Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Monday, February 13

U.S. Senate: Hackett Called Upon to Switch Races

As reported in the Columbus Dispatch today, DCCC chair Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) has gone public with his desire for Paul Hackett (D-Indian Hill) to drop his bid for the Senate seat of Mike DeWine (R) and instead run again in OH-2 against Jean Schmidt (R), leaving a clear path for Senate candidate Sherrod Brown (D-Avon). Rep. Tim Ryan (D), a Hackett fan and early supporter, is quoted as echoing Emanuel's feeling in the matter.

Knowing that I will anger many in the blogosphere, let me state here and now that I agree. It would be best for the party. Our chances of wresting control of Congress are improving, but every single seat is critical. Hackett has the visibility, the funding, and the message to win that OH-2 race. In the Senate race, national money will be pouring into DeWine's coffers, and the Dems can't afford the expense of a primary battle.

It is quite possible that Hackett would fare better against DeWine in the general election than Brown, but I don't think that his edge is clear enough to settle the matter, and I would rather have two such strong candidates in two different races.

I love Hackett. I don't want him to go away, or to stop speaking out. However, it has always bothered me that he has no significant legislative experience as a foundation for running for the Senate. (Barack Obama (D-IL) was considered something of a novice in a national race, but at least he had substantial experience as a State Senator.) The House of Representatives is the more logical place for a non-legislator to seek a place in the national spotlight.

It bothers me, as it bothers many, that Brown encouraged Hackett to run and then turned around and ran against him. It wasn't fair. This decision, however, should not turn on what's fair to one candidate, but what is best for the Democratic Party going forward. Although it's a difficult call in some ways, on balance I want Hackett to switch to the Congressional race and clean Schmidt's clock, and I want Brown to be able to immediately focus all of his attention and resources on defeating DeWine.


At 1:31 PM, Blogger WestEnder said...

I want Hackett to switch to the Congressional race and clean Schmidt's clock..

Schmidt would have to win the primary first, and her position is far from certain. It is easy to envision Hackett beating Schmidt, but what are his chances against McEwen or Brinkman?

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Ohio 2nd said...

Bouncing Bob or Brinkman? Don't make me laugh. The dirt on Brinkman is just awesome. It's a win no matter who wins the Republican primary.

At 9:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The President is still pulling down 81% approval ratings in the Ohio 2nd. It's an R seat and will stay an R seat. We should stop kidding ourselves.

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