He’s the right-wing senior U.S. Senator from Arizona, storied POW from the Vietnam War and presumptive front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2008 presidential campaign. She’s the first-term, extremely well funded right-of-center Republican Governor of Hawai`i cruising through a cakewalk reelection campaign.
On Oct. 3, Senator John McCain and Governor Linda Lingle will meet at The Dunes at Maui Lani for a private, intimate (no more than 60 people) $1,000-per-plate fundraiser for Lingle’s reelection campaign. Is this the start of a beautiful political relationship that could “consummate,” if you will, in the White House in two years?
It’s not as outlandish as it sounds. Lingle’s political ambitions clearly stretch to Washington. And last year, Senator Daniel Akaka, of all people, brought the two together.
It was the spring of 2005, and the papers were filled with reports of an impending vote in the Senate on Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill. But first the bill came up in the Senate’s Indian Affairs Committee, which McCain chaired. At first, McCain told reporters that he had serious problems with the bill and wondered aloud about its usefulness and constitutionality.
Then Ms. Linda Lingle flew to town, testified before the committee and met with McCain. A few days later, on March 9, 2005, a slightly amended version of the Akaka Bill passed unanimously out of McCain’s committee. A few months later, when the bill looked like it was coming up for a full vote in the Senate (Hurricanes Katrina and Rita squelched that), McCain had become a full Akaka Bill booster. And he publicly said it was all due to Lingle’s influence.
“Here in Washington, it’s hard for us to go against the view of the governor, the Legislature—Republican and Democrat—the senators and the congressman,” he said in the Honolulu Advertiser on June 29, 2005.
And now he’s going to help raise $60,000 for Lingle. By my count, that’s two favors McCain’s given to Lingle. Way I see it, Lingle owes McCain plenty.