WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday paid tribute to Daniel Akaka after the Democratic senator from Hawaii said he would not seek reelection.
Akaka, 86, describes himself as the only Chinese-American member of the US Senate and first US senator of native Hawaiian ancestry.
“Danny Akaka answered the call to serve right after high school by joining the Army Corps of Engineers during World War II,” said Obama, who spent much of his own childhood in Hawaii.
“When (Akaka) returned to Honolulu, he continued to serve the people of Hawaii as an educator before embarking on more than three decades of distinguished service in both houses of Congress,” Obama said.
“Danny spent his career fighting for our troops, veterans and their families and for the rights of Native Hawaiians. He worked tirelessly to reform Wall Street and to make sure that consumers and small business owners are treated fairly in our system. His voice in the Senate will be missed,” the US president added.