May 28, 2005

GOP Leaders and Candidates–It’s Sober-Up Time in the 2nd Congressional District (OH)

Filed under: OH-02 US House — Tom @ 8:59 am

While the world waits for further installments of “As the Second District Turns” (previous posts are here and here; credit goes to e-mailer and fellow blogger Sierra Faith for the soap opera appellation)–

Any justification for the GOP’s foolish and dangerous overconfidence cited in previous posts should have evaporated by now. From this admittedly limited vantage point (or basement, depending on time of day), it hasn’t, despite the fact that the other side is uniting behind a pretty strong-looking candidate:

Democrats trying to win the 2nd Congressional District after decades of Republican control say they see an opportunity – but not with the loyal standard-bearer who has run and lost in the last four elections.

In Hamilton County, the party’s executive committee tonight may try to prevent four-time loser Charles Sanders from becoming their nominee again by endorsing Paul Hackett…..

If Hackett wins the Democrat primary, audible GOP gulps will be heard across the 2nd District.

Hackett’s bio and career (from his web site) are the stuff a campaign manager’s dreams are made of:

Paul first became familiar with the people, as well as the nooks and crannies of the seven counties that make up Ohio’s 2nd Congressional district, by traveling as a boy with his father, a traveling salesman.

(He joined) the U. S. Marine Corps as a young man. He also committed to his own sense of learning by graduating from law school.

By 1992, Paul had met and married Suzi, and became a part of the Select Marine Corps Reserve and founded his own law firm, Hackett Law Offices.

As an active member of his neighborhood, a husband, and a small business owner, Paul became acutely aware of his community. He was disgusted by many of the things he saw in his own city council meetings and, feeling the need to do his part serving his community, chose to take a more active role by running for, and becoming a member of the Milford City Council, taking charge, and restoring order.

….Last year, Paul heard the call to service again. As his Marine Corps brothers fought a half world away, Paul could not sit in the comfort of his home and let others do the work he was prepared to do. After a serious discussion with his wife and children, Paul re-upped and joined his marines for a seven month tour with the 1st Marine Division and served as a Civil Affairs officer in Ramadi, took part in the Fallujah campaign and subsequent reconstruction.

Paul returned only a few weeks ago, he was told of Rod Portman’s exiting his congressional seat, Paul Hackett is continuing his service to his country by running for the United State Congress.

As a candidate for the United States Congress, Paul Hackett is fighting for the people of Southern Ohio. Not for the red, not for the blue, but for the red, white and blue.

Here is a large portion of a “progressive” blogger’s review of last week’s Democrat Party debate (note that the “progressive” almost has to bite his tongue because Hackett won’t speak out against the Iraq operation):

When it comes to young, up and coming politicians Paul Hackett is straight out of central casting. And as much as it pains me to say it, I liked what I saw.

From the first moment he spoke it was obvious that Mr. Hackett was a very experienced public speaker. What was really refreshing was that while the other candidates talked about problems with the Bush Administration and how they would solve them Mr. Hackett talked about organization… how he was building up his team… doing the organizational work needed to win the race. While everyone else was in the clouds Hackett’s feet were firmly on the ground. Being a champion of preparation and organization this was all music to my ears.

Mr. Hackett indicated that he has already gotten endorsements from the UAW, Teamsters and Pike County Democratic Party.

Afterwards, when I asked him about it he told me that since in this audience we all shared the same basic values he thought it was more important to talk about how we were going to win this thing.

Mr. Hackett had just returned from Iraq several months ago. Surprisingly enough he didn’t bite at the chance to slam the President over Iraq, instead talking about the importance of completing our mission and of the Iraqi soldiers that he served besides, including in the battle of Fallujah. The only chink in the armor was when the moderator talked about 1,200 American soldiers wounded in Iraq and he sharply corrected him that the figure was over 30,000. I’ve been hoping that veterans returning from Iraq would start stepping into the political ring. There’s a lot to say for someone who has actually walked the walk as they say.

Note to file: The “soft liberal” strategy doesn’t look too viable.

Don’t even try to tell me August 2 is a lock if Paul Hackett is the other candidate on the ballot.

UPDATE: Hackett is officially the local bigwigs’ favorite, picking up the endorsements of the Hamilton County and Clermont County Democrat leadership.

UPDATE 2: On this Memorial Day weekend, I salute Mr. Hackett, Bob and Liz McEwen’s son Jonathan, and every other soldier’s service to our country. I hope that everyone pauses from whatever weekend events they have planned to remember all those who have served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms and blessings we enjoy.