Exciting Times At The Capitol

Gov. Linda Lingle

Things are really getting exciting in the square building on South Beretania Street. A change of administration is on the horizon. It’s always exciting to see who ends up where when a change like this occurs, especially on the fifth floor.

Gov. Linda Lingle has been in office for eight years.

That’s a long time.

In those eight years, five of her cabinet members have gone on to become judges. One even made his way to a trusteeship for Bishop Estate.

Former City Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz is now a senator for the North Shore of Oahu, and former City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle is mayor of the City and County of Honolulu. And let’s not forget Mufi Hannemann, who had gone from city councilman to mayor of Honolulu.

Brian Schatz went from chairman of the Democratic Party to lieutenant governor on the undercard as former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie became Gov. Abercrombie.

It’s worth noting that Lingle went from mayor of Maui County to chairwoman of the Republican Party on her way to being first governor-elect from a Neighbor Island.

It seems these highly qualified individuals also are looked on as exceptional recruits by those calling the shots in the private sector. It didn’t take long for the Disney venture on the Leeward Coast of Oahu to tap City Councilman Todd Apo as its public relations manager.

It seems that everyone is in the process of coming or going in the world of politics. Knowing which direction a politician is going can be very helpful in securing a happy retirement option.

There is a warning that goes with all this: Change is not always good. Sometimes change is nothing more than something done differently. Change doesn’t mean better; it means different.

Put yourself in Lingle’s position for just a moment. She has not driven her own automobile in eight years. She has been riding in the back of a chauffeured SUV all that time. How will she perform in today’s complex traffic delays? Will she be able to park her car? What kind of a car will she purchase? (As a member of the Cutter family, her options are nearly endless.) The pressure is immense, because after her years of preaching “green” this and “green” that, won’t she have to drive an electric vehicle? What happens if her new residence does not have a plug-in battery charger for electric vehicles? Imagine the need to go shopping for groceries. I’m sure she knows how, but after eight years, will she get lost in Costco looking for something to cook? And what about the need to actually cook something after eight years’ absence from the kitchen?

I’m sure Lingle will do just fine. I’m more worried about all the people who have benefited from her friendship over the years. It appears all of the appointments have proven to be beneficial to a lot of people. Now that will change, as a new governor takes over and starts appointing his own cabinet, his own Board of Education and his own UH regents. Those appointees also will have some appointing to do, so we’re in for an exciting season downtown.

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