Local Democrats weigh the Obama factor

Hawai‘i  Democrats are placing a heavy bet that President Barack Obama’s popularity remains considerably higher in his native state than in the rest of the country, where his fortunes are clearly sagging.

While Democrats in other states run from the president, local candidates continue to embrace him.

A large part of Colleen Hanabusa’s campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Charles Djou is built around supporting Obama’s stimulus program, health care reforms and tax proposals that Djou and the Republicans have denounced as costly failures.

Democratic candidate for governor Neil Abercrombie was ebullient when he received the president’s formal endorsement this week, saying, “I treasure President Obama’s friendship and I’m happy to have his endorsement. If I’m elected Governor, our people will benefit from his commitment to Hawaii, the place of his birth.”

One top Democrat told me he didn’t believe a poll showing Abercrombie and Republican Duke Aiona in a dead heat because the poll had Obama’s local approval at barely 50 percent, which he thought was too low and demonstrated a Republican tilt to the survey.

My gut feeling is that while Obama’s local approval has dropped from the 71.5 percent of the vote the got against McCain here in 2008, it’s probably still high enough to be a net plus for the Democrats.

Can the same be said for Democratic candidates supported by our senior U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye? I look at that a little bit in my column in today’s Star-Advertiser, “Inouye might have a job for life, but it is not a royal appointment.”

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12 Comments on “Local Democrats weigh the Obama factor”

  1. Earl of Sandwich Says:

    I’m still an Obama supporter, but I have to say I’m getting a little tired of the local campaigns trying to compete for how many times they can say “President Obama” in their ads.

  2. Michael Says:

    I see many Ads paid for by Mainland Democrats and supporters. Nothing said about issues or do this to that issue but what was said is, We Need to Get A Democrat elected. As if Mainland Democrats cared about Hawaii.
    Nothing said for the People of Hawaii but the Party.
    I guess one can play Pin the Tail on the Donkey to see who gets Elected. Throw darts. Forget the people who vote.

  3. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha ~
    Most of us grew up in the Star Wars generation of George Lucas. Thus, we’re familiar with Jedi Mind Tricks and the Dark Side of the Force. I am simply stunned at the weak-mindedness of the “rest of the country, where [Obama’s] fortunes are clearly sagging,” as David writes.

    #1: This attitude shows how spoiled we are today. Most Americans know little about economics and make fun of the “pointy heads” who talk about supply and demand, marginal profits or elasticities in global markets.

    I am reminded of the Saturday Night Live skits by Tracy Morgan shortly after the economic collapse. Experts tried to explain the conundrum to his character but it was too confusing. He simply screamed, “Fix it! Fix it! Fix it!”

    #2: Is it possible that as a nation, we truly are stupid? Sarah Palin and TEA fanatics claim the nation has been socialized. This is about as accurate as Delaware Republican Christine O’Donnell’s understanding of the First Amendment.

    General Motors is returning to profit territory and expected to begin selling stock to the public. Thank you, President Obama. Hard to imagine America without GM – had citizen socialists not come to their rescue.

    Financial institutions are currently on solid footing although the effects of this private sector failure will continue to weigh heavy on our economy for years. Thank you, Presidents Bush and Obama for saving this industry.

    #3: CNN reports today that employee shares of health insurance premiums will rise about 14% in 2011 – although total costs will increase only 3%. Employers are simply shifting expenses to workers and their families. This has nothing to do with ObamaCare. And, while Republicans had a lock on power between 2001 and 2007, they accomplished nothing relative to health care cost reform. President Obama is the first and only leader to get this process moving. Ungrateful citizens express only displeasure with Democrats!

    #4: Although Republicans LIED us into a wasteful military adventure in Iraq, with a price tag of nearly a trillion dollars today, President Obama has successfully pulled our heroes from the fighting and is on schedule to have all our troops out before the end of his first term.

    Yet Iraq is not discussed today by pundits or media scavengers – because they would have to acknowledge his success.

    #5: Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress have begun to reduce our federal deficit spending. In FY 2009, Bush’s final budget, we hit about $1.42T in red ink. Under Obama’s leadership, this is down about 10% in FY 2010. Yet the reality is these deficits are not as alarming as Fox News and TEA fanatics try to make out.

    CNN posted an excellent story on deficits. The FY 2010 federal deficit represented 8.9% of the economy, while we were fighting two wars and combating the horrors of the collapsed economy.

    In comparison, in 1943, at the height of World War II and the Great Depression, the deficit equaled 30.3% of the economy.

    People need to wake up; to toughen up mentally. On August 5, 2001, President Bush was warned by the CIA that Bin Laden was preparing to strike. Republicans did nothing. After 9/11, the Bushies did not get Bin Laden, Dead or Alive, and launched a misdirected attack in Afghanistan and diverted us into Iraq.

