Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI) is 81 years old. He previously had been cruising to an easy re-election in 2006, as the GOP can't field a serious candidate.
It was all easy until today. Congressman Ed Case, who is 53, announced he would challenge Akaka in a primary. Case is moe moderate, and rather Hawkish. He is also opposed to ANWR, whereas Akaka isn't.
Case also said he wanted to "phase in" the "next generation" of leaders now, rather than wait until Akaka, 81, and Senator Daniel Inouye, also 81, vacate office.
Now, I'm all for competitive primaries, and I think they usually help the party grow/advance. But I don't really see the reasoning behind this one. Akaka would likely have received 80%-85% in a general election (or possibly more). Now, with a primary, Akaka will have to waste money campaigning against someone who, if he sat out until 2010 (when Daniel Inouye will be 86 and likely retiring) or 2012 (when Akaka would be 88 and definitly retiring), would likely get a free ride into the Senate.
This being said, whether Akaka wins the primary (my top choice), loses, or retires, I'll wholeheartedly support the eventual nominee.
Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!