by Andrew Walden
Just as in the 2006 Senate Primary race, Ed Case has once again been forced to abandon any hope of achieving change within the Hawaii Democratic Party.
In an email sent out to campaign supporters this morning, Case said:
We've taken apart the results and analyzed our options every which way. I've listened to the heartfelt advice of my family, our incredible campaign ‘ohana and so many others who share our dreams, and asked myself how I can best contribute. If it all lined up it'd be an easy decision, but it doesn't. Yet, a decision must be made.
My heart tells me to stay in this fight, but my head says this has become the wrong fight. So today I'm withdrawing my candidacy for the U. S. House of Representatives from Hawai‘i's great First District for the upcoming 112th Congress (2011-2012).
To our ‘ohana, I am so deeply grateful to each and all of you. We have shared the dream of a better way forward for our Hawai‘i and country and worked so hard together to achieve it.
Case repeated the message in a dramatic withdrawal speech before the State Democratic convention Sunday.
The Star Bulletin reports, “Democrats in the room reacted with an emotional display of shouts and clapping.”
At the 2006 Hawaii Democratic convention, Ed Case—then challenging Sen. Dan Akaka (D-HI) in the Hawaii Democratic Primary--got a very different reception. He was hounded on the convention floor by a scrum of by hostile delegates who questioned whether he was really a Democrat.
Now they have their answer.
After Case’s withdrawal speech, Sen. Dan Inouye told the convention, “I was deeply moved by Ed Case, he showed he was a Democrat."
The lesson is clear. One cannot challenge the old boy system and be a Hawaii Democrat.
Colleen Hanabusa praised Case’s : “…ability to put the strength of the party—and the good of Hawai‘i—ahead of his personal aspirations.” She added: “A united Democratic Party cannot fail.”
Perhaps Hanabusa needs to learn that stomping on those who disagree is not the same as building unity.
Republican leaders pointed out that Case’s withdrawal leaves Democrats saddled with a candidate many believe cannot beat the reelection campaign of Republican Congressman Charles Djou in the November 2 General Election. Hawaii GOP Chair Jonah Kaauwai said:
“Case correctly pointed out that the results of the special election eight days ago showed that 70% of the people who cast ballots, voted against the Democrat machine establishment. Hawaii' Democrats clearing the way for Colleen Hanabusa is great news because the DNC, DCCC and White House all agree she cannot beat Djou’s message of job creation, fiscal responsibility and government accountability.
“Congressman Charles Djou will win a full term in Congress in November because his message continues to resonate with Hawai'i voters as the Democratic Party establishment continues to put Hawai'i second to partisan insider games."
Republican National Committee Press Secretary Joanna Burgos responded:
“The general election will now be between Rep. Charles Djou, who listens to Hawaii and fights for lower taxes, and Colleen Hanabusa, the establishment candidate who ignores the people’s wishes and pushes forth the reckless spending and high taxes that have our nation headed in the wrong direction.
“A week ago, a majority of Hawaii voters overwhelmingly voted against the reckless policies that are weakening our economy. Come November, voters will once again reject Hanabusa’s high taxes and wasteful spending and will overwhelmingly support Djou’s winning message of lower taxes and government accountability.”
Congressman Charles Djou (R-HI) in an email statement sent out this afternoon wrote:
"I wish Ed and his family well in their future endeavors. Now voters will have a clear choice in November between the status quo and new leadership for Hawaii. I look forward to talking to the nearly 70 percent of voters who voted for change in the special election and all voters who recognize that business as usual isn't good enough."
Case isn’t though with politics. Even as he campaigned for Congress, he repeatedly expressed interest in another run at Senate. In his withdrawal message, Case wrote to supporters:
“…service has been and always will be central to my very being. So the question is not whether but when, where and how I can best continue to serve, and I know that path will emerge in its own time.”
SB: Case pulls out of Congressional Race
ADV: Case withdraws from Congressional race
2006: Case Defeat: Democratic Party Rejects Reform Candidates
Here is a look at the Democrats’ only candidate for Congress: