in that it has to be the same party and the State Party puts together a list.  

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:45:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ah, I was wondering how that works (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nolagrl

        If it has to be same party, and the gov chooses, and it was a repub governor, I'd think he'd appoint the biggest DINO he could find. Glad the state party puts a list together.

        Although what happens if it's an independent? Then things could get interesting.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:17:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  17th amendement (0+ / 0-)

          It's up to the states themselves to choose the mode of interim senators, the constitution leaves them free on the how. The seventeenth amendement states the following:
           

          When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
          So, that gives the states the following options:
           - appointment by the governor until special election is held (and here's the option to call an early election or shedule it with the next regularly held general election). The states have the option to decided in which manner the Governor has to appoint: he can be free to chose anybody he wants (most states), or sometimes the state law states that the appointee has to be of the same party as the leaving senator (AZ) or sometimes the governor is even limited further and has to chose from a list provided by the party of the departed senator (HI, WY)
           - no appointment by the governor and vacant untill special election is held. This was what the MA law was changed to when Kerry ran for president.

          Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

          by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:10:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Inouye was elected in 2010 (0+ / 0-)

        so it'll be a special election in 2014 and a regular election in 2016. A bit like Gillibrand had to face after being appointed (special in 10 and regular in 12)

        Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

        by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:08:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think not it is undemocratic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CF of Aus

      I think this is one of the powers of the Governor, like other powers. The Governor was elected to follow a previously created procedure like in many other cases.

      In the following election the people will elect again.

      The people can like or dislike the procedure but I think not it is undemocratic. The issue would be to change or not the procedure.

      •  Only if the state provides for that option (0+ / 0-)

        The 17th amendment clearly states:
         

        When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.
        Appointment is thus optional and a state could provide otherwise.

        Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

        by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:09:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I mean that (0+ / 0-)

          One way or other, it is a legal procedure approved by the citizens. It is an issue of finding the best procedure.

          I see it full democratic. All the different legal procedures are democratic for me.

    •  Inouye Stating His Preference Not Undemocratic (0+ / 0-)

      What is undemocratic is when party activists feel obliged to "honor" the request due to their own internal, undemocratic values. As  a Hawaii Democrat, I am stunned when I hear some Democratic activists reflecting the rightwing attack on Inouye, that he was the "emperor" or the "political boss" of the party who called all the shots.

      I have fought against that lie for years. Yet, now the Senator is dead, I see some party activists behave as if it were true. As if the central committee of the party should be a rubber stamp for Inouye.

      Colleen Hanabusa is not a particularly progressive Democrat. She attacked Mazie Hirono for voting for the House Progressive Caucus budget because it meant significant cuts in military spending. As the President of the Hawaii Senate, she delayed passage of our civil unions bill after having posed as its champion. This letter from Senator Inouye was hand-delivered to Governor Inouye by Walter Dods, the former Chair of First Hawaiian Bank and of the American Bankers Association, one of the key corporate influences over Senator Inouye for the past few decades. Many of the same special interests who held sway over Senator Inouye have cultivated Congresswoman Hanabusa's career as well, hoping to retain their influence through her.

      Mazie Hirono is significantly more progressive than Hanabusa. Hanabusa's chief rival for the appointment to the senate is Lt Gov Brian Schatz, who has stronger backing from environmental, GLBT and good government groups than Hanabusa.

      Ed Case has zero chance of getting the appointment. But if Hanabusa were to be appointed, her congressional seat would be declared vacant and a special election would have to be held. The likeliest candidates for that election include Linda Lingle, Charles Djou, Ed Case and Mufi Hannemann, any of whom would be a disaster. It is unlikely both Republicans, Lingle and Djou, would run against each other, meaning the Democrats would split the vote and the Republican would stand a good chance of winning. A repeat of what happened when Case and Hanabusa split the vote in the last special election and Charles Djou won.

      Which is another reason why Brain Schatz would make a better choice. His politics overall are more liberal in most areas. His youth (40) will allow him to acquire the seniority we have just lost through Inouye's death and Akaka's retirement and his appointment would not create an opening for a probable Republican victory.

      Hanabusa's name will be on the list the Democrats send to the Guv. But so will Schatz's, along with a third, as yet undetermined name. I predict Schatz will get it.

      "... if I can lead you into the promised land someone else can just as easily lead you back out again." --Eugene Debs

      by Shliapnikov on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 01:43:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anyone know the background (9+ / 0-)

    on this?

    (Hanabusa and Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono reportedly have a frosty relationship,
    It's interesting that a Hannabusa appointment would make Tulsi Gabbard, 31, the dean of the House delegation from Hawaii.

