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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Djou's prediction not so far-fetched

By Lee Cataluna

Joe Namath guaranteed a win before the 1969 Super Bowl and that bold prediction made headlines. If the Jets didn't win, of course, he would have been the goat. But they won. And the quote became part of the Namath legend.

Charles Djou says the special election to Congress is pretty much in the bag for him, and Democrats are rolling their eyes and tsk-tsking. He might seem overconfident now, but if he wins this thing, his bold prediction will only add to his mojo.

It wasn't even that bold of a prediction.

The article appeared last week in The Hill, a D.C. newspaper that covers Congress: http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/house-races/97637-democrats-foresaw-hawaii-loss.

The story by Sean J. Miller focused on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's withdrawing their involvement in Hawai'i's special election for Congress. The DCCC had spent more than $300,000 in the race, but their efforts never went as far as picking one of the two leading democratic candidates to endorse. Vote for a Democrat, the ads urged. Any one will do.

So when the national party packed up and left Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case to duke it out on their own, Charles Djou was asked, "Whassup with that?"

And by now, we all know how he responded.

In the days after his inflammatory prediction of victory, Djou did some spin doctoring, saying that the quote was taken out of context and that he in no way sees his victory as a sure thing.

The original article did actually include some cautionary language:

"Still, he's going to run TV ads and plans to 'campaign hard' until the voting deadline. 'I'm not calling it a day by any means,' he said, 'but the bulk of the ballots have already been turned in. It is almost anticlimactic.' "

Djou also told The Hill his campaign is now focusing on making sure supporters have mailed in their ballots.

"If this is a close election that's going to be decided by a couple percentage points, you fight to the very end. I'll leave no stone unturned."

So the trash-talking wasn't even very trashy, especially since it was based on the reality of polls that show Djou far ahead in the race.

However, there was an even spicier quote in the article that was overlooked with all the attention on the supposed Djou trash-talk about the election being pretty much over.

"Colleen and Ed both dislike me," Djou said. "But they hate each other."

Ho! Isn't that the truth!

Claiming victory before the final score may be more acceptable in boxing and football than in the sport of politics, but Djou was responding to questions about why the Democratic Party big boys were pulling out. Plus, it looks like he'll be proven right.

Lee Cataluna's column runs Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Reach her at 535-8172