Oahu, Hawai'i , United States
|| July 10, 1904
|| February 23, 2004
|Contributor||Not in Public Domain|
Feb 19, 2010 05:22pm
|Info||Businessman Randolph Crossley, an immensely ambitious person, to be Oahu chairman for the visit. |
Crossley had been aced out of the territorial governorship in 1953 when U.S. presidents still appointed our governors. President-elect Dwight Eisenhower stopped here in December 1952, after fulfilling a pre-election promise to go to Korea if elected to try to end the war there. While here, Ike was introduced to Crossley by influential business leader Walter F. Dillingham. Ike committed to nominate Crossley. Ike hadn't counted, however, on two other strong GOP powers in Hawaii -- delegate to Congress Joseph R. Farrington and former delegate Samuel W. King. They wanted King to be governor. They used their leverage with Robert Taft, the Republican majority leader in the U.S. Senate where the nomination had to be confirmed.
Taft made it a test of Senate appointment-sharing with the new president and won. An Ike aide called Crossley to ask whether he would like to be ambassador to Australia instead. No soap.
In 1960 Crossley, taking no chances, flew to Nixon's mainland headquarters to ask to be Oahu chairman for the Nixon visit. He got a yes.
Russell, as state coordinator, had intended to use the Oahu chairmanship to woo AJA voters back to the GOP after their major desertion in 1954. He would have turned to one of the Nisei still active in the Hawaii GOP but was short-circuited. Could such a selection have picked up the 116 votes that would have given Hawaii to Nixon even after the narrow recount favoring Kennedy? Or even avoided a recount? Who knows?
In 1966, Crossley tried to become our elected governor but lost by fewer than 5,000 votes to Gov. John A. Burns, first elected in 1962. Crossley later relocated to California after the bankruptcy of The Hawaii Corp., a business he headed.