Why Would Anybody Want This Job?

Ed Case says he'll fix Washington. Mazie Hirono's strength is a collaborative style. Linda Lingle is bipartisan.

Tulsi Gabbard says voters are tired of politics as usual. Mufi Hannemann says he'll bring people together.

Charles Djou favors addressing community concerns instead of scoring political points. Colleen Hanabusa will continue to work hard.

Along with Daniel K. Inouye, three of these people will represent Hawaii in Washington over the next two to six years, and probably quite longer.

Perhaps Hawaii's next U.S. senator and U.S. representatives will be the next Lyndon Baines Johnson, Sam Rayburn, Tip O'Neill, Bob Dole or Margaret Chase Smith, respected congressional leaders who transformed the institution and made their mark on the nation's history. Inouye would be a strong role model, too.

More likely, it seems, Hawaii's new delegation will still be stuck in a House of Representatives where Republican Speaker John Boehner's every move is stymied by Tea Party members. Same goes for the Senate, where either Democrat Harry Reid will continue as majority leader or hand the gavel to Mitch McConnell.

The 112th Congress has been marked by the most partisan clashes in recent memory. Critical decisions on budget matters keep getting delayed until one party has the power to get its way. Compromise is a dirty word.

Disgusted, many longtime senators and representatives are choosing not to seek re-election, saying that the battles in Washington are the worst they've ever seen. Others are losing against candidates running on one-dimensional platforms often infused with anger — you know, "Throw the bums out."

Why would anybody from Hawaii want a job in Washington right now?

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