The Aloha Spirit: “That we look out for one another, that we deal with each other with courtesy and respect, and most importantly when you come from Hawaii you start understanding that what’s on the surface, what people look like — that doesn’t determine who they are and that the power and strength of diversity.”
Obama said that people ask him what he took away growing up in Hawaii what many consider paradise. Here’s what he had to say about his former home state:
I try to explain to them something about the Aloha Spirit. I try to explain to them this basic idea that we all have obligations to each other. That we’re not alone. That if we see somebody who’s in need, we should help. If there’s a child who doesn’t have a decent school, we should help rebuild that school. If there’s someone elderly, then we should make sure that they have a life of comfort and dignity. That we look out for one another, that we deal with each other with courtesy and respect, and most importantly when you come from Hawaii you start understanding that what’s on the surface, what people look like — that doesn’t determine who they are and that the power and strength of diversity. The ability of people from everywhere, whether they’re black or white or whether they’re Japanese Americans or Korean Americans or Filipino Americans – whatever they are – they’re just Americans. And that all of us can work together and all of us can join together to create a better country.
Even local political insiders backing other Democratic or Republican candidates for president said they feel good about Obama.
Slightly more than 73 percent of Hawai’i voters chose Barack Obama for president, according to the second printout of election results released tonight.
His Republican challenger, U.S. Sen. John McCain, had already conceded the race for the White House by the time Hawai’i’s first election results were released.
In the second printout, McCain received just 25 percent of the Hawai’i vote.
Those results were based on all of the early, walk-in votes and many of the mailed-in ballots — nearly 120,000 votes in all.
McCain received 23 percent of the votes in that first release of the Hawai’i results.
“This is a great day for Hawai’i, a great day for the country,” said U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka. “The world really needs the spirit of aloha.”
U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawai’i, said now that he is elected, Obama must begin the work of reaching out to Republicans to focus on a host of issues facing the country. “We have a lot to do,” she said.
KITV’s Denby Fawcett reported that many in Hawaii were bursting with pride on Friday as Obama was fast on the trail in New Hampshire.
“The people of Iowa put America on the road to change, and in four days time, New Hampshire, it is your turn to stand up for change in America,” Obama said.
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa is Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief in Hawaii.
“I think anyone from Hawaii, irrespective of who we support, has got (to) feel a sense of pride, and we have got to congratulate Barack Obama because he is the one with the local ties,” Hanabusa said. “What I would like to see Hawaii people do is to really get active in the party and then to participate in the Feb. 19 caucus, and the reason is you can never tell, and our delegates may make the difference and may actually have an impact.”
Obama supporter Chuck Freedman also urged Hawaii residents to register for Hawaii’s February Democratic caucus.
Political watcher Neal Milner said no matter what their political leaning is, many have been touched by Obama.
“Even the conservative columnist David Brooks said today in his column how you can get tears in your eyes from watching what he has been able to do,” Milner said.
Hawaii’s Republican National Committeewoman, Miriam Hellreich, said it’s exciting to see a fresh face like Obama’s in the mix.