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Comments by YACCS
Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The mountain we're climbing

Duh......let's force a candidate out
of the race

Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics

Published: February 14, 2006

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.

Mr. Hackett staged a surprisingly strong Congressional run last year in an overwhelmingly Republican district and gained national prominence for his scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. It was his performance in the Congressional race that led party leaders to recruit him for the Senate race.

But for the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.


Mr. Hackett said he was unwilling to run for the Congressional seat because he had given his word to three Democratic candidates that he would not enter that race.

"The party keeps saying for me not to worry about those promises because in politics they are broken all the time," said Mr. Hackett, who plans to return to his practice as a lawyer in the Cincinnati area. "I don't work that way. My word is my bond."

Jennifer Duffy, who analyzes Senate races for the Cook Political Report, said that part of what made Democratic leaders nervous about Mr. Hackett was what had also made him so popular with voters.

"Hackett is seen by many as a straight talker, and he became an icon to the liberal bloggers because he says exactly what they have wished they would hear from a politician," Ms. Duffy said. "On the other hand, the Senate is still an exclusive club, and the party expects a certain level of decorum that Hackett has not always shown."

Mr. Hackett was widely criticized last year for using indecent language to describe President Bush. Last month, state Republicans attacked Mr. Hackett for saying their party had been hijacked by religious extremists who he said "aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden."

Though Republicans called for an apology, Mr. Hackett repeated the mantra of his early campaign: "I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it."

Chuck Schumer's decisions have been less than great lately. He still backing Tom Suozzi against Eliot Spitzer?

As long as the Senate leadership still listens to their losing consultants, we have to not only fight the GOP, but the Beltway Dems.

Now Kos can argue that this is the best thing for the party, but I think it was a stupid, alienating decision. They wanted him to run for OH-2, which to me always made more sense, but he gave his word he wouldn't.

But here's where I see the mistake: even if Hackett lost the primary, the party would be seen encouraging people to run. There are 56 vets running for office and that's a pool which would have never been tapped without Hackett. The people who will pay for this are the Senate and House committees, as a lot of people who would have kicked in money to them just say no.

This is the kind of thing which pisses off the base and makes people question their committment to actually winning. God knows, the last thing they should want to do is get Hackett out of politics when the state is so volitile. He wasn't going to run against Brown, but Bush, and he wasn't going to be bullied. And any chance of beating the horrible Jean Schmidt is unlikely as hell.

At some point, the Dems are gonna have to realize that they need to run hard and mean. This year is already ugly and it's not getting better. Are they gonna run from Jim Webb as well? He's not an easy guy to like for some of his stands, like opposing women in the military.

A lot of liberals are being asked to support Dens with no litmus test, and swallow idiocy from people like Bob Casey. There is a limit to that. This isn't going to be a one way street, we aren't going to just hand money over to campaigns.

Too many Dems are swallowing the bullshit that the blogs are the fringe. It's the new GOP meme. Redstate can run their racist swill and LGF can call for genocide and they're mainstream. We need to stop that shit cold.

posted by Steve @ 1:01:00 AM

1:01:00 AM

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