Doctors sometimes, but not usually, veer into politics. To be successful in politics you need to appreciate the nuances, the subtle differences in what both enemies and allies are saying. Instead, doctors give orders and expect to be obeyed.
So for a doctor like Hawaii Gov. Josh Green, who received his M.D. from Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, to succeed, he needs both agility and compassion.
So far, Green has been dancing very well.
To emphasize that, Green provided quick thinking on two recent local emergencies. Early last month, while traveling with his security team on the Big Island, they were in a serious car accident. Green and his team helped get the driver out; First responders arrived minutes later.
“Thank God I was wearing a seatbelt,” Green said in news reports. “I was face down in a completely wrecked van. Looks like he was thrown about 50 to 60 feet in the air and into the creek so his car was destroyed and we were able to get him out through the front windshield we got a lot of rocks removed and seven or eight citizens with me we just got this one out guy”.
Then, a little more than a week later, during a Memorial Day service, Green jumped offstage to help a 46-year-old woman who was experiencing respiratory distress and beginning to lose consciousness, according to the governor’s office and Human Services. Honolulu Emergency. Department.
“The woman was not breathing properly and began having what appeared to be a hypoxic attack,” Green said in a statement. “Honolulu Police Department Chief Joe Logan called 911 and I gently opened his airway. She immediately began to breathe on her own and regained consciousness. She was doing fine in about three minutes.”
In a governmental world of Hawaii, Green was something of a bureaucrat’s action hero.
Yesterday’s triumphs, however, only go so far. Governor Green now faces not emergencies, but dilemmas.
Quick wit, an advanced degree and training help but won’t answer a series of tricky political questions.
Former Governor David Ige and his team were searching across the map for a solution to what to do with the 48-year-old, rusting and finally doomed Aloha Stadium. Obviously, he must be replaced, but how, where, when and with what are all questions Green must answer before facing re-election in 2026. Green, like Ige, set up a process to reach a decision, but fans still waiting when they can yell “Go ‘Bows!” in a real stadium.
Green also inherits the rest of Ige’s incomplete challenges. For example, Green hasn’t been a fan of the controversial Big Island Thirty-Meter Telescope, and he doesn’t give detailed plans of what goes, where, and when it’s down. And the 21st century Kalihi Initiative: has that already happened and we missed the opening ceremony? There is a lot of talk, but no detailed provision on what will replace the Oahu jail and its relocation. The state Department of Health has perfectly good plans for a new building, estimated at $100 million: Will this administration use it, destroy it, or what? Many important projects await Dr. Green’s action.
It’s not just a matter of going or not going; the question for the governor is, where are we going?
Richard Borreca writes about politics on Sundays. Contact him at [email protected].