'A New Day in Hawaii' at Iolani Palace

Iolani Palace
Iolani Palace
Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie
A New Day in Hawaii
A New Day in Hawaii
Brian Schatz
Brian Schatz

By Keahi Tucker - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - After 35 years in public service at the state Capitol, Honolulu's city council and the U.S. Congress, Gov. Neil Abercrombie now begins the job he swears will be his last.

"And that I will faithfully discharge my duties... As governor of the state of Hawaii... To the best of my abilities," Gov. Neil Abercrombie said.

In his first speech as governor, Neil Abercrombie left out the politics and the campaign promises, and went personal.

"All I can bring today is my heart that is full," Abercrombie said.

A speech honoring his late mother and both his mother-in law and hanai mother, seated in the front row on the grounds of Iolani Palace.

"Thank you, Ellen," Abercrombie said. "Aunty Aggie... Mama... I love you."

The loving son told the crowd of thousands he began his day with meditation.

Focusing on the writings of the German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, along with the Dalai Lama and the Bible.

"Psalms says serve the Lord with gladness. It is joy that overcomes anxiety and need," Abercrombie said.

Gov. Abercrombie did touch on the economy and the challenges ahead, but only to set up this main theme: a new day in Hawaii, the title of his leadership plan in two pamphlets including 59 pages of his philosophies and goals.

No review necessary today. The new governor simply acknowledged what everyone knows... It's time to get to work.

"The campaign has ended the transition is concluded. The challenge awaits with gratitude in our hearts. This day in paradise we move forward. Imua Hawaii," Abercrombie said.

Just an hour and a half before that big announcement, both the governor and lieutenant governor began their terms with a plea for unity and the promise of action.

"Our driving message will be make it happen... Make it happen by working together," Abercrombie said.

Ninety-minutes before reversing the school furloughs, the newly sworn-in Gov. Abercrombie was telling the crow "just wait and see."

"Our actions will speak for themselves," Abercrombie said.

His first speech as governor, both serious and philosophical, book-ended by his familiar double shakas as he and his partner, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz, try to move past the contentious campaign.

"The election is over. The time to solve problems is now," Schatz said. "let's declare a cease fire on the wedge issues and personality squabbles."

"We are island people. We understand the necessity of working together, pulling together," Abercrombie said.

At 72 years old, Abercombie is the oldest governor in state history, but he's surrounding himself with youth.

The four top aides in his new administration are all in their late 30s and early 40s.

Just 38 years old himself, Schatz is the youngest lieutenant governor in state history.

And as the parent of two young children himself, he's urging his peers to get involved.

"Here's the thing that members of our generation must remember... democracy is not what we have. It's what we do. We need to step up and lead," Schatz said.

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