Dems in Disarray: Hawaii governor ousted in primary

posted at 11:01 am on August 10, 2014 by Noah Rothman

It’s only a matter of time before the political press picks up on this episode as part of a narrative about the larger Democratic Civil War… right?

On Saturday night, The Aloha State’s Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie lost the battle for his party’s gubernatorial nomination to state Sen. David Ige. Badly. With 99 percent of precincts reporting as of this writing, Igy won 67.4 percent of Democratic primary vote compared to just 31.5 percent for Abercrombie.

The governor’s loss was not unexpected as public opinion surveys in even this difficult to poll state had unmistakably shown for several weeks that Abercrombie was likely to lose this race, but this is still the first time in the state’s history that a sitting governor has been ousted in a primary after serving just one term. Local factors rather than national politics or even the Abercrombie brand were more to blame for this Democratic revolt.

Indicative of the uniqueness of the gubernatorial primary, Sen. Brian Schatz Abercrombie’s appointed replacement for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (against the late senator’s wishes), may have narrowly survived a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. “With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Schatz had 49.4 percent of the vote, while Hanabusa had tallied 48.6 percent of the vote,” Fox News reported. “The two were separated by fewer than 2,000 votes out of more than 210,000 ballots cast.”

AP reported that the state’s primary was held under unique circumstances which could force a review of the results:

Tropical Storm Iselle, which pounded parts of the state earlier this week, also delivered a bizarre twist to Hawaii’s election, leaving the heated contest between incumbent Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa too close to declare a winner.

In an unprecedented move, elections officials postponed voting in two precincts in the remote Puna region of the Big Island, deciding that damaged roads would make it unsafe for voters to get to the polls. With Schatz holding only a narrow lead over Hanabusa, both candidates will have to wait for the results from mail-in ballots that will be sent to as many as 8,255 registered voters there, then returned and tabulated.

None of these factors seemed to matter much for the gubernatorial contest and, in a year in which every sitting Republican senator was endorsed by their state’s primary voters, one wonders if the press will use this opportunity to examine the surging currents beneath what outwardly appears to be the Democratic Party’s placid façade.

“Both races divided the state’s dominant Democratic Party and offered voters a choice between the political establishment and a new generation of leaders,” the AP report noted. Just how establishment, you ask?

“Campaign officials for Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie say President Barack Obama is endorsing Abercrombie’s bid for re-election next year,” another AP dispatch read. “The campaign said on its website Friday that Obama is backing Abercrombie because of his handling of state finances and approach to making tough choices.”

While a bit more media scrutiny of the dissatisfaction of the Democratic grassroots which will become clear in 2016 would be welcome, it would be a bit dishonest to suggest that Abercrombie’s primary loss is suggestive of any larger trend affecting the Democratic Party. That hasn’t stopped the press, however, from analyzing every statewide contest involving the GOP this year within the prism of tea party vs. establishment politics when it was also primarily local factors which pushed incumbent Republican senators across the finish line this year.


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bad move, hawaiii dems. aberzombie knows where the real birth certificate is buried..and you just pizzed him off.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on August 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Communists vs Socialists? Which group will take more?

Oil Can on August 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Local factors rather than national politics or even the Abercrombie brand were more to blame for this Democratic revolt.

democrats are revolting! News at 11……………..

VegasRick on August 10, 2014 at 11:08 AM

it would be a bit dishonest to suggest that Abercrombie’s primary loss is suggestive of any larger trend affecting the Democratic Party.

uhhh…headline?

Dems in Disarray: Hawaii governor ousted in primary

ChrisL on August 10, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Abercombie was too LEFT wing even for Hawaii, that was why he got dispatched.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Is that a picture of Honest John Corzine headlining this story?

Vince on August 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I knew Abercrombie when I was a student at the University of Hawaii and he was an instructor in American Studies. He was anti-American. I am very happy he lost.

rlwo2008 on August 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Is that a picture of Honest John Corzine headlining this story?

Vince on August 10, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I thought there was a resemblance, another Governor who wasn’t there for long.

22044 on August 10, 2014 at 11:34 AM

bad move, hawaiii dems. aberzombie knows where the real birth certificate is buried..and you just pizzed him off.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on August 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Maybe he will release it to the public. It won’t make much of a difference now, but I can use another good laugh!

Thank you!

Woody

woodcdi on August 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

From Twitchy:

A few weeks ago, Politco reported that President Obama cut radio ads for uber-liberal incumbent Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

LOL

Fallon on August 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Abercombie was too LEFT wing even for Hawaii, that was why he got dispatched.

Raquel Pinkbullet on August 10, 2014 at 11:21 AM

Er, no. It’s almost universally accepted in Hawaii that Abercrombie spat on the grave of Daniel Inouye by ignoring his wishes and appointing Senator [insert name here] instead. Inouye was almost universally loved in the Aloha State – WWII veteran who lost an arm fighting the Japanese, shoveled tons of pork into the state’s military bases, and fantastic with constituent services.

KingGold on August 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Indicative of the uniqueness of the gubernatorial primary, Sen. Brian Schatz[,] Abercrombie’s appointed replacement for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (against the late senator’s wishes), may have narrowly survived a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

Needed a comma after “Schatz” to offset the lengthy appositive. You got the comma after the close parenthesis correct.

Just sayin’. Sigh.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

PIX: The Governor and an onlooker.
Why don’t they ID the guy in the Hawaiian shirt?

Another Drew on August 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Its never “Good-by”, its ALWAYS just “Aloha”!

famous amos on August 10, 2014 at 11:45 AM

Dog: Is that a printed, layered .pdf waiver so Biraq Obama doesn’t eat me?

SouthernGent on August 10, 2014 at 11:49 AM

But he said he was there when Obama was born in Hawaii. Doesn’t that kind of lying loyalty get you more help with voter fraud when you need it?

Cara C on August 10, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Communists vs Socialists? Which group will take more?

Oil Can on August 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

Commies take it all. Socialists at least let you keep a little of what you’ve earned.

UltimateBob on August 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM

I knew Abercrombie when I was a student at the University of Hawaii and he was an instructor in American Studies. He was anti-American. I am very happy he lost.

rlwo2008 on August 10, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Anti-Americanism runs in the political bloodstream there. After all, is there anyone more anti-American than the impostor in the White House who, I’m told, purportedly “hails” from there?

TXUS on August 10, 2014 at 11:55 AM

That hasn’t stopped the press, however, from analyzing every statewide contest involving the GOP this year within the prism of tea party vs. establishment politics when it was also primarily local factors which pushed incumbent Republican senators across the finish line this year.

I’m loathe to defend the press, but in this case those are the dominant politics in GOP races. You don’t have something like the Tea Party on the Left trying to take out Democrat incumbents, as they are in just about every GOP primary. It’s very hard to argue that what we saw in MS, for example, is just local politics, not with the national focus on it from both “sides” of the GOP and the bitterness that came of the result.

changer1701 on August 10, 2014 at 11:58 AM

Indicative of the uniqueness of the gubernatorial primary, Sen. Brian Schatz[,] Abercrombie’s appointed replacement for the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (against the late senator’s wishes), may have narrowly survived a primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

Needed a comma after “Schatz” to offset the lengthy appositive. You got the comma after the close parenthesis correct.

Just sayin’. Sigh.

BuckeyeSam on August 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Thank you. I was just getting ready to post about that subject.

As I have said in other threads: Nearly. Every. Post.

Incoherent sentences is not an attribute.

Yoop on August 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Have to admit that while I loathe Abercrombie’s politics, I was watching the live TV stream from Honolulu when Iselle was bearing down, and he was totally on top of the situation. It was an impressive performance.

Del Dolemonte on August 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Local factors rather than national politics or even the Abercrombie brand were more to blame for this Democratic revolt.

It’s not a revolt when they still vote for the D on election day. It’s just revolting. Get back to us if Hawaii ever comes to their senses.

rhombus on August 10, 2014 at 12:13 PM

So that’s who you’re dealing with: some mix of civil war reenactor or Tea Partier decked out in revolutionary garb, with a mix of reckless aggression and comical incompetence. Here we have them break into nursing homes to photographs senator’s comatose wives; there Putin gives them heavy armaments designed for full scale land war in Europe.

Ned Pepper on July 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

I see you’re still lifting stuff from loony leftist sites and passing it off as your own, Ned. The screed quoted above came from TPM, word for word.

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/just-with-real-weapons

Gator Country on July 18, 2014 at 1:29 PM

LOL!

Recycled troll HALOL! is recycling some one else’s comments.

Too funny.

HumpBot Salvation on July 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

Your plagiarism noted, Ned Pecker, how is that civil war in your party going?

Also, say “Hi” to banned HAL for us.

