Political Radar


April 19th, 2013

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa met with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee on Thursday to discuss a potential primary challenge to U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz.

The Washington Post's Post Politics blog reported that the DSCC has not said whether it would back Schatz in a hypothetical primary against Hanabusa, although U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., the DSCC chairman, and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, have financially supported Schatz's campaign.

A source had informed the Star-Advertiser last week that the DSCC would be backing Schatz.

The DSCC has not returned telephone calls seeking comment.

But two sources who were briefed on the Thursday meeting told the Star-Advertiser that Hanabusa told the DSCC that she is still undecided about whether to run against Schatz or in the primary against Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

One of the sources said Hanabusa told the DSCC that she would have the backing of former allies to the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye if she ran for Senate and considered a Senate primary easier than a potential primary for governor.

One of the sources also said that Hanabusa was told that the DSCC would be supporting Schatz. The other source, however, said the DSCC only indicated that the DSCC typically supports incumbent senators.

Schatz was appointed by Abercrombie in December to replace Inouye. The late senator had urged the governor before he died to select Hanabusa as his replacement.

12 Responses to “Meet”

  1. Especially Incognito:

    Appointed is only temporary.
    Mrs. Smith needs to get re-elected.
    Seems she already had a run in with o'really.

  2. ohiaforest3400:

    Senate easier and she's better suited to that than to Governor but . . . . . If she goes for it, guaranteed Tulsi goes for 1st District. Musical chairs . . . . or chairs on the deck of the Titanic?

  3. Sayer:

    Harry Reid supported Mufi too so it doesn't say much for his taste in candidates. I think Colleen would be a much better choice than Schatz. A lot of people are waiting in the wings to swing their support to her if she shows the willingness to run. Tulsi's staying put, IMHO.

  4. Doug:

    There is no "story" here. The DSCC always and only supports incumbent Senate Democrats.

    Now, it may be true that if CH challenges in the primary she will get funding from various sources previously loyal to Inouye, but you can rest assured that won't go so far as to include official DSCC support.

    If DSCC supported primary challengers against incumbents its funding would dry up (most of which is from the incumbents' various PACs) and its leader (maybe you've heard of Harry Reid?) would become a pariah among incumbent Senate Democrats.

    It's not gonna happen.

  5. TKeiko:

    The DSCC will have a number of important races to cover in 2014, trying to hold on to a Senate majority. It's hard to imagine that they'll want to spend a lot of money in a place like Hawaii where a Democrat is almost certain to win. The Senators themselves still have a lot of aloha for Senator Inouye, while Schatz has not made an impression beyond being a lightweight and an entitled brown nose. Hanabusa had the Senator's full and open support, and has a solid reputation among Congressional leaders as a smart, strong legislator.

    The DCCC had a bad experience in the 2010 special election when they supported Case and ended up looking silly. I'm sure their people are warning their DSCC counterparts that Hawaii has a unique political atmosphere and it's better to keep a distance.

    At best the DSCC is likely to give Schatz a weak endorsement and no money, and then stay out of it.

  6. Kolea:


    You makes some reasonable points, then besmirch your contribution with this offensive claim:

    "...Schatz has not made an impression beyond being a lightweight and an entitled brown nose."

    Really? That is how he is viewed by his fellow senators and you know this HOW?

    I suggest your own thinking has been tainted by the brown you project onto Schatz.

  7. Kolea:

    Abercrombie has been forced by the threat of a Hanabusa challenge to take steps to repair his relations with networks which have considerable influence within the Democratic voter base. He was fored to back away from his fervent support for the PLDC because of the wildfire of opposition it generated among environmentalists and good government advocates, particularly on the neighbor islands.

    He finally overcame his trollish obstinacy against the teachers and was able to reach a reasonable settlement with them. A settlement which probably could have been reached a year ago, had he been less stubborn. The state is settling with UPW as we speak. If the agreement with HGEA falls in the same "reasonable" balance, he will have managed to neutralize the hostility of yet another bastion of Democratic strength.

    It is good that elected officials are forced to undergo democratic elections every once in awhile. It forces them to align themselves, if only for a few months, with the public interest. Even if Hanabusa might decide to run against Schatz instead, the THREAT of her challenge has already produced some good results. So even if no credible primary opponent arises to challenge Abercrombie in 2014, the primary process will have served its purpose, over a year before any ballots are cast.

    Now if we can get extra good behavior out of Schatz and Hanabusa over the next 15 months, this "election" thing may continue to serve the public interest! Who would have thunk?

  8. Andy Parx:

    When and if people find out about Hanabusa's vote for the anti- internet privacy CISPA bill (http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/technolog/cispa-passes-house-vote-faces-senate-possible-veto-1C9357282 ) her stock may just plummet no matter what office she runs for... if they find out since it happened while the media was busy with breathless coverage of the events in Boston.

  9. Especially Incognito:

    Politicians care more about their being re-elected
    and their income than to help the people
    who voted for them.

    Transparency is, if you know the persons who are pulling strings,
    that persons are the ones making the actual decisions.
    Politicians are only marionettes and hand puppets with someone
    with money having their hands up in their posterior motives.
    Most are made of wood, anyways and have no mind of their own.

  10. Doug:

    Tkeiko, the actions of the DCCC (the equivalent organization for House Democrats) were driven by the need to FILL A VACANT seat.

    Neither the DCCC nor DSCC has ever (will ever?) supported a Democrat challenging an incumbent Democrat in a primary election. The support might range from tepid to fervent, but the incumbents get the support. Every time.

  11. DSCC Again Outraises NRSC; Debbie Dingell Won’t Run In MI SEN; Joe Sestak Preps For Comeback? | World News:

    [...] HI SEN: Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D) met with the DSCC on Thursday to discuss primarying Sen. Brian Schatz (D), but sources said she’s still undecided about whether to run for the Senate or mount a GOV bid (Honolulu Star-Advertiser). [...]

  12. Goober:

    Seems that one should Stand Tough for Understanding
    and not patronize others comments.

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