The big Senate news is Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie's (D) selection to replace Sen. Daniel Inouye (D), who recently passed away. Inouye -- a legendary figure in Hawaiian politics -- released a deathbed letter saying his "one and only choice" for a successor was Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D). But Abercrombie rocked the boat by instead picking Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz to take the seat. Schatz will serve two years until a 2014 special election; the winner of that will have to run for reelection in 2016.
So the question on everyone's mind is why Abercrombie decided to spurn Inouye's dying wish? The line I've heard is that Abercrombie wanted to demonstrate "independence" from Inouye's giant shadow. If so, it strikes me as a bit weak -- it seems less like a bold stroke and more like, well, kicking a dead guy.
I'm not saying that Abercrombie was obligated to pick Hanabusa. I'm saying that one would hope that there are substantive differences between her and Schatz that motivated the pick, because if it was more of an inside-baseball sort of deal then I can't imagine that it will really turn out well for Abercrombie.