The politics of the Aloha State

THE POLITICS OF THE ALOHA STATE…. The Republican National Committee, for the first time, is holding a winter meeting at a sunny resort in Waikiki, Hawaii. RNC Chairman Michael Steele personally selected the locale.

I don’t much care, but the political implications have become rather amusing.

The choice of venue is, not surprisingly, drawing a little bit of ribbing from Democrats, groaning from some Republicans (it is a very long 4,000 miles from, say, Washington D.C), and reminders of the political significance of this state, in the form of the “Obama’s Oahu” maps on sale that provide a guide to all things Obama on this island, where the president grew up.

Mr. Steele, in an interview, leapt to defend the decision the moment the question was raised.

“It’s been disappointing to me to hear people treat the 50th state of the Union as if it was some foreign land,” he said, as he sat in the lounge of the Rainbow Tower, the smell of pineapple in the air and the breaking surf at his back.

Right. Who would make such a silly claim about Hawaii being “foreign”? Well, Republican campaign strategists, for one.

House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) also wasn’t thrilled with Steele’s chosen destination: “[D]o I want voters to think that Republicans do nothing but go to beach resorts in January? No.”

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation