Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye dies at 88

posted at 6:41 pm on December 17, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

He had been hospitalized for a couple of weeks:

Hawaii Democratic Sen. Daniel Inouye has died at age 88, his office confirmed Monday night.

His last words, according to a statement released by his staff, were “Aloha”.

Inouye has been hospitalized since early December due to respiratory problems. His cause of death was “respiratory complications”.

Inouye served Hawaii in the Congress since the time of its statehood, and he was a Medal of Honor recipient during WWII. The citation:

Inouye

The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of The Congress the Medal of Honor to

SECOND LIEUTENANT DANIEL K. INOUYE
UNITED STATES ARMY

for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty:

Second Lieutenant Daniel K. Inouye distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 21 April 1945, in the vicinity of San Terenzo, Italy. While attacking a defended ridge guarding an important road junction, Second Lieutenant Inouye skillfully directed his platoon through a hail of automatic weapon and small arms fire, in a swift enveloping movement that resulted in the capture of an artillery and mortar post and brought his men to within 40 yards of the hostile force. Emplaced in bunkers and rock formations, the enemy halted the advance with crossfire from three machine guns. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Second Lieutenant Inouye crawled up the treacherous slope to within five yards of the nearest machine gun and hurled two grenades, destroying the emplacement. Before the enemy could retaliate, he stood up and neutralized a second machine gun nest. Although wounded by a sniper’s bullet, he continued to engage other hostile positions at close range until an exploding grenade shattered his right arm. Despite the intense pain, he refused evacuation and continued to direct his platoon until enemy resistance was broken and his men were again deployed in defensive positions. In the attack, 25 enemy soldiers were killed and eight others captured. By his gallant, aggressive tactics and by his indomitable leadership, Second Lieutenant Inouye enabled his platoon to advance through formidable resistance, and was instrumental in the capture of the ridge. Second Lieutenant Inouye’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.

The statement from his office is here. He was surrounded by family when he passed away.

Inouye was third in line for the presidency as he was the the most senior member of the Senate. Sen. Pat Leahy will take his place.

Immediately following Inouye’s death, his colleagues took to the Senate floor to remember him. ”His service to the Senate will be with the greats of this body,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.).

Inouye’s seat will be filled by an appointment by Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D). He will pick from three finalists provided by the state Democratic Party. State law requires that Inouye must be replaced by a senator from the same political party. Inouye’s seat is up for a full term in 2016.

McConnell and Reid pay tribute on the floor.

Inouye spoke on the Senate floor on the 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor:

May he rest in peace.

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RIP sir

cmsinaz on December 17, 2012 at 6:42 PM

We might have been on different aisles but a hat tip to you, sir. God save the Republic.

Limerick on December 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Godspeed, Senator. RIP.

kingsjester on December 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Rest well, dear Senator.

Richard Romano on December 17, 2012 at 6:45 PM

RIP, and thank you for your service in WWII.

rbj on December 17, 2012 at 6:47 PM

RIP

Ugly on December 17, 2012 at 6:50 PM

I salute you Sir, Godspeed and Aloha Senator.

D-fusit on December 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Aloha.

Prayers for your family.

Tim_CA on December 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

RIP. But seriously, why do we have people who are 88 years old making decisions that affect the entire nation and our future, let alone a state?

bucsox79 on December 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

MKH, the speaker of the House is third in line to the presidency. So, if something happens to Øbama and Biden, we get president Boehner, so no real change in leadership.

/

Odysseus on December 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Aloha, Captain.

Del Dolemonte on December 17, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Thanks MKH, I did not know the details of his service. May God be with his family.

STL_Vet on December 17, 2012 at 6:56 PM

His story and that of his all Japanese regiment in the war is one that deserves the utmost respect. Their families were being held in militarized camps, they were given the worst hardest missions, they were all volunteers, and gave more than most, in a war where all faced hardship.

RIP, sir. And thank you.

Genuine on December 17, 2012 at 6:57 PM

Poke the bastard with a stick and make sure he’s dead.

Horrible, corrupt man.

Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

From the headlines.

God welcome you into his loving arms and bless your family in their time of sorrow.

Cindy Munford on December 17, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Cindy Munford on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Mahalo Nui Loa, Sir.

Sgt. Vulcha

Ladysmith CulchaVulcha on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

kingsjester on December 17, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I put a poem The Husband found in the comments on your blog this morning.

Cindy Munford on December 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

State law requires that Inouye must be replaced by a senator from the same political party.

SMH. That state is corrupt beyond words. It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

alchemist19 on December 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I agree with Limerick- different politics will not dilute or abrogate my gratitude for his service. Especially his having served in the 442 Regiment knowing his relatives were in internment camps back here in America. I consider that service parallel to the Tuskegee Airmen. Honor, merit and my very deep gratitude to them all.
RIP in Senator.

Amendment X on December 17, 2012 at 7:00 PM

This was quite the ineffective legislator the last fifteen years of his life. He made Hollings look particularly perky by comparison.

Go ahead, argue with me, but at this level of performance, I proclaim Dog the Bounty Hunter as much better Senatorial material in the interim until the next election.
Aloha, into the Great Society in Heaven goes Daniel.

Shaughnessy on December 17, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Was not aware that he was a decorated WWII vet. Given that his family was being held by FDR’s orders in internment camps, makes his political positions really hard to understand.

May his family find peace

AZfederalist on December 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

The 442nd wasn’t “all Japanese.”

They were all Americans. Their shed blood earns them that title for all time without any qualification.

Inouye was baka as a corrupt politician. He dishonored his comrades in arms by his actions as a senator.

Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I’m sorry he won’t be around to enjoy the new health care plan.

Ronnie on December 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I’m sorry he won’t be around to enjoy the new health care plan.

Ronnie on December 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Yeah, I was going there, too.

But none of these pols will have to endure socialized medicine.

Bastards – all of them. I feel as much sympathy for any of them passing as they would for us.

Cody1991 on December 17, 2012 at 7:10 PM

Inoyue joins Thurmond and Byrd in ranks of politicians whose length of service exceeds their ability to be realistic leaders in Congress. I say this in no disrespect but there should be an age limit for serving in Congress.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Rarely agreed with him, but he was a consistent defender of his position. And deserves all the respect in the world for his lifetime of service.

michaelo on December 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

MKH, the speaker of the House is third in line to the presidency. So, if something happens to Øbama and Biden, we get president Boehner, so no real change in leadership.

/

Odysseus on December 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

President BOHICA. Great.

Myron Falwell on December 17, 2012 at 7:13 PM

RIP, out of respect for his proud military service

But the fact that we have Congressmen dying of old age in office should tell us there’s something wrong with this whole damn system

Being a Congressman shouldn’t be a lifelong career. It shouldn’t be a career at all.

Term limits

Age limits

etc

thurman on December 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

Also from the Headlines:

While I disagreed strongly w/his politics, Daniel Inouye was unquestionably a hero and a patriot. RIP, Captain.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Whatever you thought of his politics, the man was a true American Hero. He was one of a dying breed, a member of the congress or senate that actually served in the military. We could use more of his kind.

Rest easy, brother, your time here was well spent and appreciated.

Seaplane Driver on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Stuff it, Scribbler! this ain’t the thread/place for that.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Vice President, first in line.
Speaker, second in line.
Who’s on third?

BubbaCluck on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Aloha, Sir.

Fallon on December 17, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Press release Friday (Dec. 14), forwarded to Civil Beat from the office of U.S. Sen. Dan Inouye:

Senator Jay Rockefeller today issued the following statement pushing back on an article in The Hill in which an unnamed Democratic Senator unfairly criticizes Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI).

“Senator Inouye is larger than life — he’s a giant of the Senate, a true American hero, and I’m honored to call him my good friend and mentor. Dan exemplifies what it means to be a public servant and has fought more for our country and his state than almost anyone I know.

