It is what it says it is.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Post-filing blues

It's weird, but since the excitement and worries dealing with the filing deadline and trying to figure out who's running, who's not, and all that good stuff, the calm, almost sedate quality of this weekend was difficult to deal with. After a month of rumor-mongering and news breaking at a moment's notice, it's all set. We have our insanely large and colorful field. We're almost at a loss over where to go.

Surprises thus far:
1. The great number of candidates on the D side. In a year where clearing the field became de rigeuer for Dems in Ohio and nationwide, to see nine candidates, at least six of whom have held elected office, is surprising. The field was never going to be totally cleared; Sutton, Cafaro, and Sawyer weren't going to budge, more than likely. But it's almost as if each new entrant led to other entrants looking at the field and thinking that if the votes split up just right, they could actually win this thing. And the worst thing is, in many cases, they are probably right.

It is quite probable that the winner of the D primary will get less than 30 percent of the vote. The Democratic nominee will be the choice of far less than half of the Dems voting on May 2nd. This will make the summer far more important than normal for the race; this will be the time to mend fences and build up the support. An instant runoff ballot would be priceless, just to see who people's second and third choices are.

2. Bill Grace. We'd rate his entry, and particularly the rather disorganized and vaccilating manner in which he did it, as a surprise. After entirely disclaiming a run, less than a week later he changes his mind and announces. Most candidates in his situation would be smart enough not to close a door he may have to reopen. As well, if he were hoping for serious financial and organizational support, he should not have let multiple other campaigns get such a pronounced head start.

3. Tom Sawyer staying in. Tom Sawyer must have decided that with a big field, his name ID could go further. As we have stated before, we do not concur with this analysis, as should he be a threat, the unions will do eveything in their power to take him out. Meanwhile, it is still difficult to figure where his financial and organizational support will come from, and with the money other players have, name ID alone will not cut it.

4. The late rush by candidates. We understand that vanity plays a role in politics; some people like to see their names on a lawnsign. However, to see a number of candidates, including a semi-credible name like Gary Kucinich, file late without even going through the motions of having a press operation, strikes me as either vanity-inspired, unprofessional, dirty-tricks related (someone asked them to run to cut up the field to their supposed advantage), or some combination of the three. To file for Congress, and have the first it gets covered be the day after the filing deadline is not something a credible candidate does, unless they are of "800 lb. gorilla" stature. Kucinich, Goulder, Lyons (mayor of Richfield) are far closer to lemur than gorilla in stature.

Well, that's more of our thoughts. Thanks to the readers for your tips and leads, as well as your kind comments, hat tips, and encouragement. We will continue to try to break down this race, and give the semi-quality, semi-timely reportage, and high quality rumormongering you've come to demand from us here at OH13.

The Ohio 13 blog editors

we can be reached at ohio13 at gmail dot com

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