Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Paul Hackett: When is a loss NOT a loss?

Paul Hackett defied the odds and almost became an Ohio congressman. Had he won it would have been the biggest upset since Truman beat Dewey. This Ohio district didn't have a Democrat congressperson for decades. Jean Schmidt narrowly won 52% to 48%, were it not for the heavy turnout in Schmidt's native county Hackett would have won. This loss is really not a loss because now the Republicans are going to have to spend money. Howard Dean has always been an advocate of taking the fight to Republican districts without ceding anything. The Nation magazine had this to say before the election "John Aravosis over at AMERICABlog points out that NBC's First Read thinks that even if Jean Schmidt wins in Ohio, Republicans lost.
Political analysts doubt that Hackett can pull off the upset in this district in a special election, when only diehard voters tend to participate. Nevertheless, Stuart Rothenberg of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report argues that this race is a no-win situation for the Republicans -- if Schmidt wins, then she was always supposed to win, but if Hackett comes close, or even wins, then it becomes a significant victory for the Democrats. "Republicans really get nothing out of it," he says.
Amy Walter, who monitors House races for the Cook Political Report, says that if Hackett comes close, that will be another sign that the Ohio GOP is in disarray. "The real story is the collateral damage that Taft and 'Coingate' may have on the party in the state." Indeed, Walter says it's no coincidence that the ad being run by the Democratic House campaign committee tries to link Schmidt to GOP Gov. Bob Taft." Paul Hackett narrowly missed becoming the first congressperson who serve admirably in the armed services and Congress. Democrats everywhere have become energized. Of course I have to say that I hope that this election was a fair one because not only have Republican operatives been accused of foul play in the two previous national elections but the recent defeat of Max Clelland in the Georgia senatorial race has also come under scrutiny when exit polls clearly showed he was the winner. Paul Hackett was very confrontational and energetic when it came to confronting Republicans. He called George W. Bush and SOB. I am not surprised that we haven't been inundated with Republican outcries since Bush showed his middle finger to reporters and Vice President Cheney told Senator Leahy "F_ck You" and later said he felt good about it. Paul Hackett is a US marine, not a chickenhawk. He has had not one, but two terms of duty. Who else would be better to talk about the war in Iraq? This young man is still in his twenties, so he will be heard from again. He represents the element in the Democratic party that is activist, not the enabling, spineless, Republican-Lite DLC. In this case a loss is not a loss when it sets the groundwork for the future. Paul Hackett is a shining star in the Democratic party.

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