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2014 at 12:15 PM

The media doesn’t do civil war stories about Democrats. You know what else I’ve noticed? In the past there have always been loud stories about ladies skirts getting longer when the economy is seen to be bad, and Honey, the skirts are maxi right about now. But you won’t see that story because the Democrats are in charge. Don’t get me wrong, the story is out there but you have to go look for it.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM

I doubt that they think he’s incompetent. Is he just too close to The Won? Hard to imagine that being a drawback from two hometown guys.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Nice to see a headline that says “Dems in disarray”. About time it happened to them.

That was a massive rebuke of a sitting governor.

cat_owner on August 10, 2014 at 12:22 PM

It’s just pitiful he was ever governor.

Look at him! Balding, Hawaiaan shirt, doggie buddy…a tropical Jon Corzine.

I guess he can go back to surfing and smoking dope now.

PattyJ on August 10, 2014 at 12:25 PM

From Twitchy:

A few weeks ago, Politco reported that President Obama cut radio ads for uber-liberal incumbent Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

LOL

Fallon on August 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Everything Midas touched turned to gold. Everything Obama touches turns to shit.

I hope Obama cuts an ad for EVERY democrat running for Senate, including Mitch MCConnell and Thad Cochran.

ConstantineXI on August 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM

I doubt that they think he’s incompetent. Is he just too close to The Won? Hard to imagine that being a drawback from two hometown guys.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Can we get a Hawaiian Birth Certificate for Benjamen Netanyahu so he can run in 2016?

ConstantineXI on August 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

ConstantineXI on August 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

I live to dream.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM

That’s a solid primary victory against an incumbent. Definitely not disarray. If Abercrombie won with less than 50% support from his base then you would have an argument for that. (see MS, KS and TN)

Wigglesworth on August 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

He was a doofus.

Can we get a Hawaiian Birth Certificate for Benjamin Netanyahu so he can run in 2016?

ConstantineXI on August 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

A PA birth cert would make more sense. He spent a lot of his life in Philadelphia.

formwiz on August 10, 2014 at 12:49 PM

A few weeks ago, Politco reported that President Obama cut radio ads for uber-liberal incumbent Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

LOL

Fallon on August 10, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Indeed………

VegasRick on August 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM

The media won’t report it, but Dems are definitely in for a “civil war”. For one, Obama has managed to tick-off so many people, even in his own party, there are bound to be consequences. Michelle Malkin has a story about the head of the Coal Miner’s Union who just got jailed protesting EPA regs AFTER he supported the SCOAMF in 2008. This sort of thing will be repeated throughout the Country.
Second, we’ll have the whole Primary thing, Clinton’s vs. Obama’s, Biden’s vs. Warren’s, and anyone else who decides to join the fray. On the outside at least, there will be a “war” between the uber Lefties and the more “conservative” wing led by the Clinton’s.

Obama may be a master politician but in the end he’s a crappy POTUS who has embarrassed members of his own party – as you can see his endorsements are kryptonite. No one wants to be associated with an incompetent boob whose popularity is cratering and whose legislation (or lack thereof) are unpopular. There’s going to be hell to pay at some point, and that crack in the armor should (but likely won’t) be exploited by the GOP.

Grab yer popcorn, it’s gonna be a dooooozy!!

Pelosi Schmelosi on August 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

As I recall, there was a scandal involving Hawaii’s ObamaScare exchange and a lot of money went missing.

He’s probably set for life.

WhirledPeas on August 10, 2014 at 12:55 PM

It is with great satisfaction to me that abercrombie was trounced. Althought he was endorsed by obama, the reason for the defeat was pure local. The governor had PR issues from the git go and has a combative and arrogant style which goes against the grain of the local laid back style in Hawaii. This was no problem when he was a congressman since we didn’t have to look at him everyday. He tried to tax the retirement income which PO’d the libs. Then he called a sham special session to legalize gay marriange. the bill passed despite 80% against in testimony. This PO’d the christian and conservatives. He got into a nasty and brutal contract fight with the teacher’s union and they actively campaigned against him. Not even the recent hurricane crisis could save him like Sandy did obama. My only regret is Shatz didn’t go down in flames too. He was Lieut. Gov. when apointed by abercrombie. he is an ultra lib. who headed the elect obama org. in hawaii for the first term. he was running with heavy endorsement from Obama. Obama is still popular in Hawaii (alleged “local boy”, and Hawaii is a homer state). In a blue state local style is everything. Shatz, as much as I despise him has a more affable demeanor and has a wife and little kids so he presents better than abercrombie. In my opion this is not a referendum on national politics.
Regretably.

warmairfan on August 10, 2014 at 12:59 PM

As I have said in other threads: Nearly. Every. Post.

