Now it gets interesting

20 Jan

Former Governor Ben Cayetano has made it official.

He’s going to run for Honolulu mayor because he’s against the city’s $5.27 billion rail project.

We know Ben.
Not in a social “Let’s do lunch” way, but through years of seeing each other as we passed by going one place or another.

He always liked to stop and chat for a minute or two.
He’s a good man.

Here’s what he had to say, “I’ve waited patiently for someone to emerge and restore common sense to City Hall. No one has. And so I feel duty bound to come out of retirement and today I am pleased to stand with you and announce my candidacy for mayor.”

Geesh, this is going to be fun.

We now have a 3-way race with him, Mayor Peter Carlisle and former city managing director Kirk Caldwell.

Caldwell is running as “hands on” and supports rail.

Carlisle is the incumbant which is always worth a lot of votes and is a supporter of rail.
He’s also popular because he hasn’t made many waves.

Cayetano is against rail and is part of a group that filed a lawsuit wanting to stop it.

Ben is running on a single issue – never a good platform when you want to win.
He also has a strong track record as Governor and is very popular.

We’d call it a wash.

So, what are his chances?
We’d say pretty good.

Here’s the breakdown:

Two-terms as governor and lieutenant governor gives him a lot of political clout.

Lots of people know him, like him and owe him a favor or two.

He’s honest, almost to a fault – if there is such a thing.

If anyone can do it, Cayetano can get a campaign together and running before the election in August.

All he needs is 50 percent of the vote, plus one, and he moves into his new office.

If no candidate hits the 50 percent mark, it’s a runoff in the general election.

On the downside for him is he’s running against the rail project.

That means he’s going against Senator Dan Inouye, almost all the unions and banks and developers and people looking to make money and jobs off of it.

Still, we think he has a good chance.
He’s popular and the whole rail issue is still controversal with the voters.

People are going to have to choose between supporting their political party or their love or hate for the rail project.

People in east Honolulu and the Windward side aren’t that supportive of rail because it’s not going to benefit them directly, if at all.

That’s a plus for Cayetano.

Cayetano may have a tough time with the unions since they are pro-rail (or anything that gets jobs) and Ben fought with them a lot while Governor.

That’s a negative.

If you just look at leadership abilities – Cayetano.
He’s tough as hell, but fair.

Management – Cayetano.
The state ran well while he was in charge.

Record of accomplishment – Cayetano.

Ethnic breakdown – Cayetano.

But there are too many variables to write off Carlisle and Caldwell.

A delicious recipe for political junkies.

One Response to “Now it gets interesting”

  1. Anonymous January 20, 2012 at 11:22 am #

    He’ll be the first Dem I’ve voted for since McGovern! Give ’em, Ben!

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