The Republican National Committee winter meetings kicks off in Hawaii on Wednesday, but GOP Chairman Michael Steele -- who picked the tropical location -- insists there will be serious business involved.
"Relax," Steele said while sporting a Hawaiian shirt and a flower lei. "We're working hard here, trust me. This is not a vacation."
Steele said the the meetings will "expose Hawaii to the rest of America." He told KHON, a local TV station, that it was important for the RNC, "as a party," to be in Hawaii, the home state of President Obama.
Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle told the Honolulu Advertiser that hotel rates for the 168-delegate summit are less than what they would be in Washington, DC.
The RNC's agenda includes strategy sessions on fundraising, polling, and candidate recruitment.
Hawaii's lieutenant governor James "Duke" Aiona, who is running for governor, and Charles Djou, running to fill Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie's House seat, will be speaking at the event.