Hanabusa: Lingle resonates with voters
Civil Beat: "I've always thought that it would be fun to run against Lingle," Hanabusa said. "I tell people, probably no one knows Lingle as well as I do. I would never take her lightly. That's the mistake that Democrats are making."
Hanabusa was Hawaii Senate president during the time that Lingle was the state's governor. Hanabusa calls Lingle an "extremely good politician" and a "formidable candidate" with an uncanny ability to connect with voters.
"The number of years that the Democrats were in complete control of the governorship and everything else, and she was able to break in," Hanabusa said. "She was the first woman. She's not from Hawaii... Everyone said a neighbor island mayor's never going to win the governorship, and she did. There's something about her that resonates."
National political trackers are abuzz with the news of Lingle's candidacy, which makes the U.S. Senate race in Hawaii a must-watch contest as the GOP tries to reclaim the Senate majority. And while national Democrats scramble to emphasize Lingle's conservative Republican roots, Hanabusa says they are missing the point. Hawaii is brimming with Democrats, but Hawaii voters seriously consider factors other than party affiliation when casting ballots.
"People in D.C. have no clue about Hawaii politics," Hanabusa said. "They have no idea what matters in Hawaii and how people identify with their elected officials... From what I know of the voters in Hawaii, voters in Hawaii are going to (decide): Who do they feel can best represent them, and who do they like?" ….
"The real issue is going to be, unfortunately, the line-up is a repeat of 2002," Hanabusa said. "If there's anything I'm hearing, it's like, 'This is 2002 all over again.'"
CB: Lingle, Akaka Play Phone Tag
read … Hanabusa
Hawaii Democrats doubt National Democrats Strategy
Star-Adv: Some Hawaii Democrats have privately doubted the strategy of painting Lingle as part of the far right, since she governed mostly as a moderate.
"Voters are very discerning," Lingle said. "They're not robots. They don't just go down the line. They vote what's in the interest of their family and their business and the state of Hawaii."
Other moderate Republicans who have drawn some political support from Democrats during their careers, such as state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe) -- who lost to Akaka in 2006 -- also believe Lingle has a chance.
"I don't think having the president coming from Hawaii is going to be what people are thinking about," Thielen said. "I think they're thinking about jobs, the economy, and that's her strength. She knows how to run things and put people back to work."
read … National Democrats Off Key
Lingle could Help Win Nine Senate Seats
Civil Beat: As The Washington Post pointed out, Lingle's past victories indicate that she can appeal to moderate Democrats — one reason why Democrats were so quick to play up Lingle's conservative roots amid news of her Senate candidacy.
Lingle's ability to win in a solidly blue state is not lost on national political analysts who identify Lingle as a top GOP recruit who, as the National Journal put it, is turning Hawaii into "an unlikely Senate battleground."
Just the fact that she's running is seen as a coup for Republicans. The GOP donations that will flood Lingle's campaign coffers will likely make the race more expensive for Democrats — which could, in turn, stymie the cashflow to Democrats in other battleground states. Democrats are already trying to defend twice as many Senate seats as Republicans in 2012.
Republicans could make strides in Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin, among other states.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Lingle is giving Republicans "one of their best opportunities" to take back the Senate.
The Hill calls Lingle "the only Republican" who could have made this race competitive.
read … Lingle Makes Hawaii Senate Race a Must-Watch
From Djou Campaign:
The Djou for Hawaii campaign released the following statement today regarding former Governor Linda Lingle’s announcement that she will enter the race for the U.S. Senate.
Former Congresswomen Pat Saiki, Djou for Hawaii’s Honorary Campaign Chair said, “Governor Lingle has the executive experience and leadership skills we need in our nation's capital. Under her leadership, our economy grew, jobs were created, and our state moved closer to a clean energy future. Lingle's record demonstrates that she will be a strong, independent voice for the people of Hawaii. We look forward to seeing Linda Lingle elected to the U.S. Senate.”
Lingle Platform: More Jobs, Less Business Regulation, Boosting Tourism, are Top Priorities
Hawaii Reporter: But Lingle, 58, wasn’t as focused on the $8 million to $10 million she expects to have to raise for this race to get out her message and defend herself against those attacks – or claims Democrats are already making about her record.
Instead, Lingle unveiled a new platform that she will spend the next several months pushing in talk stories and meetings around the state.
“My highest priority is job creation and economic growth for our nation and at home. This is especially important for our state because we are so reliant on tourism, and people only come here if they have discretionary income and confidence in the future,” Lingle said.
Job creation will come as the business climate improves. Lingle wants to cut burdensome and unnecessary regulations. Her idea is to implement an impact statement process for new regulations proposed by the government, similar to an Environmental Impact Statement, which would determine how many jobs would be lost if the regulation became law. “If we lose a million jobs, it would not be worth it,” she said.
read … Lingle