Don Young takes a slap at Linda Lingle - and the GOP

Yes, that ad for Hawaii Rep. Mazie Hirono (D) featuring Alaskan Rep. Don Young (R) is charming, as Karen Tumulty points out.

But former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has got to see it as a slap in the face. The Republican National Committee can't be too pleased either.

The open U.S. Senate seat in Hawaii, where longtime Democrat Daniel Akaka is retiring, is seen as a key pickup opportunity for Republicans hoping to gain control of the Senate.

Hirono has yet to win her Democratic primary, in which she faces former U.S. Rep. Ed Case. But she's seen as the front-runner in that race, with support from national Democratic groups.

Lingle, who served two terms as governor, is unopposed on the GOP side. The two-term Hawaiian governor is paying $5,000 a week for her own campaign cable channel. GOP hopes are high for this seat.

So Young's endorsement of Hirono, praising her for her bipartisanship, is being met with hostility in some quarters — see the RINO (Republican in name only) headline over at Red State, for instance.

In a political season marked by mean-spiritedness, this ad is refreshing for voters and even journalists.

But it's got to leave Lingle and other Republicans plenty steamed.

Sandra Fish teaches journalism at the University of Colorado and has reported on politics in Iowa, Florida and Colorado. Follow her on Twitter at @fishnette

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