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Dirty laundry, out to get some air
February 14, 2006 10:00 PM   Subscribe

Man down in the Great Democratic Upheaval of 2006. Paul Hackett announced yesterday that he's bowing out of the primary race for the Ohio senate seat. This race might have been the wrong fight at the wrong time, though it was hardly the only front. There have already been some bad ideas shot down, and at least one fantastical dream that seems to be stuck in the pipe.

But there are more promising battles brewing up ahead, and the fight is just now being joined. The first target -- marked by a kiss. As was the head that would be the most prized trophy of the season.
[reg sites abound, WaPo, NYT, LAT and more]
posted by snortlebort (47 comments total)

 
I hate to ask an obvious question, but why doesn't he run anyway? He should say screw it to his party and run a grass-roots campaign. It seems like he already has a network of supporters in Ohio.
posted by Mijo Bijo at 10:30 PM on February 14, 2006


Lieberman fucking sucks. Hope they send dude packing and get a real Democrat in office. Now we've got to find anyone but Hillary.

Hell. I'd vote for Al Gore again. In fact, I think Al Gore could win. Again.
posted by stenseng at 10:44 PM on February 14, 2006


I prefer the new Gore to the old one. He's ballsy!
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 PM on February 14, 2006


Man, Paul Hackett turned out to be a pretty big pussy in the end.
posted by delmoi at 10:58 PM on February 14, 2006


I hate to ask an obvious question, but why doesn't he run anyway? He should say screw it to his party and run a grass-roots campaign. It seems like he already has a network of supporters in Ohio.

Well, according to DKos, most of the people who helped him run in the congressional race are working for his opponent in the primary. Hackett basically demurred about wether or not he would run for the senate until his opponent decided to try, then all of a sudden he wanted in. Kind of lame, IMO, and he also pulled in about 1/10th as much fundraising.
posted by delmoi at 11:03 PM on February 14, 2006


it was all about the money.

Brown has around 10x as much on hand as Hackett did, as of the most recent FEC filing.
posted by pruner at 11:05 PM on February 14, 2006


So what happens to that money? Does Hackett get to keep it?
posted by delmoi at 11:09 PM on February 14, 2006


delmoi: In the very end, he can, but there are complicated FEC rules about it. For the time being it's a warchest he could use in another campaign or donate to another candidate (or PAC, I forget if they've closed off that route).

This is exposing some constituency collisions inside the party but I'm not sure it's anything to worry about. This is one of the first election cycles where people across the country are concerned about and supporting a candidate in a single state's federal races, well before the primary. That's interesting in and of itself. But it also says that building a constituency online isn't the same thing as building one locally. Money can cover over a lot of fault lines, but blog support in and of itself can't, because most local voters and party stalwarts don't read blogs. It can come across as having priorities different than the actual voters, even if it's well-intentioned. Sure, you could say the same thing about the party hierarchy, but that's the devil you know.
posted by dhartung at 11:25 PM on February 14, 2006


A nice summary of today's Talk of the Nation.
posted by scarabic at 11:39 PM on February 14, 2006


It's too bad he's not going to go for the House seat again. He could win that one....
posted by mr_roboto at 11:41 PM on February 14, 2006


Yeah, his opponent, Sherrod Brown, is a good Democrat in that he can connect with the hyper-liberal students of Oberlin College as well as the UAW Ford Plant workers who live in Lorain. He's currently my congressman and I rather like him. Nevertheless, I was planning on voting for Hackett in the primaries, for no other reason than that I'm sick to hell of the fact that the Republicans have dominated this so-called swing state for as long as I've been old enough to vote. I'm really not sure if an old-fashioned lunch pail liberal can win in a state that just passed one of the strictest rulings on gay marriage in the country. I was really hoping Hackett would energize enough Ohioans to overcome those 100,000 or so who voted for Bush in 2004. And despite the fact that the Republican Party has done terribly in governing Ohio since they've gained power, they seem to have to have something new up their sleeve. Possibly in hopes of holding on to power and maybe getting Ken Blackwell (remember him?) as our next governer. I'm scared.
posted by Kronoss at 12:00 AM on February 15, 2006


stenseng: Lieberman fucking sucks. Hope they send dude packing and get a real Democrat in office. Now we've got to find anyone but Hillary.

