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Honolulu Star Advertiser - Isle Lawmakers Commend Obama's Focus on Unity

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By Rob Shikina

Hawaii's congressional delegation praised President Barack Obama's State of the Union address yesterday, describing it as "visionary" and a call for bipartisanship.

"I thought he really focused on the future and how we're going to create jobs for our country, how we're going to remain competitive," said U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono by phone from Washington, D.C.

She said major points of his speech pertained directly to Hawaii, such as supporting small-business innovation, emphasizing clean energy, moving ahead with Race to the Top and improving transportation infrastructure.

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa said in a statement that Obama reminded the country it is not a contest between Democrats and Republicans.

"It's a competition between America and the other world economies," she said.

U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, who was required to watch the address from an undisclosed location because he is third in line for the presidency, said in a statement, "It was a visionary message of hope."

"It was a strong declaration of unity and bipartisanship. It was a good speech," he said.

Sen. Daniel Akaka gave the president high marks for making the top priority working together to create jobs and industry.

"Instead of yelling at one another and 'talking stink,' we need to work together to help our country," he said in a statement.

"I hope if there is any good to come from the terrible tragedy in Arizona, it will be a renewed sense of working together."


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