On Fox & Friends this morning, they made a big deal out of pointing out that Hawaii’s Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie overruled the wishes of recently-deceased Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in appointing Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz to replace Inouye in the U.S. Senate. Inouye had requested Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI) as his successor. Fox News producers repeatedly hyped “LAST WISH IGNORED,” as the banner on the screen put it, but nobody bothered to explain the smart Democratic strategy behind Ambercrombie's decision.
Guest host Juliet Huddy announced:
Senator Daniel Inouye made one last wish from his deathbed. He wanted to be succeeded by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa. But the governor of Hawaii, Neil Abercrombie, appointing his lieutenant governor, Brian Schatz, instead.
She played a clip of Abercrombie saying that Schatz’ appointment “is in the best interests of the party, the State of Hawaii and the nation.” There was no further information about why Abercrombie made his decision or might have said such a thing.
Instead, underneath the “LAST WISH IGNORED” banner were the words, “HI Gov doesn’t honor Inouye’s pick for seat.”
A little research reveals why Fox might have wanted to ignore Abercrombie's reasoning.
As Howie Klein writes in his Down With Tyranny blog:
When we looked at the situation here at DWT a week ago, Lt. Governor Brian Schatz seemed like too good of an idea to even give serious consideration. It looked to me that it would be the only way to keep reactionary corporate whore Ed Case—who was gearing up to run for Hanabusa’s seat—out of Congress.
… Just as important as keeping Case out of Congress is the fact that Schatz, who at 40 will be the youngest member of the Senate until Chris Murphy (D-CT) is sworn in in January, is also a progressive and a reformer with a great record on environmental issues. Hawaii’s Senate delegation, Schatz and Mazie Hirono, is likely to turn out to be the best in the whole country.
But wait, there’s more.
Local reports indicated that Schatz, 40, was favored by some state Democrats because of his youth, positioning him to gain seniority over the course of multiple terms as Inouye had done. Schatz, a former state lawmaker and state Democratic Party chairman, is 20 years younger than Hanabusa.
… Abercrombie said the fact that appointing Hanabusa would have spurred a special election to replace her in Congress was a consideration. He also noted that she was in position herself to gain seniority in the House, particularly on the Armed Services Committee, which is important to Hawaii.
So the choice was a savvy one for Hawaii Democrats and a good move for progressives. But Fox focused on the fact that Abercrombie did not go along with Inouye’s pick and only that fact. As if the network cared about anything else Inouye had ever wanted.
Here's one of the representative segments from this morning's Fox & Friends:
They give less than a damn about the Senator’s final wishes — as comments on the FoKKKsNation.com on the announcement of Senator Inouye’s death made clear . . .