“He is a highly effective chairman, respected by everyone on both sides of the aisle. He fought back against proposed cuts in the Ryan budget, and in a very a partisan environment, enacted all twelve of his bills for the 2012 Fiscal Year. And just this week, he turned over a disaster relief request from the President into a finished bill to help so many states and families impacted by Hurricane Sandy. These are no small feats.

“It is just cowardly that a colleague would make such outrageous suggestions about Senator Inouye’s tenure, and yet refuse to give their name as the source. It is truly a new low around here and deeply disappointing.

“One of the many things I have learned from Dan is that you always need to keep fighting for what you believe in. He has done that to the highest degree throughout his life and it will no doubt continue throughout his service in the Senate. We need more people in Congress with Dan’s character and integrity, not fewer.”

I soooooo want the name of the Democrat in the Senate that went to the press and bytched and moaned about Senator Inouye last week.

Resist We Much on December 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

AZfederalist on December 17, 2012 at 7:02 PM

They weren’t ‘internment’ camps-they were relocation camps. While they were still wrong- Internment camps were harsher and reserved for the bonafide 5th columnists. Don’t mean to seem picky-but the two types of camps were quite different.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Vice President, first in line.
Speaker, second in line.
Who’s on third?

BubbaCluck on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

3. President pro tem of the Senate (Leahy)
4. Secretary of State
5. Secretary of the Treasury

Resist We Much on December 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

RIP

Bmore on December 17, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Resist We Much on December 17, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Consistently classy with their little stooges in the media covering for them.

Cindy Munford on December 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

An American Hero, God’s speed senator.

jake49 on December 17, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Poke the bastard with a stick and make sure he’s dead.

Horrible, corrupt man.

Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Yep. He belonged in prison a lot more than he did the United States Senate. It’s a crying shame the great young man that he was became the putrid pit of a corruption that he became.

alchemist19 on December 17, 2012 at 7:32 PM

Stuff it, Scribbler! this ain’t the thread/place for that.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Hagiography of the corrupt dead is evil. The man was corrupt. My wife’s dad served in the 442nd. She’s an island girl. Speak frankly of the man, and pray for the thorough reform of Hawai’ian politics.

Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Damn, I was just reading about him a few days ago. A true hero. RIP.

mythicknight on December 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

RIP, Senator.

And thank you for your gallant and heroic service in WWII

You truly were part of the ‘greatest generation’.

(And, yes. I disagreed vehemently with his politics. But he was a Man Among Men. Anyone who earns a Medal of Honor rates a salute from me.)

Solaratov on December 17, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Odysseus on December 17, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The count begins at VP. It’s VP, Speaker, Senate President Pro Tempore, then the Cabinet members (mostly in order of creation of the post, with an exception for Secretary of Defense, which is considered to be the direct descendant of the former Secretary of War).

Where MKH doesn’t quite have it right is it’s the most-senior Senator of the majority party who is Pro Tem, not merely the most-senior Senator.

Steve Eggleston on December 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM

Vice President, first in line.
Speaker, second in line.
Who’s on third?

BubbaCluck on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Who’s on first.

Steve Eggleston on December 17, 2012 at 7:46 PM

But the ACA you left us with I must protest.

jake49 on December 17, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Vice President, first in line.
Speaker, second in line.
Who’s on third?

BubbaCluck on December 17, 2012 at 7:22 PM

“I’m second in line to be President!”Joe Biden

:-)

Resist We Much on December 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Resist We Much on December 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

Speaking of which, we need a Bidenism of the Day feature. Ed?

Steve Eggleston on December 17, 2012 at 7:54 PM

But seriously, why do we have people who are 88 years old making decisions that affect the entire nation and our future, let alone a state?

bucsox79 on December 17, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Excellent question.

Term limits is the obvious answer but it’s probably just because they have good name recognition, are guaranteed to obey the party leadership, and because no one wants to beat down on Grandpa.

CorporatePiggy on December 17, 2012 at 8:09 PM

When the words “great” are used with a Senator…………

Career politician.

PappyD61 on December 17, 2012 at 8:14 PM

I respect his service in WW2. And I probably better stop there.

