Dueling ex-mayors

Prominent politicians who lose their jobs can be forlorn figures while waiting for the next election opportunity.

Honolulu’s most recent former mayors, Mufi Hannemann and Kirk Caldwell, have been gamely trying to keep their public personas alive on Twitter since September, when Hannemann lost badly to Neil Abercrombie for governor and Caldwell was edged out for mayor by Peter Carlisle.

They started out posting a lot of dorky stuff like city news bites that really don’t cut it with the cool kids, and there’s still a lot of that.

From @KirkCaldwell recently:

– “Congratulations to Dana L. Nakasato, who received the Outstanding Citizen Award for her work in assisting the Honolulu Police Department.”

– “Good news for voters. The voting deadline for Neighborhood Boards is extended until 11:59 pm.”

– “Congratulations to Curtis T. Maeshiro, Civilian Employee of the Year for the second time in his 30-year career at HPD.”

– “Sorry for the late reminder that today is a City furlough day.”

– “Don’t be alarmed by the sirens. Just a test. If you hear them, everything is working.”

And from @MufiHannemann:

– “The Honolulu Police are asking for the public’s help in locating an escapee from OCCC.”

– “Big Island police searching for missing man”

– “Passing on a useful traffic alert: Onramp to H1 Westbound from University Av will be closed from 9–2pm today for guardrail maintenance work.”

– “The ‘Click it or Ticket’ campaign is kicking off today. Make sure to be safe and buckle your seat belt!”

– “It’s National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Is your family prepared?”

But they’re both showing signs of branching out a bit, as well. Hannemann is writing more about his gig with the Hawaii Hotel Association and promotes his new radio show playing pop classics, his Midweek column and his personal appearances.

Caldwell, who’s back to practicing law, tried the ultimate in Twitter cool by hosting a Corn Chowder Tweetup at the Mission Houses Museum Cafe. From the picture he posted, it looked like he got a respectable turnout.

Both are weighing their options for 2012, with Hannemann looking at a races for either the U.S. Senate or U.S. House and Caldwell pondering a U.S. House race or a rematch against Carlisle.

It would be fascinating if they ended up going head to head for Congress. Caldwell. a former legislator, was Hannemann’s managing director for two years and succeeded him as acting mayor.

They didn’t end on the best of terms; Hannemann accused Caldwell of dragging down his 2010 campaign and Caldwell thought it was more the other way around.

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10 Comments on “Dueling ex-mayors”

  1. Kolea Says:

    Kirk is a good man who made a very bad decision in agreeing to serve as Mufi’s City Director. He thought the experience and visibility would give him a leg up on succeeding Mufi as Mayor.

    He did not count on voter’s hostility to Mufi would be transferred over to him. The public knew so little about him, his image was so dimly defined in the voter’s eyes, that everybody viewed him as “Mufi’s Boy,” and voted against him.

    The irony is that many of Mufi’s behind the scene backers did not support Kirk, despite his loyal service. Instead, they kept a low profile in their support for Carlisle, who voters thought of as an “independent,” fresh face.

    So Kirk lost, Carlisle got in and most of Mufi’s people were kept in place and Mufi’s policies continued at City Hall.

  2. Richard Gozinya Says:

    I’m always surprised when folks who are supposed to be working hard have plenty time to be “tweeting” about inanities. Oh well,I guess it breaks up the time spent on their respective Facebooks,eh?

  3. karen Says:


    What are your thoughts about Tulsi Gabbard entering the race? how does that change the landscape?


  4. WooWoo Says:

    Please let’s all get on the same page and figure out a way to keep Mufi out of any elected office.

  5. David Says:

    Neither Caldwell nor Hannemann will get my vote, so they can do whatever they like.

  6. charles Says:

    One wonders if Tulsi would have run if she had to resign her seat.

  7. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    Re Tulsi’s run for Congress:

    She probably wouldn’t resign her current seat if she had to do so. However, this is someone who has her eye on going as high as she can. Don’t forget, she’s young, smart, very attractive, and she has different viewpoints on certain social justice issues than those of her dad’s. Not all of them, but some of them having to do with XX factors.

  8. charles Says:

    If you mean Tulsi’s views on gay rights, they are no different than Mike’s.

  9. Capitol -ist/WassupDoc Says:

    No, I don’t mean gay rights.

  10. Mahina Says:

    Can’t forget Tulsi’s outburst against a very calmly posed question at a Kalihi neighborhood forum when she was running for the district council seat.

    “How dare you ask about rail”?

    ‘What do you think about rail’ was the question, posed of the group. How dare we? Seriously?

    I’m with Kolea, incidentally, as far as who dragged who down.

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