Clinton, Giuliani courted
for local political rallies

Both are interested in rallying
support for their respective parties

Candidates pledge to aid kids

By Pat Omandam

Gov. Ben Cayetano said Hawaii Democrats are arranging for former Democratic President Bill Clinton to visit Hawaii before November's general election to help rally the political party and its supporters.

Election 2002

Meanwhile, Hawaii Republicans said they, too, are working to get a national figure here: former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

"We obviously would love to have him come to Hawaii, and he's interested in coming," said Micah Kane, chairman of the Hawaii Republican Party.

The governor said yesterday that Clinton has always had a fondness for Hawaii because this longtime Democratic state had overwhelmingly supported him during his presidential campaigns in 1992 and 1996.

"He's always had a special place in his heart for Hawaii because we gave him the largest margin in both of his elections. And he's always been thankful for that," Cayetano said.

"Will he help? I think he will. Now that he's out of office, I think people have had the opportunity to step back and reflect on some of the good things he's done. And there have been many good things he's done," he said.

The governor said bringing in prominent national figures to rally and raise support for local political parties does help candidates. Cayetano believes it will mean more to Hawaii residents if Clinton appeared here rather than President Bush.

Cayetano said that from a national point of view, Hawaii still maintains Democratic values, although he is concerned not all Democrats will vote along party lines in this year's elections.

The governor is also unsure whether Giuliani will have the appeal that he had shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack in New York. Even so, Giuliani is an interesting man who is surprisingly liberal on some social issues, he said.

"I kind of like him," Cayetano said. "So I don't think it will hurt."

Kane said as long as the country continues its war on terrorism and as long as no Asian trips are planned, it is unlikely that President Bush would visit Hawaii anytime soon.

Kane said Giuliani has a working relationship with Republican gubernatorial candidate Linda Lingle and has expressed interest in helping her campaign here. But no dates have been scheduled and nothing is confirmed, he said.

Kane added that recent convictions of island Democratic politicians has made integrity and corruption key issues for Hawaii voters this year.

He does not think Clinton, who faced his own ethical problems in office, is the right person to bring to Hawaii to champion ethics among local Democrats.

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