Monday, September 04, 2006

Blackwell's political obituary already written?

Over the weekend, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign tried to engage itself in the same kind of bus tour that Congressman Ted Strickland successfully had with the rest of the Democratic ticket just a few weeks earlier. Except that Blackwell's bus tour didn't have the rest of the Republican ticket. And it stayed in relatively safe, heavily Republican areas . . . and it didn't do anything really to help his cause as the press coverage was benign or worse.

In the traditionally conservative Cincinnati Enquirer, while Congressman Strickland's tour in traditionally Republican areas got prominent coverage and several sidebar stories regarding traditional Republican voters seriously considering voting for Strickland, Ken Blackwell's lonely hearts tour, got well, less prominent placement. In fact, the story was buried right next to the Sunday paper's obituary notices. And the story noted that the crowd in solidly red Lebanon was rather small.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that Blackwell's attempt to demonstrate that the party was finally uniting behind him fell on deaf ears:

And, in perhaps the most conciliatory gesture of his campaign, Blackwell stood before a large crowd of Cuyahoga County Republicans in Independence on Saturday to make amends.

There, he linked hands with his wife, Rosa, and Cuyahoga County party Chairman Rob Frost, who supported Petro in the primary.

Raising their arms, Blackwell, a maverick within the party and critic of Republican Gov. Bob Taft, said, "There is no way I get there by myself."

Holding the pose, the room still silent, he continued: "What you see represented here is a unified Republican Party, from whose shoulders I will spring to the governor's office." (emphasis added.)

Hardly a "rally around the flag" moment. The only other news Blackwell made reiterated his most damaging political flaw: his need to pander to audiences to gain their support. In Lima, Ohio (Allen County), Ken Blackwell promised to reopen the Lima Correctional Institution, a state prison closed due to budget constraints. Despite not describing in any way how he's going to pay for it, Blackwell is promising that if Allen County votes Blackwell into office, he'll come up with the $90 million to reopen the facility and bring those jobs back.

Now, Blackwell has already promised that an additional 10% of the state's general revenue fund will be shifted into education, and thanks to Blackwell's TEL legislation limiting state spending, one has to wonder where a "Governor" Blackwell is suddenly going to find $90 million dollars in the state budget. He's either going to have to cut other programs' funding further or he's going to have to raise taxes.

Blackwell is the worst type of politician: a self-professed fiscal conservative who buckles upon sight of the first audience he sees who criticizes his opponents for his own sins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to say but stick a fork in Blackwell he is done. As a republican I cannot support that man he is far to well can I say CRAZY.