No joke there. As committed as I am to my current policy of voting for whoever has the best chance to beat the Republican, I'd probably abstain out of disgust if Lieberman got nominated. The main problem with Hillary is that she doesn't have a chance in hell of actually winning, although her other problems are quite severe as well.
posted by Mitrovarr at 1:41 AM on February 15, 2006


Am I the only one on the site who's pulling for Mark Warner?
posted by thecaddy at 1:48 AM on February 15, 2006


No, thecaddy. While I'll probably back Feingold in the primary, I think Warner will take the nomination, if by a hair. I do believe that the US is ready for a female Prez, just not Hillary. Warner has tons and tons of "electability" points. He's not as liberal as I like them, but think he'll do a great job as a consensus builder within the party.
posted by moonbird at 4:40 AM on February 15, 2006


"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."

Seriously, I give up. Lately the Dem. leadership has been fucking up too many ideas that would have been great, if they STUCK WITH THEIR GUY.
posted by piratebowling at 5:23 AM on February 15, 2006


I do believe that the US is ready for a female Prez, just not Hillary.

If the Dems wanted to run a woman, why not Barbara Boxer? She's not as unpopular as Hillary, and she's got much more political knowhow.
posted by unreason at 5:51 AM on February 15, 2006


As a nutmegger (for now, anyway), I'm fully on board with the Ned Lamont train.

Lieberman has no respect for his constituency, as is evidenced by his lovefests with the likes of George Bush and Sean Hannity. (Warning, vomit-inducing MP3 file linked therein.)
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:08 AM on February 15, 2006


Many of the liberal bloggers in Ohio who supported Hackett have now disavowed the ODP. [We'll see how long that lasts]. The whole Dem. Senate "race" has pretty much been a clusterfuck from beginning to end. There was some weird dirty pool about petitions on the GOP side last weekend as well. All in all, I'm glad that I claim no party affiliation, especially in this state.
posted by sciurus at 6:13 AM on February 15, 2006


Pirate Bowling:

They did stick with their guy. They're both Democrats. Hackett fucked up. He should have announced his Senate candidacy before Brown did, or he should have dropped out of the Senate race and ran for Congress again, where he probably would have wollopped the woman that beat him last time.
posted by empath at 6:32 AM on February 15, 2006


"Mr. Fern added that Mr. Brown's fund-raising abilities made him the better Senate candidate. By the end of last year, Mr. Brown had already amassed $2.37 million, 10 times what Mr. Hackett had raised."

How much more needs to be said?
posted by sfts2 at 6:48 AM on February 15, 2006


How much more needs to be said?
posted by sfts2 at 9:48 AM EST on February 15 [!]


Yeah, he's almost as good at taking corporate bribes as a Republican.
posted by unreason at 6:52 AM on February 15, 2006


MIAMI Democratic party chair Howard Dean says he's not happy that Iraqi war veteran Paul Hackett is dropping out of the race for U-S Senate in Ohio.
Dean told a student audience in Miami that "some skulduggery in Washington" improperly led to Hackett's decision to end his bid. And he said Democrats will have a tough time winning if similar things happen to others.
posted by empath at 6:53 AM on February 15, 2006


stickler point: whether you're running for the House of Representatives, or the Senate, you're running for Congress either way.
posted by stenseng at 6:54 AM on February 15, 2006


The problem is that many state Democratic parties are like that. Particularly in the states where Democrats have a hard time getting elected, and new blood and fresh ideas are needed. (Idaho, I'm looking at you...) They end up run by a bunch of out of touch good ol boys who get where they are within the state party leadership based on a really screwy set of criteria - basically by virtue of being around state politics long enough, and ususally by having inoffensive enough personalities as to never rock the boat, challenge the status quo, or try new ideas.


Oh, having or being able to raise lots of money helps too.
posted by stenseng at 6:58 AM on February 15, 2006


One of the most exciting things for me about moving to Connecticut this year was getting to vote against Lieberman.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 7:11 AM on February 15, 2006


It's too bad about Hackett. I would have like to have seen him send Jean Schmidt packing. But I respect that he's made promises not to run in that race. I also respect the Dem leadership for getting behind Brown, a much more likely, experienced and polished candidate for Senate.

thecaddy: I'm also pulling for Warner. I think a Warner/Feingold ticket would have the electability, experience and integrity that probably would dominate just about any other permutation:

1. Charismatic, telegenic, popular Dem in a southern, red-state Governor running for Pres.

2. Charismatic, very popular Senator known for his experience and integrity runnning for VP.

They have pretty strong cred in different camps; have a better chance of pulling mod Repubs and Indies with Warner; have a better chance of energizing the base with Feingold. They'd have a better chance of pulling Virginia. And, they'd be a pair of candidates people could feel good about voting FOR, as opposed to voting against their opponent. It would also set Feingold up well for 2016.

