Why Dods Must Rescue The Dems
Wednesday - January 25, 2006
I never thought I’d see the day in Hawaii when the Democratic Party was the old Republican Party, which was unable to come up with a good governor candidate for 40 years after John Burns vanquished Bill Quinn.
The GOP used to embarrass itself with the likes of Randy Crossley, Andy Anderson, Fred Hemmings (and, briefly, Forever Frank) until Linda Lingle hit her stride while Mazie Hirono tripped over her own feet.
(Hemmings has survived in politics as state Senate minority leader, and rightly keeps urging repeal of the excise tax on food. “Eliminating the cruel excise tax on food is immediate and helps everyone especially the poor the most,” he said on the Legislature opening day.)
Now Democrats embarrass Democrats - and cause GOP guffaws - with Randy Iwase as a governor-talk-up and a radio DJ as party chairman. Hey, Brickwood’s a helluva nice guy, but if you know him you also know he’s not writing those analysis pieces appearing above his name. Randy ... well, he’s Randy. Not even a blip on anyone’s political radar.
Here’s the reality: It has to be Walter Dods or it’s an embarrassment.
I know all the scuttlebutt on Dods. You’re tired of poverty-to-riches stories. Why vote for a multimillionaire, maybe a billionaire? Walter played ball with the Old Boys too long. He’s part of the St. Louis mafia, Opus Dei brothers with pidgin accents. He’s a banker, for cryin’-out-loud!
Dods doesn’t even want it. Let me rephrase that. He says he does-n’t want it but a lot of that has to do with his wife’s reluctance to get into politics now that they have the time and money to be into stress-free living.
But Walter, events seek the man or woman. Maybe in some normal Democrat year we’d leave you alone. You know how bad things are when your party’s talking about Brickwood, Harry, Randy and Lee.
Sometimes you just have to step up to the plate one more time.
You’re the force of coalescence. Business loves you. Labor gets along fine with you. Liberals know you won’t sell out for personal political goals at your age and status. You have the history of organization and you have the moolah to match Lingle’s $3 million. You’re Mike Bloomberg with solid Democratic credentials.
History is full of stories of men who said to their wives “the people need me, I have to go.” And went.
Letting Lingle with her Bushiness and stage-managed, no-beef governance go to a second term with hardly a whimper of dissent would mean the great visions of the 1954 Democrat revolution give way to a new mercantile society of haters of consumer protection, building restrictions, minimum wages, employer health care and same-sex equalities.
Sure, it will interrupt your family life.
But you know you have big ideas to offer us and a wellspring of colleagues probably much more talented than any governor or governor-candidate in our state’s history.
You’re destined to run this year. Accept that.
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