Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Thoughts on Hackett and Ohio

Having slept on the news that Democratic rising-star Paul Hackett narrowly lost in Ohio's second Congressional district race last night, I feel even better about how it turned out and the loud warning shot we have just fired across the Republicans' bow.

First a minor correction: I said in a post last night that President Bush had won the seven counties in the second Congressional district by an aggregate 61 percent in 2004. While that may be true of the counties when averaged as a whole, it's a bit misleading – and low. Congressional districts, being the strange shape that they are, do not cut cleanly along county lines. The actual, definitive number that Bush won the entirety of the second district with was 64 percent.

This makes Paul Hackett's accomplishment even more amazing.

He ran a race that was as highly critical of Bush as he could have been – citing him, in various ways, as a liar, a coward and a chickenhawk – and still managed to come incredibly close to winning in an overwhelmingly Republican district.

He was outspent by the Republican machine and also campaigned supporting same-sex marriage and being strongly pro-choice. He did all of this among an electorate that, against all reason and common sense, would probably elect Bush to a third term if they could.

“There's no safe Republican district. You can run, but you cannot hide,'' said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Indeed. Let's use this as inspiration and get geared up to raise some real hell in 2006.