By Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau -
WASHINGTON — Here’s something you don’t see every day: A veteran House Republican reaching across the aisle to endorse a Democratic colleague’s campaign for U.S. Senate.
But it happened Tuesday when Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, appeared in a new Web ad called “Opposites Attract” for three-term Rep. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, who is running in her party’s primary for the open Senate seat.
The two even ham it up for the cameras, with Young trying to get in a critique of Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader and Democrat from California, before Hirono gently nudges him off it.
“While Mazie and I don’t see eye to eye on everything, we’ve done something too many people in Washington refuse to cross the aisle and do: We’ve worked together,” said Young, a 20-term congressman known for his sometimes crusty approach.
Hirono and former Democratic Rep. Ed Case are vying for their party’s nod in the Aug. 11 primary. Republican Linda Lingle, the former governor, is seeking the GOP nomination.
In the ad, Young and Hirono discuss their work in securing funding for Native Hawaiian and Native Alaskan education programs.
“I had to battle my own party leadership to get our amendment passed,” Hirono says in the ad.
In an era of intense partisanship in Congress, the ability to work across the aisle has held currency in the Hawaii race; both Lingle and Case decry the partisanship coming from Washington.
“If you’re looking for a United States senator who doesn’t just talk about bipartisanship, but actually knows how to work with both Republicans and Democrats to get things done, Mazie Hirono will be that senator,” Young says in the ad.
“Can I say just one more thing about Nancy Pelosi?” Young then asks.
“Don’t push it, Don,” Hirono replies.