Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, January 11, 2010

Obama shave ice will do, for now

By David Shapiro

When I saw film of President Obama back at work in the White House, I felt withdrawal from our two weeks of local news featuring all "O" all the time.

The first family casts quite a winter glow for us to bask in, and I hope the president keeps coming home for the holidays.

But I don't miss him enough to join with state and county politicians seeking to all but rename the archipelago after the first Hawai'i-born president.

Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who was late to jump on the Obama bandwagon during the 2008 campaign and has been kissing up ever since, started the presidential pandering with a proposal to rename Magic Island park after Obama.

That's pending before the City Council, which would have to waive a ban on naming a city facility for somebody still alive.

With the Legislature coming back into session, there are state proposals to honor Obama barely a year into his term.

Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who supported Hillary Clinton over Obama but could use a little presidential rub off in her run for Congress, wants to make Obama's Aug. 4 birthday a state holiday.

State Rep. Della Au Belatti would designate the Jan. 20 inauguration date as Ba-rack Obama II Ohana Day, and state Rep. Gil Keith-Agaran proposes to name a couple of public schools after him.

Even Republican Rep. Gene Ward has a plan to turn a Kuli'ou'ou parcel near Obama's birth cottage into an Obama state park, although you have to wonder if there's GOP humor in the fact that it's an empty lot.

I have the same reaction as when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize before he'd finished moving into the White House: Can't we wait until he actually accomplishes something?

Laws that delay recognition until after the person has faded from the scene provide time to assess the legacy. What if he ends up shaking his jowls on TV and insisting, "I am not a crook"?

Obama must have been a bit embarrassed to accept the Nobel Peace Prize just as he was escalating the war in Afghanistan; you'd think he'd send word to fawning Island lawmakers to cool it for a while.

Until he's established a record, the Kailua shave ice and 'Aikahi chili plate named for him are honor enough.