Here’s a headline Lee Fisher doesn’t want to see in a major national political publication roughly two weeks from the end of the primary:

National Journal😕 “Rethinking the Ohio Dem Primary”

Take OH, for one. DSCC chair Bob Menendez has been upfront about his support for LG Lee Fisher (D) over Sec/State Jennifer Brunner (D) in the May 4 primary. But Dems in OH and DC have begun to whisper that Brunner may just pull out a come-from-behind primary victory. It’s a long-shot, they say, but even those who have worked against her behind the scenes say it’s possible. (emphasis added)

The article then notes that they believe that Fisher’s attack against Brunner backfired, especially since in so doing Lee Fisher played right into the hands of ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine.

By the way, maybe this is too picky, but…

The Fisher camp still believes the LG will roll ahead to victory and that the vast number of undecided voters will break his way because theirs is the campaign that has the money to communicate in the final few weeks of the race as voters begin to tune in.

“Still” in this context is a very loaded word.? It connotes a sense of stubbornness.? It’s what you say as you wrestle with the ghost of Joel Hyatt for Senate ’94.? Like EMILY’s List in ’94 came to the rescue at the last minute for Boyle, so too, I’ve been told the recent DFA endorsement of Brunner is bringing in money that won’t be reflected in her yet-to-be released campaign finance report.? It’s the DFA endorsement, I’ve been told from multiple sources, is why Brunner stated after the Cleveland City Club debate that she believed the campaign may be on the air as well for the final two weeks of the campaign.? Something that has been largely unthinkable for a year.

One of the reasons I was so against a Lee Fisher candidacy was I recall working weekend after weekend wearing out a few pairs of tennis shoes as I did lit drop after lit drop for the coordinated campaign to get Lee Fisher elected Governor in 1998.? On Election night, I remember sitting there in that hotel ballroom, near Capital Square, at the Fisher-Coleman reception.? We watched the early results came in and felt the crowd become electrified as we thought we defied the polls.? With Fisher’s money and unified institutional support, we were launching a new day in Ohio!

I hadn’t felt that way again since I saw the Miami University men’s hockey team lose the school’s first national championship last year by blowing a multiple goal lead with roughly only half a minute to play.

And again, I and other Brunner supporters have had to endure the ridicule of younger and less experienced Democrats who thought it was unfathomable that Lee could lose given… all his money and unified institutional support.? Like the Bob Taft election hadn’t happened.? And yet, it’s the nightmare of that same memory is why Lee Fisher’s campaign doesn’t even MENTION his prior gubernatorial race on its website.

I got the feeling this is what those young people in the Lee Fisher campaign are starting to feel.? That Lee Fisher rite of passage of dread as Lee snatches defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.

It’s a rite of passage to be an Ohio Democrat.

Welcome to the club.


-M.E. ’98

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