Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Paul Hackett for Statewide in '06?

Even though the result is not yet official, there is enough to say this:

Tonight, Paul Hackett shocked the nation.

Jean Schmidt has pure conservative creditals. She is a solid pro-lifer. She ran in one of the most solidly Republican districts in Ohio. The primary was supposed to be the election. The GOP nominee was supposed to run away with the election. And with a special election, the turnout was expect to heavily favor GOP. After all, the primary election had a 3-to-1 GOP to Dem ratio.

Tonight, Paul Hackett came close to pulling a huge upset. In a district that twice elected President Bush with a larger than statewide number, Hackett called the President a SOB. Tonight, Hackett won four of the seven counties. While Schmidt may win, it was far closer than anyone expected to be.

Hackett's loss is not an empty or pyrrhic victory. Although not victorious, what Hackett did tonight is going to have national implications. And the most upset person has to be Ohio GOP chairman Bob Bennett. The only reason this race is this close is because the poor job the GOP has been doing in the state. Hackett was an unknown, Coleman and Strickland are not.

So, what's next for Paul Hackett? Well, first, he needs to spend time with his family and thank his volunteers. Then he can consider the next step. Rematch in 2006? Or take his new found politically celebrity and run for statewide?

Hackett for Secretary of State?

Strickland-Hackett in '06?

We'll just have to see.

Watching Jean Schmidt's victory speech. You'd almost think the result was a resounding endorsement of President Bush. I wouldn't say that. With only a few points victory, Jean Schmidt is now instantly a vulnerable incumbent.

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