by Diane Ako
VIA SATELLITE FROM WISCONSIN (KHNL) -- Just days before Tuesday's Hawaii Democratic caucus, we talk to presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama about his Hawaii ties.
Diane: "Your half sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, told KHNL that Hawaii represents your ideal of a perfect America. Why?
Obama: "Because Hawaii brings together people from all walks of life. Obviously things aren't perfect in Hawaii. People are struggling economically. They're dealing with high rent, gas, food prices, but the truth is, there's more cooperation and more people getting together despite different religions and ethnicties than just about every place else in the country. That aloha spirit is something I carry with me and I think it's part of the reason why I can bring people together from different walks of life now that I'm running for President of the United States."
Diane: "She's also quoted you as saying 'The world is looking at Hawaii during these elections, so Hawaii's participation is important.' Why?"
Obama: "We're in a very close contest between me and Senator Clinton. Every delegate counts. This is the first time in a long time where the Hawaii caucus will make an enormous difference. I hope everybody decides to turn out. We have a chance to do something unique. That's not just to help elect somebody who was born in Hawaii and comes from a unique background, but also to build the kind of grass roots movement for change that we haven't seen in a long time."
Diane: "Are you expecting a win Tuesday in the caucuses in your former home state?"
Obama: "There's no doubt we want to do well and if people come out then we're going to do well. Caucuses in Hawaii; people traditionally don't participate as much as they would in a general election, but this time it counts. I hope everybody's paying attention and will turn out in record numbers. We want to make sure we can put Hawaii in the win column."
Diane: "How has your youth in Hawaii shaped your views as an adult?"
Obama : "There's no doubt I carry the spirit of Hawaii with me wherever I go. People tell me I seem calm. I don't get too high or too low, and I think that has to do with understanding that Hawaii is always there. That's a place where I grew up and learned to have even temperment that will serve me well as President."
Diane: "How have your friends and background helped campaign in this state?"
Obama: "They've been campaigning all over, making calls and rounding people up. Organizing events. They seem to be very excited."
Diane: "Senator, thank you."