Incoherent sentences is not an attribute.

Yoop on August 10, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Oh the irony.

koaiko on August 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

As a kama’aina, it makes me feel good to see that carpetbagging, Commie Abercrombie get beat in his primary! Unfortunately, it won’t make much difference, as there aren’t enough folks willing to work at reversing their welfare state politics.

tomshup on August 10, 2014 at 1:14 PM

But fortunately for the Dems, John Boehner couldn’t lead a Marine Division to take over a popsicle stand.

Ray Van Dune on August 10, 2014 at 1:14 PM

But will Ige defeat Aiona? Will Abercrobie’s people all move to Ige or can Aiona make some inroads because of Dem division? Why not give the GOP candidate some ink?

KW64 on August 10, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Ariel Edwards-Levy @aedwardslevy · 12h

Hawaii gov GE polling:
-Ward 7/29: Aiona 41, Ige 34, Hanneman 15
-Merriman 6/9: Aiona and Ige 31 each, Hanneman 17

WhirledPeas on August 10, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Bad comb over did him in….

albill on August 10, 2014 at 1:29 PM

Heh, oaf’s power

Schadenfreude on August 10, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Incoherent sentences is not an attribute.

Oh the irony.
koaiko on August 10, 2014 at 1:13 PM

Actually, use of the singular to refer to (the occurrence of) incoherent sentences is not technically incorrect, but it is certainly awkward. The reference to “an attribute” as if an attribute is always positive is also a bit off. Most instances of “attribute” include a modifier indicating a positive quality (“He has many fine attributes.”).

Ray Van Dune on August 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

Actually, use of the singular to refer to (the occurrence of) incoherent sentences is not technically incorrect, but it is certainly awkward. The reference to “an attribute” as if an attribute is always positive is also a bit off. Most instances of “attribute” include a modifier indicating a positive quality (“He has many fine attributes.”).

Ray Van Dune on August 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

You are correct that I failed to use a positive adjective to define the type of attribute. I mistakenly assumed that most would automatically think I meant a positive attribute when considering the context of the comment.

In the case of the use of the singular, it passed the smell test when I ran with it.

Yoop on August 10, 2014 at 1:56 PM

With as lefty as Hawaii is what do you bet the dog in the picture is a registered voter, and that no one asked it for ID before it voted?

alchemist19 on August 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM

No big loss here. Most believe he obstructed the search for Obama’s alleged Hawaii birth certificate. Won’t be missed.

Amazingoly on August 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Actually the race is now a 3 way one. Ige the dem. Duke Aiona the repub. and Mufi Haneman as an independent. Mufi lost big time to abercrombie the last election and lost a bid for Congressional District 2 against Tulsi Gabbard. He was a democrat. He may pull democratic votes from Ige giving some advantage to Duke. However the republican party is extremely weak in Hawaii (worse than California) and the democrats control all the unions coupled with the extremely low voter turnout and it is now a toss up. We will see how the christian church groups turn out. That same sex marriage bill woke up a lot of them up. Testimony against the bill was huge and mostly against. If this carries over to voter turnout in the general, Duke has a good chance. Or course he will have to deal with a legislature that is 95% democrat, but that is a problem down the road.

warmairfan on August 10, 2014 at 2:06 PM

This PO’d the christian and conservatives.

There are Christians & conservatives in Hawaii?

8 weight on August 10, 2014 at 2:51 PM

bad move, hawaiii dems. aberzombie knows where the real birth certificate is buried..and you just pizzed him off.

ThisIsYourBrainOnKoch on August 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM

Next headline: “HI Dept of Health Building unexpectedly burns to the ground. Email backups destroyed also.”

faraway on August 10, 2014 at 3:04 PM

A special note to all you storm trooper spelling police. Actually, nobody gives a flying flip what you think. I didn’t come here for a grammar scolding and I doubt many others did either?

STFU, climb down off your imaginary high horse and go crawl back under your rock.

Luthier on August 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Er, no. It’s almost universally accepted in Hawaii that Abercrombie spat on the grave of Daniel Inouye by ignoring his wishes and appointing Senator [insert name here] instead. Inouye was almost universally loved in the Aloha State – WWII veteran who lost an arm fighting the Japanese, shoveled tons of pork into the state’s military bases, and fantastic with constituent services.

