LANAI CITY, Lanai — Despite heavy rain, about 100 people sloshed through the puddles to the community center in this tiny town for a chance to hear U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who has become something of a media celebrity on national TV networks.
The Democrat who represents Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes rural Oahu and the outer islands, has gotten a lot of attention for her controversial and passionate views on the U.S.’s increasing involvement in the Syrian crisis.
But on Thursday, Gabbard’s constituents asked more questions about their own bread-and-butter issues than conflicts half a world away.
For Lanai, which has about 3,000 residents and only about 30 miles of paved roads, 100 people is a big turnout. But whereas the audience members who greeted Gabbard in Kailua-Kona on Tuesday were effusive in their enthusiasm for their congresswoman, the mood in Lanai during the 90-minute question-and-answer session was respectful and cordial, but subdued.