Me and the Caucus

During the years I lived in Hawaii (1982-1993) I had to adapt to the fact that Hawaii does not hold primary elections- instead, they have caucuses.  One year- I think it was 1988- I decided to attend a caucus in support of Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow Coalition.

Like most things in Hawaii,  the caucus was extremely laid back. We met in a classroom at Hali’ewa Elementary School.  My fellow Caucusoids were thirteen very nice, very elderly gentlemen,  primarily of Japanese background. The youngest one was seventy. We got to know each other, talked story for awhile, then filled out ballots. The count came in with no surprises: thirteen ballots for Sen. Dan Inouye, one for Jesse Jackson.  We did some paperwork,  then the conversation turned to the fact that they normally had someone from that precinct, or whatever it was called, attend the State convention in Maui, and they had no one lined up to go.

They were all looking at me hopefully.  One of them- he must have been in his nineties- told me about the good time I’d have.  You might think it would be easy to talk someone into a weekend on Maui but believe me, when you’re already on Oahu, it’s no big deal. I asked the nonagenarian what type of folks I would be meeting with on Maui.  “Oh, just like us”, he assured me. I decided to pass.

I may have missed out on a fascinating experience by not attending but I’m pretty blasé about political conventions,  having had a good seat at the 1964 Goldwater convention at the Cow Palace. But that’s another story for another time.

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4 thoughts on “Me and the Caucus

  1. “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.”–Barry Goldwater
    I have forgotten his running mate–was it Scranton or Miller?

    • His running mate was Miller, who is the father of Stephanie Miller whose show used to be on KGOE. Scranton lost the nomination to Barry.

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