21 October 2005

Thoughts on Brown vs. Hackett

As I see it, the Brown vs. Hackett contest is basically an insider Dem vs. outsider Dem contest. This does not make Brown intrinsically unsuitable, but it does have significance.

The insider Dems do nothing to help their party. In fact, their actions have generally made it easier for Republicans to win. Their choices during the 2004 election were ridiculous. Instead of backing Howard Dean, the man who exhumed their party, they back Gephardt! And then Kerry. And who can forget Kerry's campaign advisor, Bob "Silence is Golden" Shrum?

The insiders did not back Hackett until late in the race. In fact, it was Dean's grassroots organization, Democracy for America, which came through with the big initial fundraising. Only after they raised enough did the DCCC pitch in. And the folks from Washington may have hurt as much as they helped: their phone canvassing was a fiasco; many people in district 2 reported getting repeated calls for Hackett, one couple told me they got 12.

What I am most intrigued about is Brown's change of mind. It is now known that Strickland twisted his arm, and what I want to know is this: did beltway Dems assure Strickland their support (for Governor) if he could get Brown instead of Hackett?

It's not illogical: the GOP can pass all of its nutty legislation because it votes as a block. It's not outrageous for the Congressional Dems to want a member who will be more likely to join in a voting block than not. This will make them a more effective opposition party. Hackett has a reputation as a maverick, so they may view Brown as being more "one of them" than Hackett.

Also, the Dem insiders know Brown and Strickland, but not Coleman or Hackett.

The fact that the beltway Dems want Brown is all the more reason to support Hackett, because one is voting not only for a candidate but also for a change in the stultifying atmosphere among the beltway Dems.


Anonymous said...

I am at a loss to understand any of this. As I understand it Brown sent help to the Hackett OH-02 campaign. Hackett had a picture of himself with Strickland on his campaign literature. The DCCC never pitches in until they see the money.

As far as "insider" support, I suppose it depends on your definition of "insider".

WestEnder said...

By "insider" I am referring to the beltway Dems: the House & Senate leadership and the consultants and pollsters they confab with.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't sure if you meant the I-275 beltway "insiders".