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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 4/22 (321 comments)

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  •  They support incumbents as a default (9+ / 0-)

    because otherwise it would be hard for them to prod incumbents into donating their share of receipts and it would be hard for them to want to disperse funds if the recipients know they might get stabbed in the back in the future. Furthermore, Schatz is more liberal than Hanabusa and they can't risk infuriating liberal donors by not explicitly supporting a more liberal incumbent.

    Hopefully she takes on Abercrombie as it seems like a total waste of time, seniority, and money for her to take on Schatz and that's before we get to the fact that it would be a challenge from the right.

    •  Not considerably more liberal. (0+ / 0-)

      And Schatz is a total backbencher through and through. If her polling is correct they have much more risk of alienating Hanabusa's supporters than whatever Schatz can come up with. Again why risk going in? Why waste money? I don't think they will. And no rich liberal donor is even going to pay attention to this race. Hanabusa is a conservative by any means.

      •  Hanabusa *isn't* a conservative (0+ / 0-)
      •  I'm not saying she is a conservative (4+ / 0-)

        but you can at least understand why the DSCC might invest here given that they generally back incumbents.

        At least with Schatz, from the perspective of Hawaii he can build up a shitload of seniority (I love how google doesn't spellcheck that but it does to spellcheck). Then you do have the fact that he's been really out front on environment/climate change issues and I just don't see the DSCC remaining neutral like you do; at the very least I'd be surprised if Obama didn't endorse Schatz. Finally, while he's not ridiculously more liberal there's still a significant difference. Climate change is the most serious issue we face today and the fact that he's trying to get out front on it separates him from 90% of other senators. That to me, someone who will probably not have to deal with the consequences, suggests that he's more liberal than she is. Then you have economic issues where she's pretty clearly a New Dem while he'd be in the CPC.

        Look I don't want to rehash this whole debate, so I'll just say again, you can at least see why the DSCC wouldn't remain neutral, right?

        •  I agree completely that they won't stay neutral. (0+ / 0-)

          I think we disagree on the level to which they will go to bat for him. Although perhaps I'm wrong.  

          And climate change is a popular issue among Hawaii Democrats. I'd be more impressed if he could put some sort of comprehensive legislation together and work to build support for it. Maybe I'm asking for too much?

          I like having these debates and if it's ever gone downhill in the past, I'm sorry.

          I do have a hypothetical for you. Lets say Hanabusa runs for Governor. What if Gabbard ran against Schatz? She's already recognized as a rising star and a media darling. What do you think would happen?

          •  Well given how less established Gabbard is (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ndrwmls10, Skaje, bumiputera

            I think Schatz beats her easily. Hanabusa has been in multiple offices for a long while now and her donor base is probably much more extensive. Plus there's the whole Inouye connection and Gabbard probably loses something like 58-42 to Schatz in the primary under the best case. Gabbard though I could never see running against him as she can clearly wait until Hirono retires and then waltz into the senate after accumulating a lot of good will and acquiring a larger donor base. If she is as liberal as Hirono I say good for her too, but she isn't a fool and I don't think she'd so opportunistically run against Schatz in 2014.

          •  I think Gabbard would lose and lose badly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Stephen Wolf, Gygaxian, bumiputera

            Democratic incumbents lose primaries for four reasons (often combinations of them)

            1) Scandal/crime, or otherwise controversial
            2) Ideologically out of step with voters
            3) Redistricting
            4) They're challenged by a massively popular politician

            Clearly the first three are not applicable here.  So we're talking about Gabbard having to win solely on the fourth.  I know you have a very positive opinion of her, but she is not as dominant a figure in Hawaii politics as you think.  She has attracted interest in her rapid rise, but she won her primary in large part because her opponent (Mufi Hannemann) was so unpopular, and she was more of a blank slate.

            The terms rising star and media darling are very subjective.  She has not been in the news very much (the only news I found on google was that she was giving back 5% of her salary, and that she is the first Hindu in Congress).  How do you know that she is so much more distinguished than all the other freshmen, many of whom have their own fans as well?

            Senator Schatz has also had a relatively recent rise to power, but he was Lt. Gov. for three years, chairman of the Hawaii Democratic Party for two, and a state representative for eight years before (being elected at just 26 years of age).  You would understand that others may actually consider Sen. Schatz to be a rising star as well.

