Inauguration Bound

Molokai represents at Obama's inauguration in D.C.
By Todd Yamashita

Aloha from Washington D.C.! My wife, Noelani and I are here to represent Molokai at the historic inauguration of President-elect, Barack Obama. First of all, brrr it's freezing! Sweaters, jackets, gloves and even long-underwear aren't enough to keep the cold out! But as chilling as the 20-degree weather is, the city is full of warmth and excitement. Everyone here is talking about Obama as well as all of the celebrations and events that will be ushering him into the presidency.

Just one night of good sleep after arriving on the East Coast, and Noe and I are up and ready for our first event – the Hawaii Democrats for Obama Ball atop the Hay Adams Hotel. Just across the street from the White House, this is where Obama is living until the inauguration.

Although there are more than 4,000 miles separating D.C. and the islands, the 100-person-party was a tight knit group of Hawaiian politicians and Democrat Party supporters. On-hand was Senator Akaka and family, Honolulu Mayor Hannemann, Kauai Mayor Carvalho, Hawaii Island Mayor Kenoi, State Senator Hooser, Democratic Party Chairman Brian Schatz, and Obama's sister Maya Soetoro-Ng among others. Bonus – Noelani had her photo taken with Lucy Liu — Charlie's Angels style!

While Obama did not attend this function, Noe and I will certainly get to see him over the next two days. Tomorrow we will be attending the Pearl Gala at the Mandarin Oriental five-star hotel. Also expected will be both Hawaii Senators and dignitaries from throughout Asia and the Pacific. On Tuesday, Noe and I are planning on attending the inauguration ceremony and afterwards, the Obama Home States Ball. This ball is a combination of Hawaii and Illinois dignitaries and Obama is expected to attend.

A big mahalo to our number one supporter on Molokai who helped make this trip possible – you know who you are – thank you so much! Also to the Molokai businesses who provided ho`okupu for the people we will be meeting along the way – we will list you all and continue our story in next weeks’ issue of the Molokai Dispatch.

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