Obama Supporters Rally for Hawaii-Born Senator - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Obama Supporters Rally for Hawaii-Born Senator

Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng
Jeri Endo Jeri Endo
Rob Muschany Rob Muschany
Faye Kennedy Faye Kennedy

By Leland Kim

KALIHI (KHNL) -- Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Illinois) received a key endorsement from the most prominent Democrat in Arizona.

Friday, Arizona governor Janet Napolitano announced her endorsement of Senator Obama's bid for the White House.  The announcement was made at Obama's campaign headquarters in Phoenix where the governor talked to the Illinois senator on a conference call.

Many political analysts believe Napolitano's endorsement could help a democratic presidential candidate win Arizona in the general election.

Meanwhile, back here in Hawaii, a rally for Senator Obama brought supporters out to Kalihi this morning.  Its goal is to galvanize the campaign, just over a month before Hawaii's democratic presidential caucus.

The event attracted many different types of people; a group as diverse as Hawaii itself.  They say Senator Obama represents a new kind of hope for the state and the rest of the country.

A weekend rally for a Hawaii-born presidential candidate.  Supporters of Senator Barack Obama gathered at Kawananakoa Middle School in Kalihi to make their voices heard.

"He's the candidate most attune to my politics, and my feelings about family, the state and the world," said Jeri Endo, an Obama supporter. "He has the intelligence and the honesty that I'm looking for in a president."

"He can work with people across the political spectrum and that's impressive to me," said Rob Muschany, another Obama supporter. "That's amazing to me that he can create that kind of ability to work together."

"I love the fact that he's not running as a black candidate," said Faye Kennedy, another Obama supporter. "He's running as a candidate who appeals to all people."

And his sister says that appeal is what makes him unique.

"I think about my brother and I think certainly after what I've witnessed," said Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng, Sen. Obama's younger sister.  "He is the only one, perhaps, to set aside the extremism on both sides and bring the rest of the country together."

She says growing up in a multi-cultural family helped Obama relate to people from different walks of life.

"A big part of this campaign is sort of highlight the ways in which we are so similar, in terms of our humanity and to sweep aside the unhealthy allusion of unbridgeable difference," she said.

As Hawaii gets ready for the Democratic caucus next month, Obama's supporters hope Hawaii's multicultural fabric can serve as a canvas for a new national political landscape.

"And I think Hawaii in many ways is a model for what he is trying to do," said Soetoro-Ng.  "Hawaii is a model of what this country can be."

The Hawaii Democratic presidential caucus is scheduled for February 19.  The Republican Party is holding its precinct caucus meetings to select its candidate from January 25 through February 7.

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