Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Kicked to the curb
Democratic bloggers abuzz over Hackett exit
Activists angry Marine reservist was allegedly pressured out of Ohio race

WASHINGTON - The Democratic blogosphere was abuzz Tuesday with the news that one of its heroes, Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, had dropped out of the Ohio Senate race.

Hackett, a civilian lawyer and a major in the Marine Corps reserves, caused a sensation last year when he nearly defeated Republican Jean Schmidt in a special election in a heavily Republican congressional district in southern Ohio.

At first blush, Hackett’s exit seemed good news for the Democrats since it removed the danger of a costly primary and left seven-term Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown a clear shot at defeating incumbent Republican, Sen. Mike DeWine.

But left-leaning Democratic bloggers helped lift Hackett to his near-victory last year and some are irate that their man appears to have been squeezed out of the race.

Hackett said Monday party leaders pressured him to leave the race and made phone calls to his donors urging them to not contribute to his campaign.

“I made this decision reluctantly, only after repeated requests by party leaders, as well as behind the scenes machinations, that were intended to hurt my campaign,” Hackett said in a statement issued by his campaign Tuesday.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday afternoon that over the past several months he’d had a number of conversations with Hackett…

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee chair, Sen. Charles Schumer, refused to comment on the Hackett withdrawal, referring all questions to DSCC spokesman Phil Singer, who issued the following statement: “Neither the DSCC nor Sen. Schumer reached out to donors to ask them to take sides in this race. Paul Hackett’s statesman-like decision will help us win one of the most important Senate races in the nation...”
And has-been Democratic pol Gary Hart lays the ultimate blame for what Hackett describes as ”behind the scenes machinations” where? Why at the feet of the Republican Party, of course.
Gary Hart: Pressuring Paul Hackett To Abandon Campaign is Old Politics at its Worst

Now, it seems, my Democratic party is once again imitating the Republican party in a desperate effort to regain power.

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