Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Iraqi War Veteran for the Senate

The Associated Press reports Paul Hackett of Cincinnati, the Iraqi War veteran who almost won a special election in an overpoweringly red district this past August, will soon announce his candidacy against Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.

During the summer Hackett ran for the 2nd District House seat against Democratic Jean Schmidt and almost won. On Election Day, as late as 11:00 p.m., the vote was tied. Schmidt eventually won, although with a mere anemic 52 percent in a district that strongly supported Bush during the presidential campaign.

Hackett became a national fixture with visits to MSNBC’s Hardball, CNN's American Morning and others as the race narrowed. And within the last couple of months there has been a buzz about him challeging DeWine; no other candidate appeared interested in running.

Initially, Democrats had hoped Rep. Sherrod Brown of Lorain would run for the senate post, but by mid-August, Brown had declined; and in late September, political guru Larry Saboto reported in his Crystal Ball prognosis that Brown had "toyed with the idea but decided not to run."

Daily Kos further reminds us that only “a few months ago, Brown was being begged to run for Senate in Ohio [but] demurred."

But guess what? Brown is now having second thoughts and may enter the race after all; so much for Saboto's crystal ball.

Backtracking a wee bit Brown's office issued the following narrative. "His statement has not changed at this time. However, Congressman Brown continues to be asked by state and national supporters to run for the United States Senate in Ohio. Personal and professional obligations have changed since his initial decision. He is consulting with supporters and his family about a possible run."

Some big names on the blogosphere have split their allegiance between Hackett and Brown. For progressives who prefer the more genteel and polished Brown, Hackett’s “take-no-prisoners” persona and habit of calling Bush a Chickenhawk and son of a bitch seemed a bit over the top. For others, it was exactly the glaring truth that needed to be told in the 2nd District and now to all Ohioans.

Hackett recently flew to Washington, DC and his spokesperson, David Woodruff, said the soon-to-be candidate “had found overwhelming support from the leaders of the Democratic Party, campaign organization and staff.”

In an unofficial poll by Daily Kos of 1,873 readers, Hackett supporters led with 85 percent. During the special election bloggers rushed to Ohio in droves to help Hackett's congressional campaign.

And if online readers on the number one Web site are any indication of Democratic support, it looks like Brown might want to once again reconsider and stick to his daytime job as a congressman.

Foreshadowing a possible future run, Hackett had told supporters on the eve of his loss, keep the faith and "rock on."

Are we rocking yet...?

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