Monday, December 6, 2010

Hawai'i's 7th Governor

It's easy to forget sometimes just how young Hawaii is as a State (1959).  Today, I remembered when I found out that Neil Abercrombie was sworn in as Hawaii's 7th Governor.  To put that in perspective, Delaware, the First State, is on its 73rd governor.  The inauguration took place at 'Iolani Palace and there were about 5,000 people there.  I didn't walk across the street to watch because I couldn't imagine anything worse than trying to brave the inevitable crowd of confused people walking into each other.  I'm told he spoke for about 9 minutes and focused his speech on meaningless rhetoric improving the economy and promising to bring a "new day" to Hawaii.  You can read his inaugural message if you want, but one of the highlights is that he said, "our first job is to accelerate the economic recovery, restoration of good jobs, create good jobs, capitalize on new opportunities, work smarter, work in partnerships to optimize our jobs."  Are you scratching your head, too?  Yes, that grammatical and rhetorical train wreck is the work of a man who now runs an entire State.  I mean, nevermind the fact that the guy looks like a creepy pedophile.
Hawaii's New Governor
The governor didn't talk at all about how he would sustain government services while also fulfilling campaign promises to end government worker furloughs while dealing with rising Medicaid and state laborer health care costs.  I've written about furloughs before and how they suck for my wallet but give me two Fridays off per month.  I even have a label section dedicated to Furlough Fridays on the right side of the blog.  The furloughs that the governor talked about ending, though, don't apply to me.  The judiciary is controlled by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  As a result, the governor doesn't decide whether we keep our furloughs or not.

Abercrombie is your stereotypical career politician. He first ran for political office in 1970, challenging Republican U.S. Sen. Hiram Fong.  He also graduated from the University of Hawaii with a master's degree in sociology in 1964 and a doctorate in American studies in 1974 (he lost the Senate election in 1970).  His career also includes stints in the state House from 1975-1979, state Senate from 1979-1986 and Honolulu City Council from 1988 to 1990.  After serving a term on the Honolulu City Council, he ran for the U.S. House of Reps from Hawaii's 1st Congressional District.  He held that seat for 20 years before resigning in February to run for governor.

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