Rove, Rove, Rove your boat

Hawai‘i is getting its first taste of mainland style political campaigning with the spate of national ads pouring into the 1st Congressional District race between Charles Djou and Colleen Hanabusa, and it’s not easy on the stomach.

The third-party TV spots are done independently of the campaigns and display little understanding of local sensibilities; you have to wonder if they do the campaigns more harm than good.

There have been bad and misleading ads on both sides, but a spot that stands out to me as one of the worst of the breed is the latest attack ad on Hanabusa by American Crossroads, a group led by Karl Rove that is dumping more than $100,000 into the race in the final weeks.

It’s an amateurish, generic cartoon presentation barely tailored for Hawai‘i, showing a poorly drawn and stereotypical figure of an Asian female sitting on a yacht called the “Big Spender” and tossing around greenbacks.

There’s no mention of local issues as it attacks Hanabusa with GOP buzzwords about “Nancy Pelosiʻs tsunami of spending,” the “trillion-dollar health care program” and “cap and trade.”

These preach to the converted and do nothing to speak to voters who still may be undecided. I wouldn’t be surprised of the cheesy come-on costs Djou a couple of points in the polls.

Rove, who was the chief political adviser to President George W. Bush, is supposed to be one of the smartest GOP strategists in the fight to regain control of Congress. If this bush-league production is an example of his work, I don’t get it.

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14 Comments on “Rove, Rove, Rove your boat”

  1. Michael Golojuch, Jr. Says:

    This is not the first time we have seen mainland style politics.

    The first time was in 1998 when the Mormons and the Catholics dumped MILLIONS to buy the election.

    We saw it last year and again this year when Focus On the Family and others were dumping money into this state.

    So the LGBT community and our allies have seen it all before and yes it will get uglier.

  2. Jim Loomis Says:

    Rove and the rest of that Republican crowd are cynical liars who are clearly contemptuous of the very people they are courting: the shallow-thinkers and the uninformed. Their advertising is insulting to any thoughtful voter. It is distressing that so many Americans — both on the mainland and here in Hawaii — swallow that stuff.

  3. hipoli Says:

    There are two words that I think best fit the current Republican ads, from the unflattering pictures to the over the top content to the voiceovers that have that condesending ‘we’re smarter than you’: Cocky and Obnoxious.

    Let’s call these ads what they are already.

    Cocky and Obnoxious.

  4. hugh clark Says:

    This is a basic IQ test to determine how dumb the Hawaii voter may be. Not only that we now learn Rove and his gang stole the photo of Hanabusa and doctored it. Not clever. No class.

  5. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    I sure hope the people of Hawaii come through with their historic sensibilities about negative campaigning. Would be nice if this stuff backfired. It’s too bad that both sides are using negatives to some degree, though.

  6. Richard Gozinya Says:

    “Cocky and Obnoxious”

    Great name for a rock group.

  7. Michael Says:

    If you made the woman blonde and with glasses it would look like lingle.

    One mentions Mainland politics versus Island Politics. This is old news and something that I knew for awhile.

    Now its the people of Hawaii. What now, someone commenting from the Mainland? To disassociate from being The People of Hawaii to the People of the Mainland. What else? Mainland influence! Fore fathers of American History. Missionaries. Both sides meaning Hawaii and Mainland? I beg your pardon.

    I’m smarter than you, cocky and obnoxious, I can say in ONE NAME, but I won’t. It would be called a homoerotic fantasy of mine mentioned by such person.
    Gag me!

    Hugh Clark, If you voted in Hawaii that puts you in the Front of No Class. Does this make you smarter than a Hawaii voter? How well did you do on your basic IQ Test? I failed, cause I did not spell my name correctly, everything else I aced. Need ketchup with your foot?

    Hawaii people like myself don’t care who votes but how they attitute their opinions in my life.

  8. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    I never watch tv ads because I record everything I watch including sports. When the game/program goes on break, I just hit the button and skip over all the ads to the next inning or the next segment of the show.

    I imagine that the major tv stations are jumping for joy at the profits they’re racking up.

    Is anyone here ready for a serious discussion about publicly-financed elections including a ban on privately-funded advertising?

    Have other Western countries done away with publicly-financed campaigns or is the United States still the only major First World country with these so-called free elections?

  9. NewsyMaui Says:

    I love watching these pergresseves get together and talk about how much more intelligent they all are.

    It is particularly amusing when you get to know them and find out what they amount to in real life.

  10. Nikki Heat Says:

    Where’s @Kolea?

    So is this in-flux of out-of-state/third party cash like a mini federal stimulus bill for our shrinking MSM TV cabal? “Shovel Ready” stuff gets put on the air first (and someone suggested to the highest bidder– did someone change the practice of you get time slots you pay for?)?

  11. jaded Says:


    Even if you paid for the commercials, others can bump you off the air by outbidding you.

  12. Michael Says:

    Jaded, I give you a dollar to bump you off the air!
    You gave your 2 cents, I outbid you by 98 cents.

  13. anticoqui Says:

    I gonna vote for K.K.Kaumanua cause he keeps it local AND if he got nothing nice for one; he gives stink to all…local-style. no need them outsiders’ money nor influence.

  14. charles Says:

    Djou’s commercials decry the “outside influence” slamming him. Has he come out criticizing the “outsiders” who are slamming Hanabusa?

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