            If Gabbard were to beat him, she would need something to show that she is better than him on.  I really don't know what she could possibly run on aside from "This is my life story, vote for me", completely ignoring Schatz in her commercials.  Meanwhile, Schatz would be able to run with the experience angle, and maintaining a continuous seniority buildup, which is actually a very important issue to Hawaii voters.

            In any case.  I'm 50-50 on whether Hanabusa stays in the House.  But I'm 95% sure Gabbard does.  The former at least has been equally visible and prominent in Hawaii politics for the past 15 years as Schatz has been, in her tenure as state senate majority leader, and has run for both congressional seats, giving her statewide name recognition.  Gabbard got to Congress just three months ago, coming from relative obscurity (city councilor for all of two years).  Hanabusa may feel like this is her last chance at higher office (she is 61), but obviously Gabbard can wait if need be for a chance at an open seat.

            Think about this...how many freshmen representatives give up their seats to primary incumbent senators?

      •  "A total backbencher through and through" (12+ / 0-)

        He's been in office four months!

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        by David Nir on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:06:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ndrwmls10

        where you are getting this idea that Schatz, who has been senator for all of 4 months, is a backbencher.   How do you come to that conclusion?  Is he more anonymous than other recent entrants to the Senate?  Do you see him as being markedly less influential than fellow senator Hirono?

      •  Is Hanabusa an active player in the House? (0+ / 0-)

        She seems rather like a backbencher as well from what I can tell. My first choice was Gabbard but I see no reason to primary Schatz.

    •  However, I do agree that she should (0+ / 0-)

      primary Abercrombie. Although that's because I think we need Gabbard in the Senate. She's going places and we need as many rising stars as possible actually rise. And lets be honest Schatz is not that. Does he honestly impress you? I'm not saying this stuff to fight with anyone by the way. I hope we can have a good discussion/debate. That's what I've always wanted out of this site.

      •  I think at this point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ndrwmls10

        I'd like you to tell us your reasoning behind your feeling that Schatz is a backbencher.

        I will admit to knowing very little about the situation and am curious for your take. All I know is that the environmental groups early endorsed and they see him as a leader on those issues which makes me think he wouldn't be a backbencher, but that's all I know.

        CA-12, (-5.50, -6.77), originally CA-46

        by Jacques Kallis on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 05:16:02 PM PDT

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      •  Honestly (10+ / 0-)

        Schatz does impress me.  It's no secret from my posts that I prefer him to either of his potential primary challengers.  You may view him as being relatively anonymous/backbenchery, but I have actually been a fan of his for years now, and expected great things of him.  Seven years ago on dailykos, I followed and diaried the election for HI-02, left open by Ed Case's ill-advised attempt at Sen. Akaka.  I wrote three diaries that year summarizing the race, of which then-state Rep. Schatz was one of the candidates.

        HI-02: Free For All

        HI-02: News and numbers

        HI-02: Updates and thoughts

        Hirono of course ended up winning, narrowly outpacing Colleen Hanabusa (Hawaii politics really are so insular), but I endorsed Brian Schatz for his strong progressive stances (in a time when Bush-years mentality made a lot of Democrats meek and bipartisan-y), and for the courage he showed in giving up his state House seat for this campaign (every state senator running was on their off-year and didn't have to do the same).  Schatz was young, unabashedly liberal, and a strong voice on the environment.  The others seemed like standard career politicians at the time, and I would have been proud to vote for Schatz, except that I was living in HI-01 at the time.

        It's funny reading my old comments.  I had hoped at the time that Brian Schatz would win and eventually become Senator, though I was content with Hirono's eventual victory.  In the third diary I wrote that although Schatz was going to lose, I hoped to see more of him in the future.

        And indeed we have.  The visibility he gained from that run got him the job of director of Obama's campaign in Hawaii, then the chairmanship of the Hawaii Democratic Party, and finally Lieutenant Governor.  When he was appointed Senator, many non-Hawaii residents were surprised...who was this guy?

        I was not.  He had been working a long time for this, and I think in the coming years he will indeed become a powerful Senator as Daniel Inouye was.

        •  Very good post on Schatz (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Skaje, JBraden

          He really seems like a decent guy and the most capable of the potential (if you count his appointment to the Senate making him "potential") Senators in Hawaii.

          Leftist Mormon in Utah, Born in Washington State, live in UT-04 (Matheson).

          by Gygaxian on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:49:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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