the blog of DC Drinking Liberally

August 3, 2005

Paul Hackett Fights the Good Fight


Suppose you’re a political novice running for Congress in a special election. And suppose you’re a Democrat running in a district where only nine months ago the Republican candidate won by 72 to 28 percent, and the Republicans have had similar margins for at least the three elections before that. Now suppose you called Bush’s “bring ’em on” challenge “the most incredibly stupid comment I’ve ever heard a president of the United States make”, referred to the president himself as a “chicken hawk”, and said “I don’t like the son-of-a-bitch that lives in the White House” — causing the Republican National Congressional Committee to pour advertising dollars into your opponent’s campaign, promising to “bury” you. What percentage of the vote would you expect to get?

Well, if you’re Paul Hackett, in Ohio’s second district Tuesday, the answer is 48 percent. Not enough to win, alas, but an amazing total. Look at that again: he took the Democratic share from 28 percent up to 48, when the RNCC was going all out to bury him. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he’s a veteran just back from Iraq and that he got lots of publicity and funds from liberal blogs throughout the country. But there are a lot of districts where Democrats don’t need to gain 20 points to win — 5, 10, or 15 will do.

Maybe Howard Dean isn’t so crazy:

As I’ve said all along, our strategy for victory is a simple one. Show up. Not just in a battleground state. Not just in 18 of 50 states. Not just show up in blue areas, and not just show up around election time. Show up in every state, in every election, in every community….


  1. But are there “a lot of districts” where the Democrats can get a gun-loving,
    Iraq war veteran to run far enough to the left to make it through the

    I don’t think so. Democratic primaries tend to exterminate DINOs and those
    who try to appear like a DINO.

    —Kerry • 3:42 pm

  2. Well, I did say Hackett had some unique advantages, but I don’t think all those advantages are necessary in a district where the cards are less stacked against us than they were in OH-2 (which means most districts). And by not running anyone we free up a lot of Republican resources for use against us in other districts.

    Obviously we don’t have a huge number of returning Iraq veterans running for Congress (though we do have a few, and at least one spouse), but I think we are modifying our stance on guns in some areas, and that’s one of the things Dean has talked about.

    I’m confused about the rest of your comment. Are you saying that Hackett is a DINO? If so, what is that based on? If not, why are you assuming only DINOs can win?

    Keith4:27 pm

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