    Filibuster reform now. No more Gentleman's agreements.

    by bear83 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:40:28 AM PST

    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden

      But iirc, they were primary opponents in 2002? Is that right?

      GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

      by Attorney at Arms on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:18:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No (0+ / 0-)

        That's not right. I have no idea what the background is. Sorry about that.

        GOP: The Party of Acid rain, Abortion of the American Dream, and Amnesty for Wall Street.

        by Attorney at Arms on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:20:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They Were Primary Opponents (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBraden

          in 2006 for the House seat that then Rep. Case was vacating to challenge Senator Akaka.  Hirono won the race very narrowly.

          Hirono and Case battled in 2002 for the Democratic nomination Governor I believe.  Hirono won the primary but lost to then Mayor Linda Lingle.

      •  No. Mazie Hirono represented HI-02. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, JBraden

        Hanabusa was in a jungle primary with Ed Case and Charles Djou.

        The alleged frosty relationship goes back years. Much of it is not substantiated as far as I know. I do not doubt that it exists, but question how much is truly known.

        Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

        by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:20:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  So when would she be sworn in, if chosen? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    condorcet

    I don't think it would be fair for her to be Hawaii's Senior Senator.

    20, Dude, Chairman DKE Gay Caucus! (College IN-09) (Raised IL-03, IL-09) Tammy Baldwin and Elizabeth Warren for Senate!

    by ndrwmls10 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:42:37 AM PST

  •  HI-01: Djou(R) would be in good position to make (0+ / 0-)

    a comeback.  Since the general is a jungle style election. It seems like more than one Dem will run in the special(even if Case doesnt), thus splitting the Dem vote.

    •  That (0+ / 0-)

      was my immediate thought upon hearing news of the Senate vacancy.

    •  Bah (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, Zack from the SFV, JBraden, NMLib

      Djou knows he would just be borrowing the seat until the next general election.  Don't think he will even bother considering his back to back losses in 2010 and 2012.  He knows he can't hold this seat.

    •  Yeah right. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nirbama, JBraden

      Case is either going to run or not, but he knows there will be hell to pay if he lets Djou sneak through again. His name is already long-tarnished within the Democratic Party.

      You're placing way too little emphasis on machine politics, the same process which produced Hirono and Hanabusa.

      Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

      by Nulwee on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:22:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hell no! (0+ / 0-)

      He's an idiot.

      The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honored and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage laborers. - The Communist Manifesto

      by nolagrl on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 04:56:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Either Djou or Lingle Would Be in a Good Position (0+ / 0-)

      To win if Hanabusa is appointed and a special election is held to fill the congressional seat. There will only be one credible Republican candidate. There will undoubtedly be multiple Democrats. Dems will split the vote, once again, and the Republican will win.

      It is a strong argument against Abercrombie appointing Hanabusa. That, plus, they don't like each other.

      One incentive for Abercrombie TO consider appointing Hanabusa might be concern she would run against him for Governor in 2014 if she sees her path to the Senate blocked. Abercrombie has gone from being very popular--winning in a landslide in 2010--to being very unpopular now. A lot of Democrats are hoping a credible challenger will show up to run against him in the primary. Most the unions would support Hanabusa. And even though Hanabusa is not viewed as a friend of the environment, many environmentalists are "spitting mad" at Abercrombie for action he has taken to gut environmental laws, support conversion of prime agricultural lands for development and for his stubborn dismissal of their concerns. School teachers, a  significant factor in Hawaii elections, are also "spitting mad." Seniors are another group Neil has alienated needlessly.

      If Colleen decides to return to Hawaii to fulfill her ambitions, Neil might be in her sights. Which MIGHT be an incentive for him to appoint her to the Senate despite their mutual antipathy. And the despite the risk of a Republican winning back the congressional seat.

      "... if I can lead you into the promised land someone else can just as easily lead you back out again." --Eugene Debs

      by Shliapnikov on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 02:00:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  General Shinseki (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    General Shinseki would be a most distinguished choice for Hawaii & the USA...

    •  And then offer Sen Kirk the VA gig. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

      by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:46:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is he up for it? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davybaby

        Cabinet Secretary is a much harder job to do when you're recovering from a stroke than Senator.

        You don't fight the fights you can win. You fight the fights that need fighting. -President Andrew Sheppard (D-Wisconsin)

        by Gpack3 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:28:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  A cabinet secretary actually has to manage… (0+ / 0-)

          …his department and make decisions. Kirk's Chief of Staff is handling that for him (though frankly Kirk, like Giffords, really should have resigned, 11 months and no sign of him returning to duty).

          Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

          by DemSign on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:49:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  He Should Be Returning (0+ / 0-)

            in January or that is the plan at least.

          •  Watch out or that theory bites you in the behind! (0+ / 0-)

            Under that premise our Tim Johnson should have resigned as well... after all he had a severe stroke in 06which took him out of the running for a very long term.

            As to the chief of staff: he can handle the day to day running of the office but he can't vote or make other decisions only a senator is entitled to.

            Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

            by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:56:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  It'll certainly be Hanabusa; (7+ / 0-)

    There is no one else with her political stature and good-standing with the state's Democratic party. She's an ex Majority leader of the State Senate, and was very close to Inouye. Hannemann might still have enough loyalists in the state party apparatus to get himself nominated, but he and Abercrombie have a very bitter, long-standing acrimony between them, founded by several extremely nasty primary campaigns Hannemann waged against him, first in the 1980s over HI-01 house seat, and again in the 2010 gubernatorial primary where Hannemann openly tried to attack Abercrombie as unfit because the state didn't need a white governor.

    As for HI-01, that's the more likely place for a Hannemann comeback attempt. And Democrats have to hope a good, progressive candidate comes forth to stop him, as Hannemann is a real piece of work.

    "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

    by ArkDem14 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:59:43 AM PST

    •  Hanabusa is most likely by far (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, nirbama, JBraden, ArkDem14, NMLib

      As for the House seat, Hannemann is effectively done with politics I think.  Getting crushed in back to back elections has shown that it's not just the strength of his opponents, people just don't like Hannemann anymore.  Ed Case is also probably done at this point.  And despite the fears of others, I think Djou is done too.  He knows that even if he could sneak by in a crowded jungle primary again, he's out again in the next general election.  I don't think he will even bother with that kind of disruption to his life for another abbreviated term in Congress.

      So who will run?  Dunno.  Maybe Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz.  Or some of the state senators/representatives.  Can't really think of who is "next in line", and being next in line is a big deal in a machine state like Hawaii.  That's why Hanabusa is such a likely choice for this Senate seat, regardless of Inouye's wishes.  But I don't know who's next in line for the House.

    •  More women in the Senate… (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ArkDem14

      …is more gooder for the country.

      Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

      by DemSign on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:51:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Former Gov? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Shliapnikov

      What about a former Dem governor like Cayetano or Waihee? Or Lt. Gov. Schatz? Don't thay have enough stature?

      Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

      by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:59:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cayetano is a very old man (0+ / 0-)

        And he left office so deeply unpopular that Linda Lingle was propelled into office. Cayetano, with his ethical issues and general ineffectiveness and abrasive style, is deeply unpopular with Republicans and independents in the state, and his conservative, machine background, makes him unpopular with many liberal and progressive-minded Democrats.

        If Schatz runs for anything I think it will be for Hanabusa's open House seat.

        "Once, many, many years ago I thought I was wrong. Of course it turned out I had been right all along. But I was wrong to have thought I was wrong." -John Foster Dulles. My Political Compass Score: -4.00, -3.69, Proud member of DKE

        by ArkDem14 on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 04:11:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  the gov should honor the request of a real hero (0+ / 0-)

    this should be the easiest thing for this governor to do. Later, when election time comes around he can campaign for his personal choice, but now is not the time to emulate the republicans, by paying only lip service to the privilage and honor of service to one's country.

    (Hanabusa and Sen.-elect Mazie Hirono reportedly have a frosty relationship, but surely that's not reason enough for Abercrombie to spurn Inouye.)
    I trust Ms. Hanabusa will be arriving, to serve the state of Hawaii and her country in D.C. real soon.

    The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

    by longtimelurker on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:31:31 PM PST

    •  Personally I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

      The seat isn't Inouye's to decide from beyond the grave... that's never what the Constitution intended. Abercrombie should decided, according to the rules the state of Hawaii has in place for such occasion, out of the three candidates presented to him, who HE thinks is the best person to represent the state.

      Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

      by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:01:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We've got to change the Presidential succession (0+ / 0-)

    I know it's unlikely that the President, Vice-President and Speaker of the House could die on the same day but it's awful that we have a system where by that scenario would almost always guarantee a person in their 80s or better to become President.

    This will probably never be taken up, and now that a relatively young (72) man is about to assume the office it's probably not urgent but I really wish our Senators could swallow their institutional pride and just make the Majority Leader Senator Pro Temp.  It's nothing but tradition that makes them give this title to the guy who's been there the longest.

