Hackett basically says fuck ’em…will not run for Congress. Done with politics. Who can blame him. I might join him…

Popular Ohio Democrat Drops Out of Race, and Perhaps Politics

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.

But for the last two weeks, he said, state and national Democratic Party leaders have urged him to drop his Senate campaign and again run for Congress.

“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.

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  • Americain

    Mike DeWine might be the first Republican I’ve ever voted for. Nice going Sherrod. When you lose in November I’ll give you a jingle.

  • Being treated like the report states, I can’t blame him for not wanting anything to do with Politics. Same thing with Fingerhut, if I read his bow-out statement correctly.

    The ODP, in trying to save itself has screwed progressive Ohioans.

    Between the Statehouse Bigots and the ODP, I am at a loss to choose which disgusts me more at this point.

  • Anastasia

    Incredibly sad. So many people I know who never had much interest in insider Democratic politics were so fired up and ready to get involved in this year’s election. They’ll probably be joining you, Eric, on the sidelines. (I think the Fingerhut situation is a bit different. He jumped in the race late and was unprepared.) I don’t know that I would vote for DeWine, Americain, but sadly, I have to agree that Brown is likely to lose in November, for a number of reasons. Alienating voters by driving out a popular candidate has probably cut into his vote total. I think that the Democratic Party has seriously miscalculated how angry this is going to make people.

  • I’ll disagree with you guys here. While Hackett was getting the shaft lately, he doesn’t strike me as the retiring kind, for reasons I stated in my blog.

    We haven’t heard the last from Hackett. And while I’m not at all pleased with how this wound up, I’m not ready to throw in the towel. That’s how we ended up with Bush the first time. I’m not happy with how the situation’s been handled, to be sure. But either not voting or voting for DeWine (good G-d!) strikes me as chopping off your head to spite your nose.

  • I agree with Anastasia.

    I bet at least 20% of Dems are going to be PISSED OFF. Thus don’t expect those 20% to vote in the general election. As a result, DeWine wins.

  • Americain

    This is BEYOND pissed off. I will work tirelessly to make sure Democrats across Ohio don’t vote for Sherrod Brown and instead vote for Mike DeWine. Then I will call Chuck Schumer’s office in D.C. and tell him not to meddle in Ohio politics again as I gloat. Believe it.

  • Eric

    Rafe,

    You know, the buck has to fucking stop somewhere. If we are going to take back our party from the career politicians and the charlatans masquerading as those acting in our best interest, then we have to do something to inhibit such activity.

    Falling in lockstep with the Strickland-Brown juggernaut at this point seems couterproductive to those ends.

    Why weren’t we allowed to vote for who we wanted to run against DeWine? Why was it bribery, intimidation, and boy’s club politics that determined it?

  • Americain, that is seriously unbalanced. I don’t blame you for being “beyond pissed off.” I am too. But I am even angrier with Mike DeWine and the administration he supports.

    There are plenty of better democratic outlets than Sherrod Brown’s campaign to put my energy into. I’ll find one.

  • Jerry Adkins

    We have the power. We can take down the Strickland-Brown juggernaut.

    I’m tired of being taken for granted. I’m not voting for either of them, and I’ll make sure they know it. In fact, I’m hereby urging ALL OF YOU to withhold support from these guys.

    Show the ODP that our support is not unconditional. Show them that we STILL have Hack’s back.

  • Paul Minor

    Based on your comments, most of you commenters don’t really strike me as the kind of folks who really give a shit what a guy who wasn’t a Hackett follwer thinks. But, hey, to use language that seems to permiate here, F-it, here goes any way.

    When I ran into Sen Feingold in an airport in Milwaukee last month, he and his campaign manager were very curious to ask me about Hackett. Though I hadn’t yet had the chance to check PH out, I responded that I believed Hackett was the type of candidate that could generate excitement and appeal to a lot of people, and that is what is desperately needed.

    I wanted PH to be on the ballot. Even though I hadn’t yet checked the guy out! I am a vet. 9 Years, commissioned officer, Army Guard. I am a sole surviving son from the Viet Nam war. My family is hugely military as in my wife, a high ranking lifer, my sister(s), WACs and Air Guard, and now my Daughter, air guard. My dad was navy WWII. PH is right in my freakin wheelhouse allright.

    Now. Did party power people conspire against PH? I don’t doubt it for a second. Was this in the best interest of you and me. Nope. Does this suck and is this shitty. Yep. Is this freakin politics. Oh, yes it is. Did PH have to quit. Nope. Would it have been tougher for PH to carry on, probably, at least at first. Could he take his message directly to his rabid supporters and challenge all comers to include Dem power punchers. Know it. Did he. Nope. PH quit. PH QUIT.

    That’s what’s perplexing. Again, Eric, I think he’s back in in a matter of oh about COB on filing deadline day here Thursday due the groundswell of support of Hack-o-maniacs all over Ohio. If so. It’s on, and I think, if he learns when not to be a dick so much on his stump speeches, as evidently he was on Saturday, he probably wins, barring some major damaging loose cannon, flipant decison making, or swiftboatable skeleton in the closet which I doubt exists.

    But know guys that Sherrod Brown is a good Dem, a good man. To be pissed at him in this game called politics is misguided, no more than Sherrod should hold a grudge for the shitty things that PH was spewing to a crowd of Dems who were actually wanting to be impresed with PH. Because it’s politics, it’s like love and handgranades, just about anything goes.

    If PH actually sticks to his word, what ever ones word means when it means different things on different days depending on the circumstances that arrise, and if he stays quitted, and on the outside, “with your voice when he has the microphone”, (hint, hint), and really doesn’t run. Well guys, welcome to life. It sucks sometimes. The dems who conspired against him were mistaken, as they often are. Way, way off. But PH quit. Time to run from the party and join the Nader brigade, whatever guys, really. Going Independent, great, that’ll work. Starting your own pissy progressive club, fine, hate all you want.

    Defects and all, there is one way to stop this new Amercian facism whch takes the form of the Reepub machine circa 2006, and that’s by building a better Dem party. It’s the harder way to go, because you have to deal with so many issues and a-holes. But I can promise you whatever happens to PH, he runs and wins as a Dem, or as an “I”, or loses. He’ll be a one hit wonder at best for progressives on the whole, and come 2008, we’ll wish that the Dem party could keep the next winger out of controlling our government. But if it contines to be diluted, because too many of us run away instead of committing to making it better, we all continue to lose.

    Heard PH on Scultz. Different tune. Not so bitter and PO’d at 1700 hours. Interesting?

    If PH stays out, I am sorry for your loss. Not sarcasm, really. I know it must suck. I wasn’t a follower, didn’t even get a chance to be, but I would have been checking him out asap, guaranteed, but I am bummed that he’s out. So sorry guys. It sucks. Do what you can to make a difference and whatever you do, don’t quit.

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