WannabeAnglican on December 17, 2012 at 8:18 PM

US senate would really benefit from not being a retirement home where ancient mummies wait to die. If we can’t get term limits, maybe an age limit? 75 work for anyone?

bocat on December 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Inoyue joins Thurmond and Byrd in ranks of politicians whose length of service exceeds their ability to be realistic leaders in Congress. I say this in no disrespect but there should be an age limit for serving in Congress.

Happy Nomad on December 17, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Although McCain hasn’t served as many terms as those mentioned, he should be included on the list.

lonestar1 on December 17, 2012 at 8:36 PM

I thoroughly, absolutely and vehemently disagreed with the politics of Senator Inouye.

But, there is no denying that he loved his country, despite the horrible, inexcusable treatment FDR meted out to the Nisei. His bravery and deeds in the US Army truly were above and beyond the call of duty.

May the spirit of Lieutenant Daniel Inouye rest in peace for his magnificent service and sacrifice all those years ago.

“Go for broke!” and aloha Daniel Inouye.

R I P

Rixon on December 17, 2012 at 8:40 PM

US senate would really benefit from not being a retirement home where ancient mummies wait to die. If we can’t get term limits, maybe an age limit? 75 work for anyone?

bocat on December 17, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I would settle for a basic IQ test, but it is despicably racist.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM

Aloha Dan, and good riddance. Thanks for the WWII service, but no thanks for what came later. Scribbler has it exactly right. Dan converted Aloha into corruption. Gotta remember BOTH sides of the man. But condolences to his family, certainly.

Myno on December 17, 2012 at 9:14 PM

RIP, Sir…Thank you for your service in WWII.

StarLady on December 17, 2012 at 9:23 PM

RIP Cpt Inouye.

Dawnsblood on December 17, 2012 at 9:36 PM

A soldier died today.

He was, simply, a good man.

coldwarrior on December 17, 2012 at 9:44 PM

I’m sorry, He was a liberal democrat. He was a powerseeker, who knew that the policies that he avocated were bad for the country. He sold his country down the river for short term gains of power. Like all Washington democrats, he was a liar, and not to be trusted. The country is better off.

nofreelunch on December 17, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Inouye and Hawaii’s other senator, Akaka, have a combined age of nearly 200 years. Both men are/were walking, talking advertisements for term limits.

Travis Bickle on December 17, 2012 at 9:54 PM

I recall learning of and appreciating his WWII heroics during the Iran-Contra hearings and ended up having no respect at all for the Senator from Hawaii…but none the less RIP.

Deano1952 on December 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM

RIP, Dan.

I can’t say I agreed with all of his politics, but I remember what my mother told me about what a Japanese-American could expect before the war. She said that a college graduate could aspire to be a school teacher because the haole companies wouldn’t have him as a manager. I expect that experience would have helped shaped how Dan Inouye looked at the world. He could also see that the USA had unjustly imprisoned a large number of otherwise loyal people for reasons good or bad.

Since I recall that the Big Five were associated with the Republicans, I kind of doubt that he would choose to associate with them, even if the politics had changed over the decades he was in office. I also think a lot of his buddies were democrats too, so changing parties, if he ever contemplated that, would probably have seemed to him to be a betrayal of a war time bond. Honor and “Face” means a lot more to Japanese than maybe to caucasians.

Russ808 on December 17, 2012 at 10:43 PM

…no comment!

KOOLAID2 on December 17, 2012 at 11:22 PM

50 years? Good Lord…… TERM LIMITS.

maineconservative on December 17, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Hail and farewell. If one wanted to have his death overshadowed by other events, this would be a good time.

bmmg39 on December 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM

Rest in Peace, Sir

Hand salute.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

The man had been a Senator since John F Kennedy was President. Being sworn in January 3, 1963.

That is absolutely ridiculous.

Moesart on December 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM

I would settle for a basic IQ test, but it is despicably racist.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM

No one could ever reasonably suspect YOU of racism now could they?

