24 October 2005

Strike Two for Sherrod Brown?

Sherrod Brown has been taking some flak lately, but let's give the man at least some credit for keeping the Kerry memory alive. Perhaps John Kerry was even one of the Senate Democrats who convinced Brown to change his mind, giving Brown the opportunity to paraphrase Kerry's defining moment: "I decided to run for the Senate, after I decided against it."

That was strike one.

But now some are saying Brown is stabbing Hackett in the back again. Brown is raising money with blog ads, but with a twist: the money doesn't go into Brown's campaign, it goes into a fund that will be used by the eventual primary winner, whether Brown or Hackett.

What has some people irked is that the ad has both men's pictures. So is Brown using Hackett to raise money for himself, or he just going through a "nobility" phase?

Well, one of Brown's campaign strategies is to use the blogosphere. He has bloggers on the payroll at DailyKos and MyDD, and he wants to expand this to Ohio blogs. I am guessing that Brown's primary strategy will focus on GOTV from core Democrats rather than fundraising & advertising. The former can be done with the ODP apparatus [however lame] of which he is an insider.

By contrast, Hackett is an outsider who must sell himself to core Dems, non-core Dems, independents, and Republicans, so he will therefore need more money than Brown for travel & advertising. Hackett's money needs are immediate, while Brown's are not. So Brown may be hoping that while he's shmoozing his colleagues, Hackett will burn up his money just trying to keep up. And when it's over, Brown expects that he'll have the votes to win the primary and money in the bank to battle DeWine.

It's a solid strategy, but the fact is that Brown is using Hackett's image for his own benefit. Brown is paying for the ads himself; if he truly believed they could benefit Hackett equally, he wouldn't buy the ads. What kind of candidate spends campaign money with no hope of return? Brown is running a campaign, not a foundation. He shouldn't pretend otherwise.

I say strike two for Sherrod Brown.

No comments: