Oh my: Sen. Daniel Akaka won’t run for reelection in 2012

posted at 8:12 pm on March 2, 2011 by Allahpundit

But … he’s only in his mid-80s and has served just 21 years. In an age of wizened congressmen who have to be dragged screaming into retirement, surely this youngster has another two or three terms in him.

Charlie Cook rated this seat “solid Democratic” just two weeks ago. That’ll change.

Akaka, 86, has served in the Senate since 1990. He previously served 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“After months of thinking about my political future, I am announcing today that I have decided not to run for re-election in 2012,” Akaka said in a statement. “As many of you can imagine, it was a very difficult decision for me. However, I feel that the end of this Congress is the right time for me to step aside. It has been a great honor and privilege to serve the people of Hawaii. In 2006, the people of Hawaii gave me an opportunity to continue my service in the United States Senate and I fully intend to serve the last two years of my term in office.”…

The senator, who is of Native Hawaiian and Chinese ancestry, is considered the most beloved Hawaii politician. He is well-regarded in both Washington and in the islands for his gracious manner and spirit of aloha.

But questions have been raised about his effectiveness and whether he should pursue another six-year term.

I figure this increases the GOP’s chances of stealing the seat from zero to, oh, let’s say 10 percent. Yes, there’s a prominent, tested Republican who’s interested in running: Linda Lingle, whose second term as governor just ended, has been hinting at it for months and should be ready to roll now that she doesn’t have to face Akaka. Big problems lie ahead, though. First, Hawaii’s a deep blue state so Democrats predictably have a deep blue bench. Second, although Lingle did win two terms, she didn’t go out on a high note. A Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll taken a few months before she left office pegged her approval rating at 44/51. As recently as 2006, she had 73 percent approval. (A choice quote from that same article: “Akaka, 86, said he definitely plans to run for a fifth six-year term in 2012.”) I’m surprised she’s eager to run again given that degree of disenchantment. And third, needless to say, Hawaii’s favorite son will be at the top of the ballot in two years so Democrats will be out in even greater numbers than usual. If The One can’t drag a liberal over the finish line there against a mildly unpopular former governor, he’s a one-termer for sure.

Still, a 10 percent chance is better than nothing. And more importantly, it’s going to force Democrats to spend money to defend this seat whereas they probably could have done it on the cheap with Akaka. That means less money to spend elsewhere — and there are a lot of “elsewheres” in 2012. Tell ‘em what’s up, Charlie.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Linda Lingle… sounds like a comic book hero. Sweet.

DaveS on March 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM

:/

Is it worth the money?

MeatHeadinCA on March 2, 2011 at 8:19 PM

What a silly Makaka!

/heh

blatantblue on March 2, 2011 at 8:20 PM

What a fine example for Orrin Hatch to follow

Raisedbywolves on March 2, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Linda Lingle? RINO, get her! Grrrrr.

swamp_yankee on March 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Linda Lingle… sounds like a comic book hero. Sweet.

DaveS on March 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Nah, but if she dresses like Lynda Carter, that’s sweet.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM

Great! Now Lugar can have someone to hold hands with in the retirement home.

SouthernGent on March 2, 2011 at 8:27 PM

I hope Charles Djou runs!..:)

Dire Straits on March 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Lingle is probably the only Republican that has a realistic shot at winning this seat. Be forewarned though: She was governor of a solid blue state, a la Massachusetts (Hawaii’s state legislature is something like 67-9/D-R) and will break Conservative’s hearts if she wins. BUT she will vote party line on many things. The fact that she had such a high approval rating before everyone soured on all Republicans is reason to hope.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Akaka, 86, the JUNIOR senator from Hawaii.

They sure like their octogenerians down there. Good place for retirees looking for a second career.

swamp_yankee on March 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

If I recall correcly, Linda Lingle fully embraced Sarah Palin and introduced her before Sarah’s magnificent speech at the 2008 convention.

SouthernGent on March 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM

I guess Akaka is just making his retirement official. When I lived in Hawaii, I could never figure out what he did except to flog his bill.

NavyMustang on March 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Linda Lingle… sounds like a comic book hero. Sweet.

DaveS on March 2, 2011 at 8:16 PM
Nah, but if she dresses like Lynda Carter, that’s sweet.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 2, 2011 at 8:26 PM

There would be nothing sweet about seeing Linda Lingle in a Lynda Carter outfit.

swamp_yankee on March 2, 2011 at 8:30 PM

Daniel, young man we hardly knew ye…

Mason on March 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

Hawaii doesn’t matter. Djou won a special election as a Republican and had an ACU rating of 38.