    "Unrestricted immigration is a dangerous thing -- look at what happened to the Iroquois." Garrison Keillor

    by Spider Stumbled on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 01:57:46 PM PST

    •  Senate rules are the problem (0+ / 0-)

      Don't change the presidential succesion as it's the Senate rules which are the problem. Which could be solved by making the majority leader also president pro tempore instead of the most senior (which de facto means elderly) member of the majority party.

      Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

      by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 05:03:02 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  another state with an all- (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    longtimelurker, kovie, pistolSO

    female Senate delegation...

    Plus the already record setting 20 female senators would be increased to 21.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:08:17 PM PST

    •  Three of them on the "west coast" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pistolSO

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:19:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, if you go by... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kovie, The Caped Composer, pistolSO

        census region, the next congress (not counting Colleen yet) is:

        region: total women / total seats

        Northeast: 5/18 = 28% female
        Midwest: 6/24 = 25% female
        West: 6/26 = 23% female
        South: 3/32 = 9% female

        that "which one of these is not like the others" game comes to mind...

        "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

        by JackND on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:34:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Um, Dixieland? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JackND

          As an aside, I just found out where the word "Dixie" comes from. Apparently during the War of 1812 the state of Louisiana issued a 10 dollar note, and since it had a French heritage, it was also called a dix dollar note, eventually nicknamed a "Dixie". To think of all the women (and a female country band) named after a long-obsolete ten dollar bill.

          And that was your Cliff Claven moment of the day.

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:53:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  OMG if she's picked (0+ / 0-)

    then that means 3 "west coast" states with an all-female senate contingent (in addition to CA & WA)--all of whom are Dems--4 "west coast" states with an all-Dem contingent (OR), and out of the 5 "west coast" states (AK), that's 7 out of 10 women and 9 out of 10 Dems. Hey Oregon, you listening?

    Also, of course, that means at least 21 women in the new senate, 18 of them Dems (outside chance of 22 depending on who replaces Kerry but that seems doubtful unless it's Vicky Kennedy).

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 02:19:24 PM PST

  •  Rep Hanabusa is a member of the New Democrat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dumbo

    Coalition, unlike Mazie Hirono who chose the Progressive Caucus.  I would describe the New Democrat Coalition as the corporate democratic wing of the party.  Somewhat better than Blue Dogs, but not progressive by any means.  The New Democrat birds flocking together include Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Feinstein, Ben and Bill Nelson--not exactly our best democratic senators.  
    She does have some kick ass qualifications coming from the Waianae coast (the 'wilder' side of Oahu):  she rose to the top to become President of the Senate  after being Majority Leader.  She is a  warrior politician.
    My guess Gov Abercrombie would prefer Lt Gov Brian Schatz, who I perceive as more progressive than Hanabusa, but I do not see him going against the wishes of Sen Inouye.  He was a giant of Hawaiian politics.
    Sen Inouye's last word:  "Aloha".

    Elizabeth Warren 2016!

    by windwardguy46 on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:07:54 PM PST

    •  Yes. I saw that on wiki. (0+ / 0-)

      That's the deal killer.  I hope Hawaiian progressives can put a stop to that.

    •  Membership aside (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBraden, pistolSO, The Caped Composer

      Hirono and Hanabusa have practically identical voting records and have not deviated from the caucus on any major votes, unlike many members of the New Democrats, Blue Dogs, and DLC.

      Hanabusa is nowhere near Lieberman, Landrieu, or the Nelsons.  If picked as senator, she will vote with the liberals, as she has been doing in the House.

      Plenty of Democrats are in these coalitions but vote as liberals.  Rep. Mike Thompson from California is a Blue Dog, but you wouldn't know it from his record!

    •  NDC membership does not necessarily (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bumiputera

      preclude a progressive voting record. Hanabusa is one example, but so is Rush Holt, Gonzalez, Moran, Donnelly, a lot of the CA and CT members....

      British guy with a big interest in US politics; -1.88, -4.05. A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

      by General Goose on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:07:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  should we be concerned? (0+ / 0-)

      I hope not. We don't need a repeat of the "blue dog" fiasco.
      Your layout makes her seem problematic. Seriously, are you sure? Sigh. No more distractions. Kennedy, Bird?
      aaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggghhhhhh.
      Christ. I hope the majority leader will wield all of his authority to keep the democratic agenda moving forward.

