In a Sunday interview you will only see on KHON2 News, Gov. Neil Abercrombie spoke about his long career of public service after Saturday’s defeat to challenger David Ige in Hawaii’s primary election.
“It’s more a matter of being able to say to myself that I gave everything that I could, from my waking thoughts in the morning to when I went to sleep … being grateful for the opportunity to serve Hawaii here in paradise,” the governor said.
But running for, and serving in office, can take its toll on a person’s private life. Just ask somebody who’s done that for 40 years.
“Believe me, no tears need to be shed for me,” Abercrombie said. “Others, the people who love me, the people care about me, they are the ones who have had to make the sacrifices. My wife said to me the other day, you’ve worked a double shift for years and what really is the case is others have had to work that double shift.”
The governor says it will be nice to be able to sit through an entire symphony, or finish a chapter of a book. He is nothing but optimistic about his future and about his legacy.
When asked how he would like to remembered as not only a politician, but a man as well, Abercrombie said “I would like to disappear. Really. In the sense that, if you depend upon an individual, then you’re not going to have the institutional foundation that will really give a solid form to the things that you value.”
The conversation with the governor was not about his most recent campaign — others will talk about that. It was about a man who has devoted much of his adult life to public service.
“To the degree there’s going to be any memory, I hope it’s, boy, this guy made the tough decisions that had to be made,” he said.
“He had the confidence that making a decision when it needed to be made was the right thing to do, and he always did the right thing, the pono thing. That’s what my Auntie Aggie, my hanai mom, has counseled me to do and I’ve always tried to do. That’s what my commitment is and always will be.
“And Hawaii will be the last word in my dying breath.”