GOP Takes Heat for Hawaii Meeting

Choice for retreat draws fire; 'We're working hard,' says Steele
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2010 10:08 AM CST
Waikiki in Honolulu, where the RNC is having its winter meeting.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – As we speak, the Republican National Committee is holding its winter meeting amid the “lush tropical gardens” of a resort in Honolulu, Hawaii, a fact that appears to embarrass all involved and Republicans everywhere. “We’re working hard out here,” RNC Chairman Michael Steele reasons, but many attendees know it doesn’t look that way to voters on the cold, economically troubled mainland. “I didn’t have a vote on this,” one tells Politico.

Sensing the bad optics, elected Republicans have steered clear of the retreat, and the only GOP office holders in Hawaii are actually from Hawaii. The DNC is relatively mum on the meeting in “the birthplace of the president,” perhaps because he just spent time there, though a spokesman couldn’t help suggesting a tour of the Lost set since the party “is very much like a plane wreck.” A GOP strategist spins the gaffe admirably: “I’ll take a dumb meeting in Hawaii over a disastrous health care plan and bad economic management anytime.”

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