Let’s not waste campaign dollars on Hawaii, Oregon or and state in New England (except New Hampshite).

Any Republican who can win in Hawaii has to make a sharp right just to achieve RINO status.

bw222 on March 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

It’s not really an “open seat”. Linda Lingle was the only R since 1963. I give us a chance somewhere between a hail drop and a snowball.

hisfrogness on March 2, 2011 at 8:32 PM

Let’s not waste campaign dollars on Hawaii, Oregon or and state in New England (except New Hampshite).

bw222 on March 2, 2011 at 8:31 PM

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you dont live in Hawaii, Oregon or New England.

swamp_yankee on March 2, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I hope Charles Djou runs!..:)

Dire Straits on March 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I really like Djou… but I’m sure we’ll be told how he’s unelectable or something.

Can we get him to move to Alaska maybe???

MeatHeadinCA on March 2, 2011 at 8:35 PM

There would be nothing sweet about seeing Linda Lingle in a Lynda Carter outfit.

swamp_yankee on March 2, 2011 at 8:30 PM

OK, maybe I should have said “looks like Lynda Carter and dresses like her.”

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on March 2, 2011 at 8:36 PM

In the real world when you start pharting dust, it’s time to go bye bye.

/just sayin’

Key West Reader on March 2, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Akaka sounds more Japanese than native Hawaiian or Chinese.

Christien on March 2, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Where’s Kini??

Informed opinion.

BigWyo on March 2, 2011 at 8:42 PM

“…and has served just 21 years.”

9 years too DAMN LONG!
TERM LIMITS FOR ALL THE D-BAGS!
any longer than 2 terms and they have no clue what its like to be a citizen. (If they ever had a clue to begin with IE:Ted Kennedy.)

-Wasteland Man.

P.S. Yes I agree with Raisedbywolves! ALL politicians need to retire NO MORE INCUMBANTS.

WastelandMan on March 2, 2011 at 8:43 PM

From Akaka to Nokaka.

News at ten.

Don’t make any youthful, hasty job change decisions you may regret in your later years, senator.

viking01 on March 2, 2011 at 8:44 PM

I’ll give the Sen kudos….more of them need to retire. they made a mes sout of everthing. they should retire or be fired all of them dem and rep alike.

unseen on March 2, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Where’s Kini

Plus, his(her) site has “What’s for dinner?” Usually gets a Homer Simpson ‘alllllaaaggghhhh’ from me.

BigWyo on March 2, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Snowball’s chance in hell as long as Obama is heading the Hawaii ticket. I’m pretty sure you can divert the money out of this one.

Apologetic California on March 2, 2011 at 8:53 PM

If I recall correcly, Linda Lingle fully embraced Sarah Palin and introduced her before Sarah’s magnificent speech at the 2008 convention.

SouthernGent on March 2, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Enjoy! Sad to say, the only outlet that showed it live as it happened was C SPAN

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eI6TnreVV4

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Dog the Bounty hunter for HI Senate 2012

tjexcite on March 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Snowball’s chance in hell as long as Obama is heading the Hawaii ticket. I’m pretty sure you can divert the money out of this one.

Apologetic California on March 2, 2011 at 8:53 PM

I always thought O’bama’s dream job would be Senator from Hawai’i. Considering the other Dan out there (Inouye) is also no Spring Chicken, Barry will have his pick of which seat to run for.

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Send a personal goodbye note to your soul mate, Lugar. Maybe he’ll get the hint.

FalseProfit on March 2, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Akaka will proably donate his war chest to the primary winner.

Theworldisnotenough on March 2, 2011 at 8:59 PM

Lugar thought he had accidentally retired until a staff assistant reminded him he was from Indiana.

viking01 on March 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 8:54 PM

Yes! Thanks! :-D

SouthernGent on March 2, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Ok, so is Akaka retiring because of his age? Because he sees the writing on the wall, and knows he can’t win? Or….because he, like other retiring dems want no part in the continuing ruination of their country? Because when all is said, and done….they won’t be able to wash the stench of it off, no matter how hard they try. We will remember this, for years to come.

capejasmine on March 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM

You could throw a Billion dollars into the Hawaii Senate race and still would lose. It’s a blue (give me my entitlement) State. let them go and go after Washington State instead.

hawkman on March 2, 2011 at 9:12 PM

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 8:28 PM

I remember seeing Lingle interviewed on MSNBC shortly after Palin was named VP candidate in the 2008 campaign. I thought she was very impressive. Even as the MSNBC interviewers were trying to get digs at Palin, Lingle adeptly made the case for Palin. And the interesting thing about it is that she spoke with a great deal of authority as the only other governor of a state that’s not part of the lower 48. She made no apologies for Palin, and, indeed, backed Palin to the hilt.

