Governor Lingle looks back pt. 2

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When Gov. Lingle becomes private citizen Linda Lingle, she plans to see more movies and go green with her wheels.

That's not all she's planning.

"A friend of mine wants to take up paddle boarding so I might go out and try that," Lingle said.

When you think about it, paddle boarding may fit Linda Lingle's lifestyle.

An avid swimmer... she's in the water six or seven times a week.

And she loves movies, especially foreign films.

"I'm the kind of movie buff, I'll go to four or five films in a day, especially during the film festival," Lingle said.

On Dec. 6, the outgoing governor turns over the keys to the state to governor-elect Neil Abercrombie.

After eight years of living at Washington Place, she's ready to move out and move on.

"I will be living in the Hawaii Kai area. And I've already been moving my things out there. People have been so excited and welcoming to me. I show up at Costco on a Sunday, eat a piece of pizza outside and I shop around a little bit. And it's just been great," Lingle said.

As governor, Lingle pushed for energy conservation and independence from fossil fuels.

No surprise she's going green with her automobile.

"I haven't driven often over the past eight years. But I'm going to pick up my car on Sunday. It's a loaner because in February I'll be getting the new Nissan Leaf all-electric vehicle," Lingle said.

Lingle's setting aside six months to rest, then she'll decide if she'll run for the U.S. Senate.

After a 24/7 job, she relishes the chance to read.

"I like to read. It's one of the things I look forward to. I'm reading a lot on China right now because it's an area I'm very interested in. Israel is another place I'm very interested. I just finished reading not long ago a great book called 'The Startup Nation,'" Lingle said.

Lingle could write her own book about her two terms as governor, how she met with two presidents and addressed the Republican National Convention during the 2008 elections.

"What are those, 'oh, wow!' moments for Gov. Lingle?," Mendoza asked.

"Certainly the event that I'll always remember most is flying into Iraq in 2004," Lingle said. "It was a secret that we couldn't reveal until we got there. Being able to meet with our Hawaii troops there was a highlight for me. These are not soldiers are not soldiers in the sense that it was their life. These are people who we're with every day but for this period of life they've been willing to go and sacrifice for our way of life to be maintained."

When she was elected in 2002, Lingle became Hawaii's first Republican governor in 40 years. And the first woman to hold that seat.

"I like to use it to inspire young people, young girls in particular. So I think being the first woman is only important to the extent that you can use it for something positive in the community, rather than something that you list on a resume," Lingle said.

Lingle says being Hawaii's governor has been an honor and a privilege.

Being a private citizen will be an adjustment, and it's right around the corner.

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