Monday, February 13, 2006

Fratricide

I hate this crap!

Paul Hackett, an Iraq war veteran and popular Democratic candidate in Ohio's closely watched Senate contest, said yesterday that he was dropping out of the race and leaving politics altogether as a result of pressure from party leaders.

Mr. Hackett said Senators Charles E. Schumer of New York and Harry Reid of Nevada, the same party leaders who he said persuaded him last August to enter the Senate race, had pushed him to step aside so that Representative Sherrod Brown, a longtime member of Congress, could take on Senator Mike DeWine, the Republican incumbent.

Mr. Hackett staged a surprisingly strong Congressional run last year in an overwhelmingly Republican district and gained national prominence for his scathing criticism of the Bush administration's handling of the Iraq War. It was his performance in the Congressional race that led party leaders to recruit him for the Senate race.

[SNIP]

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

[SNIP]

Mr. Fern added that Mr. Brown's fund-raising abilities made him the better Senate candidate. By the end of last year, Mr. Brown had already amassed $2.37 million, 10 times what Mr. Hackett had raised.

More $$ equals better candidate? That's the kind of thinking that will keep the Democrats chained to secondary status in the Congress forever.

If there is one thing I can not stand, it is an overly-calculating elected official. And in a time that cries out for leaders with principle, the Democratic Party in DC seems to have been completely overrun with such cowards. They are so damned afraid of everything: of competition, of Republicans, of taking a potentially controversial stand on an issue. If this is how they feel elections should be run, why not simply forgo the primary process and give the nomination to whichever Democrat raises the most money? And calling financiers to tell them to stop donating to a candidate of your own party? That is sleazy as hell.

Boy do we need public financing of campaigns. Fast.

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