Opinion: McCain and Obama on Native Hawaiians
"Senator Obama delivered an inspirational speech in Berlin a few days ago, in the shadow of the Berlin Wall. It included comments on unity and race that imply he should oppose the Akaka bill.

Yet Obama gave a speech on the Senate floor on June 7, 2006 supporting the Akaka bill (n2), and reaffirmed his support for it during the primary election season of 2008 in response to questions from Hawaii reporters and also from attendees sent to a mainland conference by OHA. (n3) Obama thus fits the pattern of hypocrisy among leftist politicians who subscribe to Hawaiian exceptionalism -- on one hand they claim to oppose racial favoritism and racial separatism; but on the other hand they support those things for ethnic Hawaiians.

By contrast, Sen. John McCain gave a speech (n4) on the Senate floor on June 8, 2006 immediately before the crucial vote on the cloture motion, saying that he opposes the Akaka bill. However, in that speech he also says he favors the racial entitlement programs which the bill aims to protect.

McCain's votes and actions on the Akaka bill when he was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs (n5), along with his speech, demonstrate his same pattern of ambiguity, ambivalence, and waffling that makes conservative Republicans distrust him on many other issues such as illegal immigration."

Get the Story:
Kenneth R. Conklin: Obama vs. McCain on the Akaka Bill (The Hawaii Reporter 7/27)