The suggestion that voters should select Brian Schatz over Colleen Hanabusa because he is younger and, therefore, will serve longer in the U.S. Senate is an insult.
It is an insult to voters and assumes they will just keep mindlessly re-electing him.
It is an insult to members of the Senate because seniority may be important in committee assignments, but leadership roles require backing from other members. They are not just given out to the most senior senators willy-nilly.
Support must be earned. Seniority does not mean automatic authority.
Finally, it is an insult to Hanabusa. It implies she is too old to fit the criteria for a senator from Hawaii. Just because we have a history of long-serving senators doesn't mean longevity trumps competence.
And that is the bottom line. The campaign should be about who is the most competent candidate. Which candidate can forge alliances and work collaboratively for the good of Hawaii and the nation?
It's time for this talk of a 40-year Senate career to go away. Schatz has not even won his first Senate campaign - he was appointed. Talking about winning six or seven is premature and really presumptuous.
Finally, Daniel Inouye was not a great senator because of his seniority - he had a lot of seniority because he was a great senator.
The goal is not to have most senior senator - it's to have the best senator.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.