Better than Hillary (too much baggage and would hugely mobilize the Right), better than Clark (more and broader experience in governance and campaigning) and so forth. Make Clark your SecDef instead...it's where his strengths are.

I think the only serious obstacle a Warner/Feingold ticket would face is a McCain/Allen ticket (which I frankly expect). It'd be a close call, given McCain's broad support...
posted by darkstar at 8:20 AM on February 15, 2006


Better than Hillary (too much baggage and would hugely mobilize the Right), better than Clark (more and broader experience in governance and campaigning) and so forth.

Actualy, I think Hillary could win, depending on who the republicans run. If it's someone like Jeb or Frist, she could probably beat them. If it's someone like Juliani, McCain, or Condi, she might lose.

But I'd be afraid she'd basicaly be another Kerry, trying to win the election simply by being NOTREPUBLICAN and not saying anything.

I just want to vote for someone who voted against the war, personaly.
posted by delmoi at 8:40 AM on February 15, 2006


Actually, I think Hillary could win, depending on who the republicans run.

Unless the Republicans run Bush's pet cat, I doubt it. No, I take that back. That cat is much more likeable.
posted by unreason at 8:51 AM on February 15, 2006


Am I the only one on the site who's pulling for Mark Warner?

No, I think a lot of us are. I'm really ABR (anybody but Republican) but Warner seems like a good candidate at this point.
posted by callmejay at 9:20 AM on February 15, 2006


So the candidate with more money is the better choice. Fabulous.
posted by airguitar at 9:35 AM on February 15, 2006


How is Hillary any more polarizing than Bill?
posted by gyc at 11:11 AM on February 15, 2006


Mark Warner is the Democrats best bet to win the White House in 2008, for the same reasons already mentioned. He would carry Virginia, as well as all the states Kerry/Gore carried. That would be a victory. He might actually pick up a few more Southern states as there are a lot of Southern Democrats and DLC-types who would vote for him (like me) but who would not vote for Hillary/Gore/Kerry/Dean (like me). Warner is good presidential material and Democrats best chance of taking the White House.

I see two stumbling blocks for Warner: (1) the disgusting shrillness of the left of the Party that will oppose him violently and try to tear him down (e.g., Lieberman) and demand a hard core lefty (that is, someone who will surely lose at the national level); and (2) there is some potential dirt on the multi-millionaire from his Nextel moves. I am sure #2 isn't enough to really hurt him. #1 would be the big problem. The shrill lefty partisan jackasses (you know who they are) will be so demanding of a hard core liberal nominee in the primary that they will try to destroy Warner in the primary (a la Bush's job on McCain in '00) thereby endangering him in the general elections if he is even able to survive.
posted by dios at 11:27 AM on February 15, 2006


How is Hillary any more polarizing than Bill?
posted by gyc at 2:11 PM EST on February 15 [!]


She's less likeable, and has less solid political experience in office than he did when he ran. I know a bunch of people who voted for Bill that won't be voting for her.
posted by unreason at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2006


I love that dios uses republican jackassery to predict Democratic trouble with a not-liberal-enough candidate.

I know republicans use projection a lot, but actually pointing out one's own use of projection is a new one to me. Very funny.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:50 PM on February 15, 2006


My whole family is made of red-state, right-wing evangelicals. If Dems could sit with them for a meal one night and hear them get going on about Hillary, they'd never suggest putting her on the Dem ticket.

For whatever reason, she catalyzes some of the most vitriolic animosity I've ever seen. Gore is dismissed. Teddy Kennedy is sneered at. Dean is parodied mercilessly. But Hillary is outright loathed with the irrational, white-hot intensity of a thousand demented suns.
posted by darkstar at 1:25 PM on February 15, 2006


I want a hard core lefty...hell, give me a full-on socialist at this stage! As long he or she has some convictions that they can articulate clearly and that they're willing to take a stand for. Cautious pragmatism is what got us where we are now.
Hackett should've been able to run and let his ideas come to the fore and win based on that. I'm really bummed that he dropped out.
posted by black8 at 1:38 PM on February 15, 2006


My whole family is made of red-state, right-wing evangelicals. If Dems could sit with them for a meal one night and hear them get going on about Hillary, they'd never suggest putting her on the Dem ticket.

