Mazie Hirono: Notes from the Campaign Trail

Adrienne LaFrance/Civil Beat

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — When the crowd started booing former Rep. Ed Case, Congresswoman Mazie Hirono paused.

"You've heard of him," she said, sounding pleased.

The congresswoman was onstage in a big, darkened conference room at the Rhode Island Convention Center, delivering a keynote address to a crowd of hundreds of progressive bloggers, community organizers and activists as part of the annual Netroots Nation conference.

These were Hirono's people.

It was the kind of crowd that sees Hirono's Democratic U.S. Senate opponent Case as so much of a blue dog that he might as well be Republican. The mention of former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle, who will likely square off against either Case or Hirono in the general election, drew more boos. (In contrast, Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, who took the stage after Hirono, got a rock star's welcome.)

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