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Tuesday, February 07, 2006 

Gasp - Hackett voted for Republicans!

It seems a lot of people are upset over this so-called revelation on cleveland.com:
There’s no question Paul Hackett is a fresh face and fast-rising star in the Democratic Party. Turns out he's fresher than most.

The tough-talking Iraq War veteran from Cincinnati didn't officially declare himself a “D” until nearly two years ago, a few weeks shy of his 42nd birthday.

Election records in Hamilton County show that Hackett, now campaigning against Rep. Sherrod Brown for his party’s U.S. Senate nomination, first picked up a Democratic ballot for the presidential primary between Howard Dean, John Kerry and John Edwards on March 2, 2004.

In two earlier primaries during the 1990s, records show, Hackett had asked for Republican ballots.

Yeah, so? It doesn't bother me in the least. Is he a wolf in sheeps clothing? I doubt it - it doesn't make sense. What does he have to gain? He has less money, no name recognition (outside the blogs) and if he wanted to run as an "I", he'd most likely, have an even better chance of winning in Ohio. Is he an avid gun user and supporter of gun owners rights? Yes. And, that is good for Dems. It breaks the existing stereotype of the anti-gun Dem (which I always thought was miscast). Is he more to the right than a lot of us are used to? Probabaly, but I don't think his positions are exactly wrong.

Lets face the facts, Ohio is red. People are used to voting for their team and that team happens to be the Republicans right now. If we want people, who may not be as politically active as we are, to consider "switching teams" (and I think we do, if we want to win) then perhaps, Hackett is the likely choice. The easier switch - since he seems to identify with many of the issues that the more moderate conservative /traditional Republican (not neocon) Ohio voters also identify with.

I like Brown, he has a solid history and a good record. But can he convince those moderates who have been voting R for the last decade, sometimes due to lack of choice, to switch teams? I am not sure. If you go entirely on the pop psychology behind voting, then I think - Hackett gets the edge. And unfortunately, I don't have a lot of faith on people reading up on the issues and making the informed decision. If Hackett raises enough money, his charisma and outside of the establishment persona can win him the election.

But maybe I am wrong. Maybe Browns experience, history in the community and ability to connect with citizens will give him the edge. I guess it all depends on just how well the Republican brand has been built. If it is as bad as I fear, those middle R's will never cross over to an established "liberal". On the other hand, if they are just mall culture, go with the flow types - then perhaps voting Dem won't be so difficult for them, they've done it in the past - they can do it again. "It's what everyone else is doing".

I just wish everyone would focus on the true problem in the Senate Race - DeWine! It is not smart to tear our candidates apart. Hackett and Brown both have a good shot at beating DeWine. If we want to add an Ohio Dem to the Senate we need to remember that eventually we are ALL going to have to get behind ONE candidate to beat DeWine and the Republican spin machine that backs him. We shouldn't be giving them fodder to shoot us with later.

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