Thursday, July 28, 2005

A Different Democrat

Anyone catch the article in the New York Times yesterday about Paul Hackett, the Iraq War veteran running for Congress in Ohio's 2nd District? The 2nd District has had just one Democratic Congressman since 1950, and the most recent Democrat was moved to another district after redistricting as a result of the 1980 Census. But Hackett seems to be at least within striking distance of his Republican opponent, Jean Schmidt. Hackett returned from Iraq in March and enlisted again the day he got back - this time to run in the special election. He romped through the Democratic Primary and got the party endorsement in four of the seven counties in the district.

Hackett is intensely opposed to the war in Iraq, and has criticized President Bush for invading in the first place and not focusing intently on capturing Osama bin Laden. He has publically referred to President Bush as the greatest threat to America. So, you say, he's a typical liberal Democrat who happened to serve in Iraq. Not quite. Hackett supports loose gun restrictions and personally opposes abortion, though he says he wouldn't interfere with a woman's right to have one. He seems to be anything but a "party man," which would be refreshing in the partisan atmosphere in Washington.

The special election is on August 2nd and, while no official polls have been released, it is believed that the race is close with Schmidt in the lead. The Political Forecast reports on the race in two different places and says that Schmidt is ahead by just 5%.

Hackett's Iraq service throws a wrench into this whole thing, but if he wins, could he be blazing a path that the Democratic Party follows to victory in the future?


At 1:44 PM, Blogger Sluggo said...

It's an interesting question, but, depending, of course, on just how wiley and talented a man Mr. Hackett is, I would tend to think he's a one off.

He sounds like a gift from the Gods for the Democrats, but no one survives in that jungle with a weak pro-choice stand. Anti-gun control is one thing, but he'll either 'grow' in his abortion thinking or they'll use him to get rid of Schmidt and hang him out to dry.

Unless, as you suggest, he catches fire as a 'maverick'. A left of center McCain.


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