KingGold on August 10, 2014 at 11:37

In other words, your favorite type of politician…life-long federal government grifter who used his past military service to shield him from criticism for extracting unlimited amounts of taxpayer money from the other 49 states for monuments he could slap his name onto…all the while guaranteeing lifelong “employment” and feathering his own nest with a cut of the action. Sounds like the perfect establishment Republican.

fitzfong on August 10, 2014 at 3:09 PM

LOL!! Keep fighting. I like it.

Ned Pepper on July 12, 2014 at 3:23 PM

HumpBot Salvation on August 10, 2014 at 3:24 PM

What’s with the grammar brouhaha?

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The “Birthers” must be in a frenzy

J_Crater on August 10, 2014 at 4:47 PM

Why not give the GOP candidate some ink?

KW64 on August 10, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Yes it would have been nice if he had at least been mentioned. Rs have won governor’s races in Hawaii. In fact Linda Lingle was governor up until 2011.

cat_owner on August 10, 2014 at 5:50 PM

A good start.

TimBuk3 on August 10, 2014 at 5:51 PM

What’s with the grammar brouhaha?

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 4:42 PM

The errorists are winning.

WhirledPeas on August 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM

A special note to all you storm trooper spelling police. Actually, nobody gives a flying flip what you think. I didn’t come here for a grammar scolding and I doubt many others did either?

STFU, climb down off your imaginary high horse and go crawl back under your rock.

Luthier on August 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

No.

Language, usage, and grammar require precision and accuracy. We expect the author of a blog article to get it right. Calling him on it just improves the site. Otherwise, it’s all run on sentences without punctuation in lower case that becomes hard to follow our understand the meaning of get it

massrighty on August 10, 2014 at 6:11 PM

“Campaign officials for Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie say President Barack Obama is endorsing Abercrombie’s bid for re-election next year,” another AP dispatch read. “The campaign said on its website Friday that Obama is backing Abercrombie because of his handling of state finances and approach to making tough choices.”

Yeah, like that tough choice to shut up when Obama told him to shut up about personally investigating the Obama birth certificate once he became Governor.

ITguy on August 10, 2014 at 8:23 PM

WhirledPeas on August 10, 2014 at 5:58 PM

Too funny! If I go an hour without ending a sentence in a preposition I consider it a win.

Cindy Munford on August 10, 2014 at 8:33 PM

1. Brian Schatz is chairman of the DNC-HI, allows Obama on the HI ticket.
2. Sen. Daniel Inouye backs Hillary, publicly declaring in Honolulu Adveriser Newspaper that no one in HI has heard of Barack Obama. Obama reprimands him calling it a stunt.
3. Schatz is credited for Obama’s HI win. (Obama owes him)
4. Abercrombie decides to leave Congress and run for HI governor with Obama’s full support and endorsements.
5. Trailing sadly behind Duke Aiona, absentee votes are counted, AP announces Abercrombie wins appointing Schatz as Lt. Gov. Taxing become his mantra along with passing gay marriage against the wishes of 80% of Hawaiian voters.. He did both along with other atrocities.
6. Abercrombie appoints new Health Director and announces that he is going to find Obama’s COLB. New Health director quits within weeks of his appointment, Loretta Fuddy is then appointed.
7. Sen. Dan Inouye passes, Obama in HI on vacation gets Schatz appointed to take Inouye’s slot and wisks Schatz to DC in Air Force One. Hanabusa not happy camper.
8. Loretta Fuddy drowns in water off of Molokai,all other passengers survive.
9. Abercrombie loses his election. While conceding the race, he thanks his supporters, the unions and MoveOn.Org
10. Awaiting announcement of Schatz Senate victory. Hanabusa won’t be a happy camper.

Maile on August 11, 2014 at 5:38 AM

Ahhhh, Hawaii.
Land of the $30 hamburger and being called a ‘haolie’ behind my back but never to my face.
The land where the cop sits and only writes tickets to white tourists.

Sorry, it’s your mess, losers.

Tard on August 11, 2014 at 9:22 AM

A special note to all you storm trooper spelling police. Actually, nobody gives a flying flip what you think. I didn’t come here for a grammar scolding and I doubt many others did either?.

Luthier on August 10, 2014 at 3:06 PM

SD on August 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

This will give Abercrombie lots of time to finally find that pesky birth certificate.

Not that Obama needs it because he found out about his birth in the newspaper.
/sarc

virgo on August 11, 2014 at 11:51 PM