Don’t do it, Mufi

I’m hearing more rumblings that former Mayor Mufi Hannemann has been asking supporters if they think he should run for the West O‘ahu City Council seat being vacated by Todd Apo.

Most of those I’ve heard about have advised him not to run, and I hope he listens to them; it wouldn’t be good for him or the city.

The beating Hannemann took from Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary for governor — he got only 35.8 percent of the vote on O‘ahu — was the harshest voter repudiation of a sitting elected official not involved in in a major scandal that I’ve ever seen.

He could conceivably lose a council race against a credible opponent, and that would likely end his political career. But even if he won, it would gain him little unless he’s desperate for the pay check.

After all the work he’s done to build up his credentials as a chief executive and a heavy hitter in local politics, it makes no sense to throw himself back to the bottom of the political food chain in a legislative role that didn’t suit him well the first time around.

In his previous service on the council from 1994 to 2000, either he was in charge or he was a disruptive dissident. When he was in charge, he disrupted the administration to the point that his colleagues felt they needed to depose him as chairman.

If Hannemann started the cycle again in the current environment with a new mayor and five new council members coming in, he would most likely wreak havoc and voters would say “same old Mufi.”

If his aim is to run for mayor or Congress in 2012 or have another try for governor in 2014, there would be no advantage in running from the council. It would just look like he was abandoning another job to serve his ambition. He’s an established player who doesn’t need a manini base like the council.

The primary defeat had to be bitter for Hannemann, but voters said pretty loud and clear that they don’t want him right back in their faces.

If he hopes to revive his political career and again contend for Hawai‘i’s  highest offices, he needs to take some time to properly reflect on why things went so wrong for him and how he can persuade voters that he learned something from the loss.

It’s an essential step that Hannemann couldn’t take from the war zone the council would likely become with him on it.

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11 Comments on “Don’t do it, Mufi”

  1. ppcc Says:

    Mufi figures if he can gain control of the City council with Carlisle as Mayor for 2 yrs, it will be business as usual for all of them to continue to force rail down everyone’s throats regardless if Oahu does not receive the “verbal promise” of $1.5 billion from the Feds in 2012. It is looking like Obama will not get a 2nd term and all verbal promises by appointed FTA chief Rogoff to fund Oahu’s rail will be out the window. In the eyes of the public Mufi is a loser and probably will never be elected Gov or for one of the 2 Dan’s when they pass away, however rail special interests such as Parsons, Bombardier, rail contractors & developers, etc. will take GOOD CARE of Mufi if he manages to get elected to Apo’s seat and take leadership of the council. They figure if someone like Panos gets elected in 2 yrs given Carlisle might turn out to be “mufi lite”, rail special interest will need a known “rail” quantity controlling the City council.

    I don’t think anyone should ever underestimate politicians who are controlled and/or motivated by special interest, ego/power and what they will do to receive favor by special interest. With literally 10++ BILLION dollars at stake and hundreds of millions in maintenance cost for the life of a rail system, the move for Mufi to “downgrade” to the City council seat should surprise no one.

  2. hipoli Says:

    Nah. I disagree. If the guy wants to run, thats what he’s going to do. I imagine its a little thing called America. If he has his okole handed to him, then he gets to lick an even deeper wound. If he gets in, it will give him a platform to rebuild.

    Seriously, Dave – what else could he run for? A state senate seat? A house seat? Nah. Sure, he could wait around for the next round but look what happens to other former somebodies who wait around – like Case, like Matsunaga – people hold on to their bad taste or they forget your relevance.

    Or, who knows, maybe this is all rumors and he will indeed do as you are suggesting.

  3. WooWoo Says:

    Does he live in the district? I thought not.

  4. zzzzzz Says:

    @Woowoo–last I heard, he lives in ‘Aiea, Gary Okino’s district until his term expires.

    Dave doesn’t mention the possibility that Mufi really believes his vision of rail is actually good for the people of O’ahu, and is not just a vehicle that he thought help propel him to bigger and better things. I suppose that says what Dave thinks of that possibility.

  5. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Hipoli said: “If he has his okole handed to him, then he gets to lick an even deeper wound.”

    Thanks a lot. I might have had a nice day without that mental image.

  6. hipoli Says:

    Oops!! Too funny! Sorry ’bout that!

  7. charles Says:

    Mufi would have to parachute into the district so that’s a knock against him. My hunch is that this is all smoke and mirrors and the primary purpose is to scare off any wannabees from even thinking of running and clear the field for a few chosen ones.

  8. turk fontaine Says:

    I’m floored. I knew Mufi was as egotistical as Johnson, but iI’ve never thought he was as self pitying as Nixon, or as self destructive. Maybe it’s a trick. Maybe he has some ulterior motive, some secret devious plan. Wouldn’t be the first time.

  9. Michael Says:

    Join the Navy, mufi and learn to Captain a Pt Boat.
    Change your name to Kennedy.

  10. jaded Says:

    In a different context, it would make sense for Mufi to establish CD2 credentials in order to run against Mazie in 2012.

  11. Mike Middlesworth Says:

    Why would anyone think those of us who live in CD2 would vote for Mufi? We didn’t vote for him for governor…


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