Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Stop Me Before I Govern Again

Paul Hackett, former marine and Iraq war vet, has dropped out of the US Senate race. It is clear that he was pressured by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer, oddly after Reid persuaded him to get into the race in the first place. His sense of betrayal is palpable. In fact, one gets the strong sense he was pressured to run for the Ohio 2d Congressional district instead, but refused the deal.

The issue here is not one man or a short candidacy, but the absolute tin ear the Democratic leadership has for politics. The last thing Democrats need right now is to have Hackett publicly saying that he was betrayed by the Democratic leadership. So his candidacy, which was going to be a big plus nationwide (win or lose) by showing that there is real opposition to the war even from veterans, will now be a black stain that may turn off potential voters. Having encouraged him to enter the race, the sudden withdrawal of support is a truly terrible idea. And Sherrod Brown, the only candidate left? He is a 7-term congressman, sort of a standard political hack. He will narrowly lose, in a race that will no longer have broader national implications beyond adding a potential Democrat to the Senate. Except for one: Sherrod Brown is an avid opponent of free trade. That's what Dems need now: isolationism. Jeez.

Sure, there were some right-wingers who called Hackett "Howard Dean in Uniform," because he had a sharp tongue (recently calling the religious right "not much better than Bin Laden." Others would contend he was a "straight talker" with McCain's appeal. That debate is for another day. His near-victory in the 6th district Ohio race last summer proves his cross-over appeal to Republican voters as well as strength with independent voters. It also helped energize a set of national campaigns by Iraq war veterans as Democrats. This particular blogger was excited by the prospect of having the wuss factor off the Dems plate. Instead, this is nothing less than the Democrats' first political defeat of 2006. And, as usual, the Democrats have done it to themselves.


Anonymous said...

I support free trade. It is good Ohio, good for America and good for the entire world. However, for me the most important issue these days is restoring constitutional government to the United States and we cannot do that if we squabble amongst ourselves over who's turn it is to run for Senate or who's right or wrong on this or that issue.

Again, my preference would have been for Hacket to go against DeWine. But I'll support Sherrod Brown now.

DeWine is vulnerable. And to the world outside the bloggosphere - Sherrod Brown is many times more recognizable than Paul Hacket. I know a few Democrats in Ohio and most of them had never heard of Hacket but all have heard of Sherrod Brown (a long time fixture in the state Democratic party).

It looks like Hacket is very upset and wants to quit politics altogether. I really hope he stays in. If not as a Democrat, at least as an Independent. If he ran in that house seat again he would stand a better chance of winning than any other Democrat in that district. To be honest, his district is so conservative that a public falling out with the Democratic leadership would be a big vote getter. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

Okay, I need to jump in here. Here's what Kos had to say about this , and I happen to agree:

"To make something clear, Hackett is complaining about betrayal. Yet Rahm was trying to get him to become one of his candidates. In other words, Rahm was recruiting him. That's not a bad thing. That's a flattering thing.

To be clear -- Hackett didn't stand a chance. He had a tenth of Brown's money, and that was before party people allegedly tried to stop Hackett's donors from giving. His field operation in the special election was literally put together and implemented by Dan Lucas. Who is Dan Lucas? Sherrod Brown's campaign manager. Hackett's netroots effort in the special election was put together by Tim Tagaris. And while Tim is now at the DNC, he helped put together Brown's netroots operation.

So it was Brown's people who helped put together the nuts and bolts of Hackett's special election campaign, and they were now working for their boss -- Sherrod Brown.

To be further clear, Brown announced his candidacy before Hackett did. Yes, Reid and Schumer were urging Hackett to run, but he wouldn't commit to running. Labor Day, the traditional announcement day for most candidates, came and went with Hackett refusing to say what his plans were. So after waiting and waiting and waiting, Brown essentially said "fuck it" and got in. It was only after news of Brown's impending announcement were leaked that Hackett decided to commit to the race.

Bottom line? Hackett didn't stand a chance, he wasn't backstabbed by his party since Brown's candidacy was announced before his was (if he'd only committed sooner, Brown might've stayed out), and the party wasn't out to screw him, they were out to get him to run in the House."

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

Daily Kos is dead wrong. In the Summer of 2005, Brown announced he would NOT challenge DeWine, which was part of why Hackett was recruited. Hackett announced his candicacy on October 24, 2005. Brown did not announce his until November 26, 2005.  

// posted by LTG

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be so quick to declare the politial insiders on Daily Kos "dead wrong" so quickly and without citations.

Many of the people on that blog are campaign managers themselves who are in a far better position to know these things. I'm not saying we should defer blindly to their opinions but we shouldn't lightly dismiss them either. 

// posted by Raised By Republicans

Anonymous said...

That part may be wrong, but I still agree with the rest, anyway.

Anyhow, I agree that this was not handled well, by Hackett or the Democrats. Too bad it puts a black eye on the Ohio senate race. 

// posted by Bell Curve

Anonymous said...

I wonder how the Republicans will be able to make hay out of this without "getting off message" something they really hate doing.

Also, I wonder how many people outside of the Blogosphere are even aware of this. How many people in Ohio could give an even rough account of these events? How many votes will DeWine get out of this?

FYI: According to a Rassmussen Poll  in January:

DeWine: 43%
Hacket: 39%

DeWine: 45%
Brown: 40%

// posted by Raised By Republicans