Case Closed: What Ed's Bombshell Means For Democrats

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Hawaii's senior U.S. senator, Daniel K. Inouye, sponsored Sunday morning's coffee for Democratic Party of Hawaii delegates at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.

Three hours later, former Congressman Ed Case gave them a real jolt.

Though some suspected Case would drop out of the Democratic primary for Hawaii's 1st Congressional District after finishing third to second-place finisher state Senator Colleen Hanabusa a week ago in a special election, the announcement still came as a shocker.

"There is room for only one standard-bearer for our party," Case told a hushed ballroom full of delegates and leaders. "Anything else would only divide us, only compromise us, all that we and generations before us have worked together so hard for. And many say that that standard-bearer should be determined in the upcoming primary. But, given what's at stake, and last week's elections, I have concluded we need to make that decision now. So, today, I withdraw my candidacy."

The ballroom erupted.

"Oh my God! Oh my God!" screamed a woman sitting next to me.

Like nearly everyone else in the room, she was on her feet, clapping, screaming, disbelieving. Many were in tears. The applause was intense, sustained, heart-felt, an outpouring of emotion that surpassed all other expressions during the Democrats' three long days of politicking.

Ed Case — the outsider, the reformer, the maverick who charted his own course regardless of what party elders thought — had done what even Inouye could not: He brought Democrats together at their own convention.

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