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View Diary: Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie appoints Brian Schatz to replace Dan Inouye (420 comments)

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  •  Don't think anyone is saying that... (5+ / 0-)

    ... "a white man is never an acceptable pick when he is running against a women or a minority".

    However, when a white man is unexpectedly elevated to a position 'past' a well-qualified non-white woman who was widely assumed to be appointed (and even put forward as his preferred choice by the dying predecessor), in a state that's actually majority non-white, eyebrows will be raised.

    I say that as an outside observer who has no particular political preference for Hanabusa or Schatz - who didn't even know about Schatz before - and who might well come to like Schatz as Senator very much.

    The idea behind affirmative action is not that "a white man is never an acceptable pick when he is running against a women or a minority". It's that, in case both candidates are equally well qualified, the non-white or woman should be preferred. In this case, Hanabusa seemed to be seen as, if anything, the more qualified candidate, because of Schatz's relative inexperience and lower position on Hawaii's political pecking order. So passing her by would always raise some eyebrows, and the fact that it was a non-white, female candidate who was passed by in favour of a white man would raise it a little bit more. It doesn't need to be a huge deal, but it's not strange that people take notice.

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