It's not just the red staters. I know a bunch of folks who nearly always vote Dem that have already said that they're not voting for Hillary if she's nominated.
posted by unreason at 1:51 PM on February 15, 2006


Why should anyone who dislikes Bush vote for Hillary?

They're peas in a pod on nearly every issue of interest to me.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:53 PM on February 15, 2006


(1) the disgusting shrillness of the left of the Party that will oppose him violently and try to tear him down (e.g., Lieberman) and demand a hard core lefty (that is, someone who will surely lose at the national level);

Statements like this are why you get into the constant flame wars here. You could have said that without the nasty tone and hyperbole.

Without descending to your level of rhetoric, I'll just state for the record that the left side of the blogosphere has been mostly favorable to Mark Warner thus far.
posted by empath at 2:16 PM on February 15, 2006


The problem, btw, with Lieberman, isn't that he's conservative, but that he is too willing to put his own career and personal agenda over the interests of the party. McCain will have the same problem in the GOP primaries.

Dean was loved by the left-wing not because he was particularly liberal, (if that was the case Kucinich would have been the Golden Child) but because he stood up and said, "Goddammit, stop being so scared of being a Democrat. Be proud of being a liberal." Dean is actually quite conservative along a number of axes (government spending, gun control, the death penalty), but he wasn't afraid of being called a liberal on the issues where he was liberal.
posted by empath at 2:21 PM on February 15, 2006


Why should anyone who dislikes Bush vote for Hillary?

They're peas in a pod on nearly every issue of interest to me.


I wouldn't go that far, but I will not vote for her if she is the nominee. Her record on the Iraq fiasco disqualifies her for office, in my opinion.
posted by empath at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2006


You could have said that without the nasty tone and hyperbole.

Agreed, and my apologies. Although certainly the comment was not any more harsh or hyperbolic than any of the comments in, say, the Cheney hunting thread. But you are right. I could have avoided the comment. Mea culpa.

I stand by the general sentiment, though. The left has become increasingly loud and demanding. Much more so than even in 2004, which was bad to begin with. The treatment of perceived "apostates" is borderline violent. What happened to McCain was wrong; the same thing will happen to Warner from the left. I don't see how Warner will be embraced.

I love Warner and would happily vote for him over just about anybody. I just fear the crap he is going to have to go through to even get the nomination.

I know a bunch of people who voted for Bill that won't be voting for her.
posted by unreason at 2:50 PM CST on February 15


Add me to that list.
posted by dios at 2:31 PM on February 15, 2006


So, it's all settled then. Warner will be the Dem candidate.

;-)
posted by darkstar at 3:08 PM on February 15, 2006


Although certainly the comment was not any more harsh or hyperbolic than any of the comments in, say, the Cheney hunting thread.

BrandNewDay
posted by Balisong at 6:48 PM on February 15, 2006


I think it goes without saying that I won't be voting for any candidate that the president endorses.
posted by Balisong at 6:49 PM on February 15, 2006


Let's stop the Warner talk.....he's a one term governor and he does not have the "Southern Cred" that Carter or Clinton had to turn any red states anyways.

I am not sure when in history a one term governor got elected to the Presidency -- especially when he was out of office anyways.

We are going to need a governor from the heartland whom we know can turn a biggish red state blue. I can't see how in hell the next candidate (as long as it's not Ms. Clinton) will lose a state Kerry won....so if we can just get something like Iowa (Vilsack!) or Indiana (Evan!) to switch -- we got ourselves a Democratic president. Both of such men have been good governors and are very popular in their state.

Does anyone think Warner can guarantee Virginia in a Presidential election -- especially when the Christian right is big enough to change an election there should they believe something like abortion is on the line?
posted by skepticallypleased at 6:57 PM on February 15, 2006


skepticallypleased: "I am not sure when in history a one term governor got elected to the Presidency -- especially when he was out of office anyways."

Well, er...in fact...Jimmy Carter.

Carter won the governorship of Georgia in November 1970, serving only one term, from Jan 1971- Jan 1975.

He was then out of office for nearly two years until he won the Presidency in November 1976, serving from Jan 77 - Jan 81.
posted by darkstar at 7:20 PM on February 17, 2006


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