Lingle would likely be a very squishy Republican, but I’d take her over that loser Mike Castle any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

BuckeyeSam on March 2, 2011 at 9:19 PM

BuckeyeSam on March 2, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Lingle is a Republican in the same vane as Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins.

Also, Akaka’s seat will go to a socialist Democrat, or Independent Communist from my state. Bank it…

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 9:48 PM

And third, needless to say, Hawaii’s favorite son will be at the top of the ballot in two years so Democrats will be out in even greater numbers than usual.

Had to stop and think who that was for a moment–hard to believe he’s anyone’s favorite son at this point.

Bob's Kid on March 2, 2011 at 9:52 PM

Lingle would likely be a very squishy Republican, but I’d take her over that loser Mike Castle any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

BuckeyeSam on March 2, 2011 at 9:19 PM

Hear, hear. I’m sure Lingle was chosen to introduce Palin because she was also a female governor. She did a great job.

Also, Akaka’s seat will go to a socialist Democrat, or Independent Communist from my state. Bank it…

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 9:48 PM

What happens to people in the beautiful Aloha state that they put up with or want this? Depressing. It’s beyond welfare mentality.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 9:55 PM

What happens to people in the beautiful Aloha state that they put up with or want this? Depressing. It’s beyond welfare mentality.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 9:55 PM

They are all dependent on the welfare state for help. Everyone here has an angle a.k.a. a “cousin” who knows someone, etc. Charles Djou was a good start, but then we elected a completely socialist goofball governor (Abercrombie). I don’t know what else to say about that.

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Abercrombie is just goofy. Yeah, many are related. :-)

Do you remember the Oahu-Maui ferry the environmentalists killed? The boat is docked here in Norfolk. Sad.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Where’s Kini??

Informed opinion.

BigWyo on March 2, 2011 at 8:42 PM

CELEBRATING!

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Do you remember the Oahu-Maui ferry the environmentalists killed? The boat is docked here in Norfolk. Sad.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Actually there were 2 ferries-the other one went to Kaua’i. That one only lasted a few trips before the protesters shut it down, but the one to Mau’i ran for longer before it was also shut down.

Believe it or not, I just saw a story out of Honolulu today raising the possibility of a new ferry service. Not holding my breath.

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:25 PM

Got Poi?

What’s so scary is that Akaka is at age 86 the Junior Senator.

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 10:27 PM

We moved in 2005. Did they ever get the rail line put in?

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 10:00 PM

I call Neil, Krusty the Clown, for obvious reasons.

conservative pilgrim: You’re right about the Super Ferry. Activist, environmental, and judicial, killed what was the best canoe between island.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM

What’s so scary is that Akaka is at age 86 the Junior Senator.

Del Dolemonte on March 2, 2011 at 10:29 PM

True, I really want a Senator that will not follow Inouye, like Akaka did. We have too many public jobs, and not enough private, good paying jobs.

When I heard the news, I went out and bought some Poke, Saimin, Char Sui Chicken and fired up the grill. Oh, and got some Primo!

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Did they ever get the rail line put in?

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Still waiting on Fed Funding
Hopefully, the House put that in dah rubbish!

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:39 PM

Also, Akaka’s seat will go to a socialist Democrat, or Independent Communist from my state. Bank it…

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 9:48 PM

We’re going to do everything possible to prevent that.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:43 PM

@ Kini–

The rail line seemed like a huge boondoggle or Ponzi scheme. Take your pick. Always needing more time, more reports, more something, and MORE MONEY. haha

It would help the H-1 & 2 congestion though. Do you think it’s worth it?

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:50 PM

Ok, so is Akaka retiring because of his age? Because he sees the writing on the wall, and knows he can’t win? Or….because he, like other retiring dems want no part in the continuing ruination of their country? Because when all is said, and done….they won’t be able to wash the stench of it off, no matter how hard they try. We will remember this, for years to come.

capejasmine on March 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I think he’s retiring because he sees the writing on the wall about control of the Senate.

The Dems have so many seats in play this time thanks to their big wins in 2006 that they’re going to be spread very thin, money-wise, trying to save as many as possible.

Since it will only take a flip of about 4-5 seats to change control of the Senate and that will likely happen thanks to states like Florida, Virginia, Nebraska, etc., Akaka may be looking to save himself several years of getting kicked around in the minority.

teke184 on March 2, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Is there any way we can convince two Democrats to run, à la Hanabusa and Case throwing the House seat to Djou in the 2010 special election? That would be ideal.

steebo77 on March 2, 2011 at 11:43 PM

The rail line seemed like a huge boondoggle or Ponzi scheme. Take your pick. Always needing more time, more reports, more something, and MORE MONEY. haha

It would help the H-1 & 2 congestion though. Do you think it’s worth it?

