Sometimes what’s not said can be as important, or even more important, than what is said.

That’s true of former Congressman Ed Case‘s announcement Sunday that he wouldn’t compete with state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the Sept. 18 primary.

Case didn’t just come in third in total votes in the May 22 special election. He came third in fundraising. And it had to look daunting from where he stood to raise enough money to mount a viable campaign after Hanabusa beat him on both counts. He had thought — hoped — he might win on the vote count, even though he knew he would lose on the money count. But he won neither more votes nor the financial race.

Looking ahead, Hanabusa had the support of the state’s most powerful politician, Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, and his fundraising might and she clearly had the support of the unions — and their dollars — so important to Democratic politicians.

After topping Case in the primary, Hanabusa could have rightfully spent the next four months arguing that she was the candidate to support, that there was no reason to abandon her, even if, as a Civil Beat poll showed, Case might be the better candidate for a general election campaign. She could have argued that money given to Case was money wasted.

It was obvious her second-place “victory” would mean more money flowing to Hanabusa. But where would Case’s come from after a third-place “defeat?”

Just take a look at the difference in their federal campaign finance reports. Case raised $821,302, but only $7,700 came from PACs. Hanabusa raised $1,084,812, with $262,000 from PACs.

It’s said that money is the mother’s milk of politics. Well, Case’s milk was about to dry up. And he had to know it. Which is why he knew he had to drop out, if he was going to live to fight another day.

Which he now may be able to do.

A good reason not to give

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