Mr. Djou Goes to Washington
Hawaii's new Republican congressman lays out his path to victory in November.
3:59 PM, Jun 15, 2010 • By MICHAEL WARREN
Hawaii's Republican congressman Charles Djou has had a whirlwind first three weeks in office.
After winning the election on May 22, Djou spent the next day, Sunday, thanking his supporters. On Monday, “I got up at one in the morning to start doing TV interviews” for the East Coast stations, Djou said in an interview yesterday with THE WEEKLY STANDARD. After going to wave a big "thank you" sign on the highway—a Hawaiian tradition—Djou drove into Honolulu to resign from the city council before lunchtime. A 12-hour plane ride from Honolulu (plus the six-hour time change) put him in Washington on Tuesday afternoon. “As soon as I got off the airplane,” Djou says, “I only had enough time to brush my teeth, have a shave, put on a suit, walk down the House floor, took the oath of office, and gave my first speech as a member, then immediately started voting, and it hasn’t slowed down since.”
Djou believes this will make it easier for him to win over enough of Case's voters this November. He's confident the Democrats won't be able to simply add Case's votes to Hanabusa's and beat him in November. "I hope the DCCC thinks that, and I hope my opponent thinks that," Djou says.
History may be on his side, too. “While I understand that the state of Hawaii as a whole may be blue,” Djou says. “I think Hawaii’s First Congressional District isn’t as deep blue as people perhaps think it is.” His constituents, for instance, have voted Republican in the gubernatorial race for the last four elections. George W. Bush only lost the district by six percentage points in 2004, though Honolulu-born Barack Obama won the district by 42 percentage points. Plus, no incumbent member of Congress from Hawaii running for reelection has lost. “Past is not always necessarily prologue, but it helps,” Djou admits.
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