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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 24, 2006

Ed Case's vision of a successor

By Lee Cataluna
Advertiser Columnist

Ed Case may be suiting up for the varsity before ever playing first-string JV, but he still has some words of wisdom for the kids hanging around the locker room.

Case kicked off the week with a Top 10 list (he loves those more than Letterman) of qualities his successor in the House should have. It was e-mailed from his Senate campaign site.

Not like he asked for a similar list from Akaka's office, mind you.

But apparently, people have been bugging him to pick a favorite fish in the crowded tilapia tank of the 2nd District. Look at the lineup of candidates. Ay, Ed, who we going pick? Help!

So Case came up with a handy list, based on the benefit of his three whole years in Congress. Some selected highlights:

"1. Leadership ...This is not a job for the fainthearted or for those who just follow the pack and avoid controversy or risk.

"2. Judgment ... Although we can't and won't agree with every one of those decisions, we can expect that the motivations, reasons, assumptions, analyses, abilities and general approaches that form the bases for his decisions are sound.

"3. Character ... It's especially important when our elected Representative is 5,000 miles away from us for more than half the year and we must trust her to be doing the job honorably and to be telling us honestly what's happening.

"4. Energy ... It's especially vital representing a district requiring twenty-plus 10,000 mile round trips annually and, once he's home, countless interisland trips, meetings and other events."

(OK, if you're an Akaka supporter, here's the part where you should put down your coffee, because you're liable to spill it.)

"5. Long-term Commitment ... We must expect that, with our consent, our Representative can and will make a long-term commitment to the job.

"6. District Knowledge ... While HI-2 is half of our Hawai'i, it is also different in many ways from Honolulu ...

"7. Moderate Independent Philosophy. The political philosophy of HI-2's citizens runs the full spectrum, but its mainstream where most of us are is not at the edges but in the middle ground ...

"8. Business Knowledge.

"9. Cultural Translation. Our Representative must move constantly between, and be at ease in, two often very different worlds: that of our Hawai'i and that of our nation's capitol.

"10. Communication/Outreach."

Good points, all, but he didn't quite answer the question. Ay, Ed, who we supposed to pick?!

In fact, when you read Case's list and then look at the roster of candidates, the only person that fits (except for No. 5) is Ed Case.

Lee Cataluna's column runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Reach her at 535-8172 or lcataluna@honoluluadvertiser.com.