Spin Zone: Hillary or Barack?

October, 2007

Hillary or Barack: Who’s better for Hawaii?

SEN. COLLEEN HANABUSA, President, Hawaii State Senate, Hawaii co-chair of the Clinton Campaign

A: This presidential election is one of profound choices for the American people. We can choose a leader with the ability, the conviction and the experience to effectively face the challenges confronting this generation.  Challenges like 47 million Americans without health insurance, a $9 trillion national debt, and budget and trade deficits that threaten job growth and prosperity. Hillary Clinton is ready to address our challenges because she has the strength and experience to bring about the change we need.

The issues that matter to our nation matter to our state. Hawaii families have seen our healthcare premiums increase 15 percent and gas prices increase 55 percent since 2001. Our unique natural environment stands vulnerable to the effects of global climate change. Our proud tradition of caring for our elders—among the longest lived in the country—keeps our focus on ensuring they have the resources to retire with dignity and security. Our diverse population means our educational system has unique needs.

As a senator from New York, Hillary Clinton represents both the modest homes of Main Street and the glass towers of Wall Street, giving her an unmatched perspective on America’s vast potential to meet our common goals. As president, she will have the plan to reduce the costs and increase the availability of high-quality healthcare. And she has already outlined a plan for strategic investments in renewable and sustainable energy that will end our dependence on foreign oil and help protect our environment.

People across Hawaii are ready for change—ready to move in the right direction. We’re ready to set big goals again. And with Hillary Clinton in the White House, we will have a leader with the strength and experience to restore American leadership in the world and a sense of shared prosperity here at home.

BRIAN SCHATZ, Former Hawaii State Representative, Hawaii co-chair of the Obama Campaign

A: Sen. Barack Obama understands that, although we live in a dangerous world, we must believe in our collective ability to solve our problems. Think about it: Since Sept. 11, fear has dominated. Fear of terrorists, other countries, the other political party, of corporate greed and even government. Sen. Obama will replace the fear that has overwhelmed America’s politics with hope.

He got it right the first time
On the most difficult and important question of our generation, he got it right. His judgment wasn’t just correct; it was extraordinary among many thoughtful political leaders. He’s the only major presidential candidate who was opposed to the war in Iraq from the beginning. He predicted sectarian violence, instability and a recruiting ground for terrorism. In the words of former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, “There is a need for a fundamental rethinking of how we conduct world affairs. Sen. Obama has the guts and the intelligence to address that issue and to change the nature of America’s relationship with the world.”

He knows Hawaii
Imagine a president who empathizes with the plight of Native Hawaiians and who understands our unique economic, environmental and cultural position in the world — not because it has been explained to him, but because he grew up in it. With roots here, he won’t need to be persuaded of the importance of protecting our natural and cultural resources, or the unique challenges that come from being physically isolated.

Hawaii’s Values on the World Stage
For too long, political operatives have found ways to pit Americans against each other. This wins elections, but it weakens our country. Sen. Obama wants to turn the page on the scorched-earth battles of the past 20 years, and to unite America. He will bring Hawaii’s best values — tolerance, civility, respect and humility — to the presidency.

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