Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Hawai'i puts its mark on New York

 •  GOP shows unity, post-9/11 resolve
 •  Youngest Hawai'i delegate a fired-up 24
 •  Republicans proud of steps to improve schools

By Mike Madden
Gannett News Service

NEW YORK — Hawai'i's Republican Party delegates draped an orchid lei over the state's sign on the floor of Madison Square Garden and they attached a pineapple and some flowers to the bottom of it on the first day of the Republican National Convention yesterday.

Gov. Linda Lingle addressed delegates yesterday as the Republican National Convention got under way in New York City.

Gannett News Service

Hawai'i Republican Party Chairman Brennon Morioka said it was important to bring some aloha spirit to the convention, a four-day marathon dedicated to re-electing President Bush.

All of the Hawai'i delegates wore T-shirts with Bush's campaign logo on them that read, "Keoki W. 2004," using Bush's first name in Hawaiian.

The shirts were a big hit with other delegates, but Morioka said they didn't have enough to share. Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue and a handful of other delegates put their name on a list to get a T-shirt by mail.

Gov. Linda Lingle closed the morning session, using a gavel to end to the first four hours in her role as the convention's temporary chairwoman, standing in when House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., is not available to preside.

Just before closing the proceedings, Lingle introduced the morning's benediction speaker, disability advocate Joni Eareckson Tada. A diving accident in 1967 left Tada a quadriplegic, but during her rehabilitation she learned how to paint by holding a brush in her teeth. She now travels the country speaking on behalf of disabled people.

"Enable us to stand firm on issues touching your heart, speaking courageously on behalf of those too weak to speak for themselves," Tada said in her prayer. "In being conservative, grant us compassion."

Lingle had seen Tada speak on television and was moved by her story, said the governor's spokesman, Lenny Klompus.

Earlier in the session, Lingle cast all of Hawai'i's 20 votes to nominate Bush for another four-year term.

"We proudly represent the great state of Hawai'i, the 50th state in our nation," Lingle said. "The state where cultural diversity is not a slogan, but a way of life."