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:50 PM

The problem with the rail, is that it wouldn’t solve the traffic problems on O’ahu. No one is going to give up their cars, and the rail doesn’t cover scale needed to provide transportation beyond the city. Many people don’t live in the city and commute to work from other locations.

I recently met with Dr. Panos Prevedouros and discussed the merits of the rail, and we both came to the same conclusion. This was a union payback to manufacture work at taxpayer expense.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 11:50 PM

We’re going to do everything possible to prevent that.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Amen braddah!

Do you remember the Oahu-Maui ferry the environmentalists killed? The boat is docked here in Norfolk. Sad.

conservative pilgrim on March 2, 2011 at 10:12 PM

Remembr it? I pass the pier they refurbished and built for the city and county of Honolulu on a daily basis on my way to work and lament the fact that good people were completely taken advantage of. But as I have always said protesting is our state sport: you could give everyone here a pot of gold and an 80 carat diamond and someone would protest it. The surf is good right now,however :)

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 11:51 PM

The problem with the rail, is that it wouldn’t solve the traffic problems on O’ahu. No one is going to give up their cars, and the rail doesn’t cover scale needed to provide transportation beyond the city. Many people don’t live in the city and commute to work from other locations.

I recently met with Dr. Panos Prevedouros and discussed the merits of the rail, and we both came to the same conclusion. This was a union payback to manufacture work at taxpayer expense.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Not to mention there aren’t enough stops along the line. What about an elevated toll highway someone asked me once? I regale them with tales of how long and expensive it was to build H-3. As Admiral Stockdale once said, “GRIDLOCK!”

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 11:54 PM

Ok, so is Akaka retiring because of his age? Because he sees the writing on the wall, and knows he can’t win? Or….because he, like other retiring dems want no part in the continuing ruination of their country? Because when all is said, and done….they won’t be able to wash the stench of it off, no matter how hard they try. We will remember this, for years to come.

capejasmine on March 2, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I think he’s retiring because he sees the writing on the wall about control of the Senate.

The Dems have so many seats in play this time thanks to their big wins in 2006 that they’re going to be spread very thin, money-wise, trying to save as many as possible.

Since it will only take a flip of about 4-5 seats to change control of the Senate and that will likely happen thanks to states like Florida, Virginia, Nebraska, etc., Akaka may be looking to save himself several years of getting kicked around in the minority.

teke184 on March 2, 2011 at 11:13 PM

Not so, Akaka could keep if he wanted to. He’s not doing the bidding of his master, Daniel Inouye.

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 11:56 PM

When I heard the news, I went out and bought some Poke, Saimin, Char Sui Chicken and fired up the grill. Oh, and got some Primo!

Kini on March 2, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Thanks, I’m so hungry now that I need to go to Foodland. Shaka for Steinlagah!

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 11:57 PM

The surf is good right now,however :)

alohapundit on March 2, 2011 at 11:51 PM

Pipeline was pretty good this year.

They debated if the rail should even go to the Airport, till they figured out it would be good for tourism. Not so much for locals.

I do miss the Super Ferry. Many Halau could travel together to Merry Monarch, tourism would have boomed, but they killed it. Shame.

Kini on March 3, 2011 at 12:08 AM

I am not holding my breath. After the ass-wuppin’ Duke got from Abercrombie I have no faith in the voters in my state. I think the best we could hope for would be Case..and don’t get me started on the Super Ferry, I see the huge empty pier from my office every day…and about the boondoggle aka the rail…damn.

HawaiiLwyr on March 3, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Kini, nice blog brah! (moved from AZ years ago to Hau’ula).

Maybe Lynn Finnegan will run for Akaka’s seat. I imagine Neil is getting homesick for Washington, and tired of governing, so he may announce a run for a (likely permanent) senate seat, rather than endure the temp position he now holds.

AZCON on March 3, 2011 at 2:25 AM

The Hawaiian conservatives need to do at least two things.

The first is to make the democrats primary as incinerating as possible.

The second in the republican primary always refer to the other conservative candidates in a respectful manner. Also make the defeated republicans endorse the republican candidate immediately and warmly, even if they have to us tranquilizers, and threaten the loser kids.

Slowburn on March 3, 2011 at 4:43 AM

Saraba yo, Akaka!! Da na na naaa Naaa!!

Sherman1864 on March 3, 2011 at 6:58 AM