Trail Mix: Gov. Neil Abercrombie Resurrects Yellow Cab in New TV Ad

Each week, HONOLULU Magazine’s political team compiles a mix of observations about Hawaii politics.

Ad Watch: Abercrombie Goes Retro in New Ad

Gov. Neil Abercrombie, locked in a competitive primary race against state Sen. David Ige, has resurrected a symbol that first emerged in the 1970s when he actually drove a yellow Checker cab as his primary mode of transportation.

In a new glossy TV ad “Cab,” the governor sits at the wheel of a taxi, driving two passengers to Diamond Head. The women in the back seat comment on development projects seen outside their window, including Kapolei Elementary and Halekauwila Place, as symbols of progress.

The ad, featuring retro game-show-like music, offers a glimpse at Abercrombie’s more playful side, possibly helping to offset criticism about his temper and fiery speaking style. The high-production value of the ad also emphasizes Abercrombie’s clear money advantage over Ige, who has yet to air a single TV spot.

Those of you thinking that he still drove the cab as late as the 1990s may be interested to note that he donated the distinctive vehicle to Hawaii Public Radio in 1999, with the requirement that the new owner paint out his face and name on the side.

Have a look: 



Candidates for Governor Trailing Abercrombie in Fundraising

Speaking of money advantage, Gov. Neil Abercrombie leads all the major candidates for governor in fundraising—by a lot—including his primary opponent state Sen. David Ige.

Abercrombie’s campaign pulled in $883,000 from Jan. 1 to June 30, raising some $4.32 million to date, according to reports filed with the state Campaign Spending Commission. All other candidates for governor pale in comparison. His primary opponent Ige raised $227,848 in the six-month reporting period, for a total of $306,063 this election cycle.

If the governor makes it past his primary challenge, he’d likely face former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona, a Republican, and former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, an independent. Aiona raised about $361,000 over the last six months, for a total of $363,000 this election cycle. Hannemann trails all other candidates, raising a total of $144,700 over the last six months and for the entire election cycle.

A View of the Hawaii Democrats U.S. Senate Debates from the Twitter Machine

We’ve brought you the views of pundits and political insiders, so after being treated to two U.S. Senate debates this past week, we decided to bring you a snarkier view of the debates from social media.

As U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa and Sen. Brian Schatz took to the podium on the night of July 15 and 17, the Twitterverse came alive with activity. Here is just a snippet of social media backchat where people speak out on issues from the substantive to the superficial.