In Hawaii, the language of politics is a little different.
Take for example Senate candidate and U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono delivering her version of the customary Democratic talking points: “Our next United States senator should share our values. Those are the values of protecting our kupuna — why I am such a strong voice for making sure that Social Security and Medicare remain strong for our kupuna. We need to protect our keiki.”
Keiki means “children.” Kupuna, as you may guess from the context, means “elders” — or in this case, seniors, who vote.
Hirono’s opponent for the Senate seat, former Gov. Linda Lingle, also uses some unusual vocabulary — especially when describing herself: “A haole, Republican, Jewish woman from the mainland!”
Haoles — or whites — are a minority in Hawaii, as are Republicans. So it was quite the upset when Lingle beat Hirono in the governor’s race in 2002.