DarkCurrent on December 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Nope, no sympathy here. The man may have fought for his country at one time. However, he spent the rest of his life destroying it. He was a statist through and through. Good riddance to an enemy of the republic.

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:57 AM

I would settle for a basic IQ test, but it is despicably racist.

Archivarix on December 17, 2012 at 8:42 PM

No one could ever reasonably suspect YOU of racism now could they?

DarkCurrent on December 18, 2012 at 1:29 AM

Was anything he said untrue?

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:59 AM

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:59 AM
Deano1952 on December 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Perhaps some of you chuckleheads would be happier if the MOH criteria came with a shelf life contingent on the individual’s politics.

Bradky on December 18, 2012 at 5:03 AM

Hitler and Goerring were decorated soldiers too.

Not so good as politicians.

acyl72 on December 18, 2012 at 7:33 AM

May he reap what he sowed.

tom daschle concerned on December 18, 2012 at 8:18 AM

An “A” for his WW2 heroism. All “F’s” after that.

MaiDee on December 18, 2012 at 8:52 AM

RIP and thank you for your heroic service in the military.

hawkdriver on December 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM

I did not agree with all of Senator Inouye’s politics but he was a man of integrity and honor. His heroism and conviction during WW2 in the face of adversity both at home and on the front lines is a lesson we all should strive to achieve.

Rest in Peace Sir

Gunner105 on December 18, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Godspeed, Senator and hero.

Bob's Kid on December 18, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Thank GOD!!!

FINALLY!!!

I was beginning to think this Leech using his Power to suck Money out of the American Taxpayers would NEVER go away!!

I hope he went peacefully – as opposed to how I felt about John Murtha, whom I hope spent the last hours of his life in the most indescribable agony possible after he thew the Marines at Haditha “under the bus” with NO substantiation or facts – Other Than Blind Loyalty to The Liberals Motto of “DESTROY BOOOOOOOOOOSH!!!”

williamg on December 18, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:59 AM
Deano1952 on December 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Perhaps some of you chuckleheads would be happier if the MOH criteria came with a shelf life contingent on the individual’s politics.

Bradky on December 18, 2012 at 5:03 AM

Uhhhh —- they already DO….if not, EXPLAIN why Pat Leahy and Congress MADE SURE that there were virtually NO MOH RECIPIENTS under George W. Bush’s terms in Office, and Congress awarded a BUTTLOAD of them AFTER Obama had been elected!

Denying Good Soldiers Recognition for their Valor PALES in comparision to the Obsessive Need for Congress and The Media to BELLOW: “I HAAATE mmmBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!!”

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2012/06/army-medal-of-honor-selfless-actions-of-at-least-10-show-they-deserve-the-award-060112w/

williamg on December 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 1:59 AM
Deano1952 on December 17, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Scribbler on December 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Perhaps some of you chuckleheads would be happier if the MOH criteria came with a shelf life contingent on the individual’s politics.

Bradky on December 18, 2012 at 5:03 AM

Perhaps a chucklehead like yourself believes that the MOH absolves someone of a lifelong commitment to statism.

Malachi45 on December 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM

King Dan treated Hawaiians and Hawaii residents as if they were his subjects. He held way too much power over them. The door should have hit this poster boy for term limits in the ass decades ago. Aloha, indeed.

Irene Flick on December 18, 2012 at 1:49 PM

It has been said often and with pride that the three most powerful politicians today are Obama, Daly and Dan Inouye. Corruption breeds evil.

Today, Hawaii is free of the dictatorship that has strangled the very breath of this state.

Governor Abercrombie, crying with the news, expressed Sen Dan’s last communication with him a few days ago in the form of a letter. He requested that Abercommie elect Colleen Hanabusa from the three candidates to replace him. His final order.

Maile on December 19, 2012 at 4:16 AM

I’m sorry he won’t be around to enjoy the new health care plan.

Ronnie on December 17, 2012 at 7:05 PM

He never would have… as a MOH recipient, he would have been treated FOR FREE at a military hospital, hence his passing at Walter Reed Medical Center in DC…

Khun Joe on December 19, 2012 at 9:02 AM