As in, he’s endorsing Schatz over Colleen Hanabusa.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) March 31, 2014
Link is ultimately to HuffPo: the situation is… actually not really compatible with the expectations and language of American democracy. Let me translate:
Daniel Inouye, Earl of Oahu, died recently without issue. On his deathbed, the Earl called for his adopted heiress (Colleen Hanabusa, Baroness Honolulu) to succeed him; but Neil Abercrombie (Duke of Hawaii) instead established his immediate feudal vassal (Brian Schatz) as Earl. This was technically within the Duke’s rights, but the relationship between the baroness and the new-minted Earl have only soured during the ensuing regency period. The King favors the Earl for both reasons of temperament (they agree on much) and presumably ones of State (a difficult succession will cause the King no small amount of turmoil at court); what has yet to be determined is what will happen if the Baroness refuses to accept being slighted in such a fashion.
…and that’s where the feudal analogy breaks down: because here in America the GOP’s best chance for a Hawaii upset is if Schatz wins the nomination. It’s not the greatest chance in the world, but if Hanabusa refuses to play ball then Charles Djou (the likely Republican nominee for Hawaii-SEN) has at least a chance to take advantage of the Democratic civil war and squeak out a win. And if you think that that is unlikely, fair point – but it’s how Djou won that HI-01 special election in 2010, so don’t dismiss the possibility.
So. Thanks, Barack Obama! Every little bit helps.