In August, Joe Hallett published a column in the Columbus Dispatch suggesting that Republicans were trying to push Taylor out of the Auditor’s race out of supposed concerns over her fundraising.? Be sure to check out my post at BSB at the time:
1.? Taylor is more likely to be re-elected to Auditor than as Lt. Governor.? Mary Taylor is a Republican star on the rise for a team with few statewide prospects.? She won in 2006 by framing the race on the issue of qualifications.?? She’ll frame her re-election as being about experience again.? I’ve yet to hear anything convincing from anyone as to a good line of attack on Taylor.? While Taylor may be out gunned financially two-to-one, Kasich is outgunned 9 to 1.? And Taylor is only $100k away from playing catchup.? Between the two races, Taylor is far more likely to bridge and financial gap by the next reporting period as Auditor than Kasich is.
I think just about anyone with more than a passing interest in statewide politics would privately admit that Taylor still remains the most likely GOP statewide candidate to win next year if she runs for re-election.?? Why would she go from a race she is politically favored to win to one where her party is presently favored to lose??
Taylor running on Kasich’s ticket means she puts her entire political fortune on a statewide candidate most Ohioans have never heard of and who’s already distancing himself from the only campaign promise he’s been willing to make.? Why give up that much control over your career when you can do whatever you want without giving it up?
2.? Kasich needs Taylor more than Taylor needs Kasich.? Kasich benefits politically more for having Taylor on his ticket than Taylor does being on Kasich’s.? If Taylor wishes to run for Governor in ’14, it’s easier for her to do so as a State Auditor still in office than someone completely out of office if Kasich loses as expected.
Taylor brings certain demographics and appeal to Kasich that Kasich cannot bring on his own or with very few other possible contenders.? Why Taylor would entrust her entire political future to John Kasich’s gubernatorial campaign makes absolutely no sense to me.
Taylor could easily win re-election by running as a continued check against the Strickland Administration.? That’s why the GOP is nervous about Taylor.? They’re worried that she may adopt a campaign message that expresses less than total confidence in the rest of the ticket to win.
3.? Sarah Palin lost Ohio.? If Mary Taylor were to run with Kasich, the comparison to her and Sarah Palin would become inescapeable.? In fact, the entire ticket would take on eerie “McCain-Palin” vibe with Kasich playing the party of the consummate Washington insider/media darling promising the reform they’ve never been able to deliver in the past.
Sarah Palin turned off voters to McCain.? Conservatives can yelp and scream about how that’s not true all they want.? But the wealth of polling data at the time showed that Palin hurt McCain more than she helped him.? While she did manage to repair his fractured and largely distrustful GOP base in SWO, she did so while scaring away moderates and independents who simply could not imagine Palin being able to step into the Presidency in a responsible manner if the unspeakable ever would have occurred.
I would like nothing better than to make Kasich’s race nothing more than a recycled version of McCain-Palin ’06.? And I doubt I’m alone in that feeling.? Which is why I doubt this rumor.? I can’t be this lucky.
4.? The only reason Taylor would do this is to challenge Sherrod Brown in ’12.? If Taylor does suddenly drop out of the Auditor’s race, then it’s only because she was promised a clear field to run against Sherrod Brown in 2012.? If she agrees to run with Kasich and doesn’t get that promise, regardless of whether Kasich wins or not, then she’s given away the farm.
The only thing that would make the Lt. Governor’s office attractive to Taylor is if she either a) wanted to wait until 2018 to run for Governor, or b) wanted to earn a nice government paycheck with little dutities so she could essentially run for the U.S. Senate full time (the “Lee Fisher plan.”)? She could do the former while staying at the Auditor’s office.? Only a challenge to Brown in ’12 with a promise of an essentially cleared field would make an offer to be Kasich’s running mate potentially tempting to Taylor.
5.? It’s demeaning.? The Ohio Republican Party would do this because they don’t want to “bail out” Taylor, so they rearrange the entire statewide ticket to…. bail out Taylor?? Cutting a check is soooo much easier.
How do you tell your only statewide incumbent, the only nonjudicial statewide candidate of your party that won in 2006, that you lack confidenece in their re-election chances, so they need to move somewhere else?
This is nothing more than a long line of slights the Ohio GOP has done to Taylor, and I can’t imagine that it can be done without it essentially insulting Taylor.
6.? It’s unnecessary.? Until I actually see a poll showing Taylor is vulnerable, I just don’t believe this one campaign finance report spells DOOM for Taylor (or hope for Pepper.)? She spent alot of money on political consultants and didn’t engage in fundraising for a Senate race she’s clearly no longer considering.? That’s not going to be a trend for the rest of the year.? I simply do not believe that Josh Mandel is a stronger GOP candidate for Auditor, than, well, the Republican incumbent.
7.? It doesn’t work.? The GOP tried such musical chairs in 2006 by getting Montgomery to run for AG to stop Marc Dann.? How’d that work out?
Nothing has changed since then to suggest that a Kasich-Taylor ticket makes no sense.? We couldn’t be this lucky.? Can we?