Local Connection: Dan Akaka - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Local Connection: Dan Akaka

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By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Daniel Akaka has decided to retire at the end of his term.

Suddenly the most popular political game in town is guessing a successor. Enough names have been mentioned to staff the congressional delegation of a much larger state! but for now, let's take a moment to consider Danny Akaka.

He never got his sovereignty bill, but look at what he did get. Akaka got better treatment of veterans while chairing their committee. He got plain English warnings on credit card bills. He got federal retirement pay in Hawaii equalized with the mainland.

A former teacher and principal and before that a welder, Akaka stayed humble.

He played second fiddle to Dan Inouye for decades.

A more egotistical junior senator would have cramped Inouye's game.

A few years ago when the East-West Center honored Inouye, he sang with the band. And Akaka? He joined Inouye on stage and filled in harmony.

When Danny Akaka retires, let's hope he's not followed by discord.