Abercrombie's Vision Thing

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

Surrounded by some of the very supporters who helped him put it together, Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday introduced what he calls a comprehensive plan to solve Hawaii's problems.

"This is a culmination, a road map, of almost 18 months of talking with communities all across the state — a bottom-up endeavor," Abercrombie said at his campaign headquarters at Ward Warehouse in Honolulu. "We have had dozens of meetings and conversations, with experts of every range. This is not a project list — it's all here, a crystal-clear choice as we go into the last 30 days to the primary."

Titled "A New Day In Hawaii," the 43-page document has no pictures, save for the taro field and mountain range picture on the cover and a mug shot of the candidate on the first page.

The pages are in black and white — no color, no graphics — with plainly stated section heads (e.g., "Education: Hawaii's Children First"), subheads ("Decentralize School Administration") and lots of bullet points ("Redefining the role of the DOE").

Most sections include a "Guiding Principles" box listing more bulleted points — in the case of Education, for example, ones like these: "Respect for principals and teachers as professionals" and "The interests of children will always take precedence."

It's a well-considered, thoughtful and thorough plan. There's a table of contents and executive summary to help readers navigate quickly. And in a week that's been dominated by a flap over a negative flier from his opponent in the Sept. 18 Democratic primary, Mufi Hannemann, the press conference made it appear that Abercrombie wants the race to focus on the issues.

But in a modern political campaign dominated by 30-second television and radio spots, 140 character tweets and websites with YouTube clips and photo galleries, will anyone pay attention?

Have feedback? Suggestions?