The state's Democrats fawned over newly elected Illinois Sen. Barack Obama at a fund-raiser last night, proudly embracing him as Hawai'i's "third senator."Uh oh...
For his part, the Hawai'i-born civil rights attorney and lecturer-turned-political celebrity told reporters: "Obviously, my primary responsibility is to the people of Illinois who elected me, but there's no doubt that I'm going to be sympathetic to certain issues that face the Hawaiian Islands — the situation regarding Native Hawaiians, the situation regarding the environment and how that impacts the treasure that is Hawai'i."Phweew! That was a close one.
Mr. Obama did have this to say about his birth state:
"The essence of Hawai'i has always been that we come from far and wide, that we come from different backgrounds and different faiths and different last names, and yet we come together as a single 'ohana because we believe in the fundamental commonality of people," Obama said. "We have a sense that beneath the surface of things, all of us share a common set of hopes, a common set of dreams and a common set of values. That's what the Islands have always been about."If you replace "Hawai'i" with "Democratic Party" -- and figure out what in the world "'ohana" means -- you would have a damn good framework for Dems to build a 21st century identity upon.
Mr. Obama also used the fundraiser to remind President Bush where the buck should stop with regard to "going to war with the army you have":
Illinois Senator-elect Barack Obama says he holds President Bush responsible for the actions and words of his Cabinet members, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.Mr. Obama will be sworn in on January Fourth.
Attending a fund-raiser thursday night in Waikiki, Obama was asked whether he felt Rumsfeld should step down. Obama said only that when Rumsfeld speaks, he holds the president responsible.