Friday, September 26, 2008

Has Faleomavaega Lost His Mind?

Or am I missing something here?

The huge international financial crisis has preoccupied virtually everyone in Washington for the past 10 days. Last weekend the Bush administration crafted a plan to bail out Wall Street and handed it over to Congress for consideration. Virtually everyone in Congress has been on hand to protect their interests while trying to reach consensus on a solution. By Wednesday, even Sen. McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington to work on the issue. Barack Obama also joined him in Washington.

I was astounded to see that while Congress was beginning to burn the midnight oils in Washington last weekend, Faleomavaega was coming down the stairs from the Sunday night Hawaiian Airlines flight. Clearly, I thought, he was home for Fuimaono's funeral. Fui gave him start in politics and as a paramount chief presided over a huge clan with lots of votes. Faleomavaega no doubt would be delivering a major eulogy.

So, I was surprised to learn he actually left Wednesday to "return to Washington" (according to KHJ News), a day before the funeral. Then I saw a statement by Senator Salanoa on criticizing Eni for not remaining in Washington to protect our interests and concluded he must have bowed to pressure for him to return to his duty station.

Then I read this morning's paper. My astonishment is now complete. According to Samoa News, Faleomavaega is NOT in Washington (where the crisis continues) but in Missouri for the retirement ceremony of Command Sgt. Maj. Falaniko.

Has he lost his political mind? His place is in Washington but a political case could be made, I suppose, for attending the Fuimaono funeral. He tried to attend the funeral of High Chief Fai'ivae last year while Congress was in session until the Speaker demanded he stay in Washington. I have trouble understanding his rationale for being neither in Washington nor at Fuimaono's funeral any more than I could understand his decision to miss the coronation of the King of Tonga and Secretary Rice's summit with Pacific foreign ministers in Apia in order to hand deliver a birthday card to a Chinese billionaire in Hong Kong. Something doesn't compute.


Anonymous said...

no maybe you are loosing your mind, dont come in here and bring politics and family together. We are mourning the loss of our father Fui, he was one of our forefathers now that had set goals that bought alot of wealth to the people of both Samoas. It probably did effect you too if you are one of those bought up from the islands. Eni has to play both part of paying respect to his advisor and also his duty at Congress. If you dont know how to play that duty, then you're the one loosing you mind.

Anonymous said...

Eni is the one mixing politics with family. If he had attended the funeral, it would be one thing but he didn't. He needed to be in Washington. The fact that he said he needed to skip the funeral, the fact that he skipped the health summit and the fact that he is staying this weekend for the House vote proves it. Thank goodness they didn't slip in a bill in like the minimum wage was done while he was gone for a week. You would be singing a different tune if your job were at stake.

Anonymous said...

It is a sad thing when a great man has died and all that matters to a few people are the politics. How do you think a person feels if he has to make a decision between paying his respects to a man that started his career in politics or tend to the politics that the man got him started into? It wasn't an easy decision to make but he made one. At least Eni didn't use an excuse but made the trip all the way to Samoa and paid his respects to the grieving family and later went to attend another function to honor another Samoan. How can anyone justify using the death of a man to promote their own policital agenda? You should all be ashamed of yourselves!

Anonymous said...

You can't be serious. Eni missed Faiivae's funeral last year to stay in DC for a vote that arguably was far less important than this crisis. Fuimaono's family would have understood. What is troubling is Eni's deceit. He described his trip as a "one-day" trip to Samoa when in fact it was nine days out of Washington at the end of a congressional session, which is a crucial time no matter what issues are being considered. He left for Kansas City on 9/14, went to California for a 9/18 fundraiser, then back to Ft. Leonard Woods, then Hawaii and 9/21 Pago Pago before returning to DC the following Wednesday morning. He is a liar and he is totally irresponsible. Someone has to call him on it. People have to get over their blind spots.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is that the name of Paramount Chief Asuemu Ulufale Fuimaono should not be associated in an article that includes the words "deceit, liar, and blind spot" . Let's just say that my uncle Fui has earned the respect not to have his death and funeral be remembered as just an incident that was used to promote a persons political agenda, whoever it may be.