Regarding news of Paul Hackett’s withdrawal from the Democrats, I think that he’s just being kind of stupid. I liked Paul Hackett, and his House campaign against Mean Jean Schmidt was the first that I ever gave money to (I had intended to give to Kerry, but funds were always too tight). I liked Hackett’s message and thought he was certainly a good addition to the Dem line-up.
Thus said, I wasn’t so sure about his Senate campaign. He had a good message, but I really thought he was a bit rough around the edges and needed more political experience. It wasn’t that he lacked political savvy, it was like maybe he sometimes got overwhelmed with the campaigning. I’m too lazy to look for the links, but I remember him freaking out during the Schmidt campaign, complaining about too much media coverage (or something like that). And that just wasn’t cool.
And then during the recent campaign, I believe he used the “F-word” when confronted by an angry Republican. Not that I haven’t been known to use that word interspersed randomly in my posts; but it’s not really the coolest of behavior in a Senate campaign. One note on this, I actually tried to find a link to this, and couldn’t find anything; so it’s possible that I’ve invented it. If anyone else remembers this, please let me know.
And another thing I didn’t like was how much he was knocking his Dem opponent Sherrod Brown. Dems knocking Dems is really something I don’t like. It’s one thing if they’re a Lieberman-type who’s selling us out at every turn. But Brown really doesn’t seem so bad. Here’s a recent interview with him and he seemed to say the right things, and never once dissed Hackett; but he did knock Bush a lot. And I just think that Dem primaries should solely focus on a positive agenda, and not on attacking the Dem opponent. Because in the longrun, that just hurts the party overall.
But overall, he seemed a tad rough around the edges. Sure, that’s a good thing in some respects. But it can really screw things up. Overall, I think he just needed a little more time to get used to the harried political life. Even from the start, I thought that the Senate was too big a game for a guy who’s only had a losing House campaign under his belt (though it was a good campaign).
And so I thought that Brown was the better candidate for the Senate campaign, and that Hackett would have been better in a House campaign. That’s what I thought back when they first announced, and it appears that the Dem leadership agreed with me. And while I don’t agree with the way that the Dem leadership supposedly dissed him, he really should have taken it in stride and rolled with the punches. He’s probably right for being pissed, but I think he’s really screwing up by going public about it. Sometimes, getting mad is the right thing to do, and sometimes it just screws everything up. And in this case, I believe that denouncing the Dems is a really bad screw-up. Not that this will necessarily hurt him personally, but that it hurts the Dems. As it is, many broderliners are suggesting that they won’t vote Democrat because they’re so upset at what happened to Hackett; and that does nothing but help the Republicans. I’m just hoping that Hackett changes his mind and makes a House run after all.