      The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

      by longtimelurker on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 08:40:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have been thinking about this (0+ / 0-)

        and something has been nagging at the back of my "mind"
        in relation to this post:

        Rep Hanabusa is a member of the New Democrat
        Coalition, unlike Mazie Hirono who chose the Progressive Caucus.  I would describe the New Democrat Coalition as the corporate democratic wing of the party.  Somewhat better than Blue Dogs, but not progressive by any means.  The New Democrat birds flocking together include Joe Lieberman, Mary Landrieu, Feinstein, Ben and Bill Nelson--not exactly our best democratic senators.  
         She does have some kick ass qualifications coming from the Waianae coast (the 'wilder' side of Oahu):  she rose to the top to become President of the Senate  after being Majority Leader.  She is a  warrior politician.
         My guess Gov Abercrombie would prefer Lt Gov Brian Schatz, who I perceive as more progressive than Hanabusa, but I do not see him going against the wishes of Sen Inouye.  He was a giant of Hawaiian politics.
         Sen Inouye's last word:  "Aloha".
        and I have to say the late Senator knew his replacement as well as anyone else, and knowing her, he recommended her to replace him.

        The governor of Hawaii should honor his wish. With all due respect, the man still had his faculties when he made the recomendation.

        The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

        by longtimelurker on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 10:10:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I remember that Hanabusa has historically had (0+ / 0-)

      strong labor support.

      28, Male, MA-08 (hometown MI-06)

      by bumiputera on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 11:02:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Inouye's 412 Colleagues (0+ / 0-)

    Of the 412 fellow senators who had served with Inouye, only one went on to become President: Barack Obama.

  •  Special Election (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederik

    I deeply respect the late Senator, but it's not up to him to name a successor. Personally, I'd like to see someone who will be a temporary replacement and serve  until the special election in 2014. In that special election I'd like to see Tulsi Gabbard run, after she gets her feet wet serving her first term in the House of Representatives.

  •  I've been reading up on Hanabusa (0+ / 0-)

    on wiki, and some of the other names mentioned.  I don't like her.  New Democrat Coalition.  Allegations of corruption...  This is almost an appointment for life because of Hawaii's strong Democratic tilt, and I don't see why Hawaiian progressives should have to settle for this.  Inouye was a nice guy, okay, but that senate seat is NOT his property to leave in a will.

    Schatz sounds like he would be pretty good.

  •  I was never a fan of Inouye. (0+ / 0-)

    I believe Inouye helped spearhead that anti-video game witchhunt in the early 1990s, when he could have spent that time doing useful things for his constituents.  Here's hoping that Hanabusa is a big improvement with her head in the right place (read: not up her ass).

  •  Here's a longshot but... (0+ / 0-)

    Why not Maya Soetoro-Ng, President Obama's younger half-sister? I've seen her on television many times and she is an intelligent and articulate (though not an especially charismatic) woman, and comes across as a progressive. She has a PhD, was a high School history teacher, current writer, researcher, and an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii (on leave now working on a book according to wikipedia). She is also fluent in Indonesian & Spanish. At the very least, she should be considered for replacing Hanabusa in the 1st district where she lives (Honolulu) if Hanabusa is appointed to the Senate, so no carpetbagger issues. I don't know if she has political ambitions but she could be a formidable force if she does.

  •  Hawaiian seniority rule (0+ / 0-)

    With regards to the succession of the recently departed true American hero and great statesman, Daniel Inouye (may he rest in peace), I believe it’s traditional in Hawaii that upon the death of a senator, with respect to their seniority, one of the sitting Representatives gets promoted to Senator… As Hirono has just been elected to the senate in her own right, she’s out.

    I would love to have Tulsi Gabbard in the Senate (imagine the clout she could accumulate over the years as she's relatively young) but she has just been elected to her first term (in succession to Hirono) and hasn’t been sworn in yet, and Hanabusa has been elected to her second term, so I expect that Hanabusa will get the nod. Especially as it’s been said that Inouye send a letter to Abercrombie before he died requesting she’d be appointed to succeed him… As Gabbard is still in her early thirties, I imagine she'll get her turn one day to move up to the Senate if she just stays long enough in the House.

    Because of this seniority succession rule, the Hawaii establishment united against Case when he had the gall to challenge Sen. Akaka in 2006: because he didn't wait for his turn. And due to the seniority tradition Hanabusa deferred to Hirono in 2012.

    The question is who will be named as the three candidates from whom Abercrombie has to choose… that Hanabusa will be one of the three is pretty much a certainty but who else will figure? And how much will he feel bound by Inouye’s “request”.

    Inouye’s death is politically significant though as Hawaii will lose a lot of clout in the 113th Congress: both Sen. Inouye and Sen. Akaka had collected a lot of seniority (which means power) and they will both have left the Senate through the office of death and retirement within a fortnight of eachother. For a small state this is a huge political blow.

    Obama-Biden in 2012: four more years!

    by Frederik on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 03:03:54 AM PST

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