    Rather than secure the nation, they pushed through massive tax cuts for the Most Rich. Chad Stone posted an excellent graphic of the Middle Class misery, in Income Gains Widely Shared in Early Postwar Decades – But Not Since Then.

    Chris Hartman, Tower Street Research, compiled a report demonstrating the Extreme Inequality in our nation today. Yet the weak-minded and suffering masses continue to support Republican politicians who call for more tax breaks for the most fortunate!

    TEA fanatics scream, “Obama sucks! Obama Sucks! Obama Sucks!” – and, the weak-minded follow. TEA leaders chant, “Give the RICH MORE! Give the RICH MORE! Give the RICH MORE!” – and the weak-minded join the parade.

    Warren Buffet, one of the most respected billionaires and businessmen in the world, had this to say when Ben Stein asked him when he would start hiring again:

    When demand picks up,” the Oracle from Omaha responded. “We don’t hire because we get a tax break or because someone in the government tells us to. We hire when there’s more demand for what we are making or moving or selling. It’s that simple.”

    What creates demand? When Middle Class families have extra money in their pockets. President Obama gave 95% of Americans – not the TOP 5% – tax cuts. He has supported Middle Class jobs by shoring up state programs in education and public services. President Obama has provided tax incentives and credits to small businesses, who create the most jobs.

    Although corporations and our MOST RICH sit on trillions of dollars, job growth in the private sector isn’t terrible. It’s actually better than most months under the Republican policies of Bush. The distressed sectors are state governments. This is the huge drag on our economy today.

    Blame President Obama and Democrats at your peril. Only the weak-minded will vote for Republicans and their failed policies.

    A*L*O*H*A

  4. zzzzzing Says:

    Good heavens, Scott… can’t you just link to your blog or something… geez! And though you didn’t bring this up specifically in your tl;dnr diatribe, supporting the killing of unborn children is not exactly and endearing policy. At least this ‘weak-minded’ individual will not be a party to such barbaric actions as condoned by the Democratic Party, disguised as “compassion” for women. Ignorance & compassion go ill together.

    Well, I guess we’ll have to see how many people think Dan still has the “golden touch.”

  5. Richard Gozinya Says:

    I wanted to read Scott’s post but as one born way before the Star Trek generation,I was afraid I’d die of old age before completing the read.

  6. hipoli Says:

    Scott – youre going a bit too long there again, buddy. Loosing us after the first paragraph means no one is reading your stuff. May I again suggest that shorter is better.

  7. Scott Goold Says:

    Aloha Richard Gozinya ~
    When reading your comments, I would have thought you to be a younger man. If working through my post makes you think you may die before you finish, you must be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY ANCIENT!!! My condolences, old man!

    It takes about two and a half minutes to read my post. Commercials during the World Series or NFL Football generally run three minutes.

    This ties into what I’m saying about weak-minded. Americans sit through millions of commercials during their lifetime … buy, buy, buy! Yet apparently they have have no stomach for serious discourse.

    Many complain about our keiki’s progress in school. They blame teachers or unions. How do you expect our children to learn if their parents cannot read for 2.5 minutes?

    Democracy is complex: Economics, foreign policy, whether we initiate a war or not, demand serious attention and study.

    Those who want bumper sticker solutions get what they deserve – Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, Michele Backmann, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, etc.

    Learn to read or perish!

    A*L*O*H*A

  8. Michael Says:

    Long or short still doesn’t make it interesting.
    Try holding your breath that long, one may gag.

  9. peterkay Says:

    Dave, I wonder how deep the polling on Obama has been. I believe that Hawaii voters love Obama the man, the Hawaii-born, the Punahou grad, I don’t believe they have quite as much support for the Obama policies.

    The Democrats have indeed bet big on Obama. While he certainly rallies the faithful, those voters have already decided Democrat. The real question is which way will the independents break? I will “bet” that even in Hawaii, Obama does NOT have the support of a majority of the independents.

  10. charles Says:

    Coattails are overrated. Ask Lingle.

  11. zzzzzing Says:

    “This ties into what I’m saying about weak-minded. Americans sit through millions of commercials during their lifetime … buy, buy, buy! Yet apparently they have have no stomach for serious discourse.”

    Gosh, Steve, you’re presumptuous. And about as entertaining & enlightening (and as long-winded) as a hemorrhoid infomercial. Some of us don’t even OWN a TV, much less dive into consumerism. Your belittling everyone who doesn’t buy into your lectures is very telling. I’m all for Dave limiting the word count on the replies, lol.

  12. Richard Gozinya Says:

    Scott: “Those who want bumper sticker solutions get what they deserve…”

    Obama ’08

    hehehe….


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