GOP gearing upAbout 30 Hawaii residents have packed their tuxedos, ball gowns and winter coats to head for the presidential inauguration festivities this weekend in Washington, D.C.
Lingle and Marumoto will head
a group of about 30 local Republicans
who are making plans and dressing
up for festivities this weekend
By Mary Adamski
Only a handful of the state's top Republicans will have seats Saturday noon at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol when George W. Bush is sworn in as president and Richard B. Cheney as vice president.
They include state GOP Chairwoman Linda Lingle; state Rep. Barbara Marumoto, head of the Bush campaign in Hawaii; national party committeewoman Miriam Hellreich and committeeman Travis Thompson of Maui.
But those with tickets to stand among the 200,000 observers on the Capitol grounds aren't complaining.
"I'm very excited, it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," said Janice Pechauer, Bush campaign Oahu chairwoman.
The Hawaii party includes several people "who worked hard in the Bush campaign and deserve to celebrate the success."
Ball tickets cost $125Marumoto said: "The only time we'll all see each other is at the ball Saturday night." Celebrants bought $125 tickets and were assigned by state to one of the eight inaugural ball locations.
The Hawaii folks will do their dancing in the Washington, D.C., Armory, with partygoers from 14 other states.
There will be some Hawaii highlights in the public celebration, with Mrs. America, Leslie Ann Lam of Hauula, riding in the parade to follow the inauguration.
A Washington, D.C., halau of expatriate islanders, Ho'omau I Ka Wai Ola O Hawai'i, will march and dance along the route.
"I understand there won't be too many floats because of the short time span they had to plan," Marumoto said.
It's not just party time, said Micah Kane, executive director of the Hawaii Republican Party, who left yesterday with Lingle. "We'll be working for the first three days."
The GOP National Committee will meet prior to the inauguration and several meetings and events are scheduled this week.
Kane said Lingle will meet with Karl Rove, Bush campaign strategist now on his White House staff. Potential government appointments for Hawaii residents will be discussed, he said.
That and other Washington meetings are "an opportunity for us to inform them about the success the party has had in Hawaii," Kane said. "We have very clear goals we want to achieve while we're up there, to give Hawaii the most exposure possible."
Interest in governor's raceKane said that thanks to GOP gains in the November election, "I think we're on the radar screen and they want to see us continue. And they are very interested in Linda's race in 2002."
Lingle will run again for governor.
Clothes were of concern as the Grand Old Party people headed east.
Kane confessed to buying a new tuxedo, and so did retired insurance executive John Pechauer.
"It has an adjustable waistband," Pechauer laughed.
"Our children are already married, so I will have to hold onto it until the grandchildren get married."
Marumoto bought a new gown. "I'm not getting too gussied up, I'm concentrating on warmth. I got an outfit with a high neck, long sleeves and long skirt -- I still have to hem it up." She planned to leave town today just hours after being sworn in herself at the opening of the state Legislature.
Gae Berquist Trommald, a financial consultant, said she will wear a favorite basic black St. John dress, which she intends to wear again to the Friends of Iolani Palace ball Jan. 27. "A lot of people from Rotary have contributed to my warm weather wardrobe," she said.
Janice Pechauer said her ball gown "is a treasure, a Scott McClintock design which is high-end in price." The thrill of wearing it is enhanced by the fact that she found it at The Ultimate You, a consignment center of previously worn treasures, for only $75.