Colleen Hanabusa: National Dems had "bum information" on Hawaii special
By Felicia Sonmez Washington Post “The Fix” (With helpful annotations in parenthesis…courtesy of Hawai`i Free Press)
Hawaii state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D) said ahead of a meeting with national Democrats in Washington this week that she's willing to bury the hatchet with them -- but not before reminding them of their poor judgment in deciding to oppose her in the May 22 special election for Hawaii's 1st district seat.
Hanabusa said that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's preference for former Rep. Ed Case (D) in the special election was based on "bum information" in an interview with the Fix Monday. "I'm president of the Senate. I'm not a neophyte when it comes to understanding political alignments and misalignments," she added. (Is that why she "aligned" with Mehau against Bronster?)
Hanabusa came in second behind Rep. Charles Djou (R) in the three-way special election in May for the seat of former Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D), who resigned to run for governor.
(Case has since announced he will not run for the seat in the fall and is throwing his support behind Hanabusa; Hanabusa, who says she's talked with Case "at length" and notes that members of Case's team have joined up with her campaign, called her former rival's move "a magnanimous gesture." (Case’s “endorsement” speech featured the line “Colleen, I don't hate you.” His letter to supporters: “Stay involved with some other candidacy.”)
National Democrats had opted against supporting Hanabusa in the special out of concern that her record was too liberal for her to pick up the necessary support from independents to beat Djou. (Historical revisionism. The National Dems said it was because of her “record in the Legislature” which is an evasive way of saying BROKEN TRUST. See: National Democrats: Hanabusa “unelectable”)
But now that Hanabusa is the sole Democrat running in the race against Djou, national Democrats have begun to rally behind her. The DCCC has named her one of its "Red to Blue" candidates, and Hanabusa noted that DCCC chairman Chris Van Hollen, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and other top Dems have expressed their support for her after the special. (Are these the bums with the information?)
"Hopefully, what they will get to know is me and why I was able to do what we were able to do in that election," Hanabusa said of House Democratic leaders, adding: "I think it's important to just simply put things aside and say, 'What has happened has happened, and how do we move together into the future?'"
Hanabusa said that going forward, she expects that Djou's incumbency will be the central issue of the campaign.
"Charles Djou will now have a record, which he did not have when we started this whole special election," Hanabusa said. The two votes that Hanabusa pointed to were Djou's votes against the extension of unemployment benefits and against financial regulatory reform. She said that while Djou has touted himself as independent from national Republicans, he's "voted just purely along partisan lines."
The district leans toward Democrats. It voted for Obama with 70 percent in 2008 -- although four years earlier Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won it by a much narrower margin, 53 percent to 47 percent. It's also ranked on The Fix's latest House Line as the ninth most likely seat to flip party control.
As for the White House's potential involvement in the race (the district was Obama's home for much of his youth), Hanabusa said she's not sure what lies ahead.
"I have no idea what they're going to do," Hanabusa said, laughing. (Crying.) "They're not on my list, by the way. I don't have an invitation for that yet."
(Fascinating…see photo below.)
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