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'Inouye and Lingle: A Great Team'

One of Linda Lingle's main arguments for why she'd serve Hawaii well in the U.S. Senate is that she would give the state a “foot in both camps” — Dan Inouye with the Democrats and her with the Republicans. It would give Hawaii an insurance policy that someone would be in the majority no matter what.

A web video from the campaign is making the rounds, but it goes a little further with that argument. Gen. Bob Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager, faces the camera and delivers the following remarks:

Aloha. My name is Bob Lee and I was privileged to serve eight years as the adjudant general for the State of Hawaii. In my position, I worked with leaders in Washington. I know how the different branches of government function. I was also able to work with Sen. Inouye over the years and I personally want to thank Sen. Inouye for always supporting our troops and for keeping our nation’s defense strong.

Regardless of whether the Republicans or Democrats were in the majority in the Senate, Sen. Inouye and his partner, Sen. Ted Stevens from Alaska, delivered the resources Hawaii deserved. Sadly, Sen. Stevens passed a few years ago.

As the current chair of the Appropriations Committee, Sen. Inouye would become the ranking member on that committee should the Republicans gain the majority. You can count on Sen. Inouye to remain effective with the seniority in the Senate regardless of which party is in the majority. Anything else said is disrespectful to the senior senator.

Knowing Gov. Lingle well, I am convinced she will bring tremendous leadership to Hawaii’s congressional delegation. And what a combination she and Sen. Inouye will make: a strong Democrat whose longevity and experience is so important, complemented by a strong colleague on the other side of the aisle. A foot in both camps will be the best for Hawaii.

Friends, I have spent time there. I know Washington. I know Sen. Inouye. And I know Linda Lingle. Inouye and Lingle: a great team, and Hawaii deserves nothing less.

The video, through the frequent invocation of Inouye’s name and some side-by-side photos, seems to imply Inouye is backing Lingle’s candidacy. He most definitely is not. Here’s a statement from Inouye, provided by a spokesman via email:

I am not supporting Linda Lingle’s Senate candidacy and I would ask General Lee to stop using this misleading ad. Neither General Lee nor former Governor Lingle discussed this advertisement with me. If they had, I would have objected because it is grossly misleading and suggests a relationship that has never existed. To claim that Governor Lingle could replace my brother Ted Stevens is outrageous and as I have said previously, Linda Lingle is no Ted Stevens. After watching the ad, I would like to state that I am Daniel K. Inouye and I do not approve that message.

Here’s the video, which may not be up for long:

Maj. General Bob Lee, U.S. Army (ret) on Senator Inouye from Linda Lingle Senate Committee on Vimeo.

— Michael Levine

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