Obama Sweeps Hawaii

Hawaii Democratic Caucus from hawaii on Vimeo.

Hawaii-born U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama won handily in Hawaii’s historic Democratic caucuses on Tuesday. More than 37,000 people turned out to participate in a process that previously drew no more than 4,900 caucusgoers, and Obama won 76 percent of the vote (compared with 24 percent for Hillary Clinton).

The Hawaii win gave Obama his 10th straight state-by-state primary win over former front-runner Hillary Clinton. The close national race, coupled with an earlier caucus date, put the islands in the national media spotlight for a process that is usually completely ignored. For most elections, Hawaii results come in so late that they’re essentially meaningless, as the winner usually is called before most islanders even get to the polls.

The reasons for Obama’s success here are many, including his local ties: Obama was born in Hawaii and attended Punahou School. But Tuesday’s results are especially notable given Clinton’s strong support among the Democratic party establishment (including Sen. Daniel Inouye). Obama’s mass appeal has flooded the “big tent” with newcomers, changing the game in a big way. As Honolulu Advertiser columnist Jerry Burris observes, while Hawaii enjoyed unprecedented attention on the national stage, the impact of this year’s historic Democratic caucuses may actually be even more significant right here in Hawaii.

Above, some video I took of our caucus location in Mililani. Former Hawaii gubernatorial candidate Randall Iwase and Rep. Marilyn Lee make cameo appearances. For more formats and viewing options, visit my Hawaii videoblog.

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