It is what it says it is.

Monday, February 20, 2006

A weekend sighting...

Well, one of our sources, a devoted political junkie with his ear to the ground for all things political in NE Ohio, got in touch with us this morning. He told us about a fundraiser held by presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ted Strickland, at Bricco in Akron. Apparently, three of our field were in attendance; Cafaro, Sawyer and Sutton. Not terribly surprising at its face.

However, what surprised this source, upon seeing the assembled throng, was that it appeared that the dignitaries in attendance were very strongly leaning towards on candidate, at least according to choice of campaign button. The source, who we know to be supporting a candidate not in attendance, said that he was surprised that a goodly number of people, including prominent members of the AFL-CIO and the Summit Democratic Party, were wearing Cafaro gold saw campaign buttons. He said that the event had a certain "home-field" feel for Cafaro, and that at least one of the other candidates was visibly uncomfortable with the surroundings.

Upon hearing this, we called another source, who we believed would have attended. Sure enough, he was in attendance, and he confirmed the seemingly pro-Cafaro mood of the room.

We don't know what to make of this, or if this is just an isolated one-off burp in the universe sort of thing, or even just the perception a couple of people (albeit trusted people), but Summit is the presumed base of Sawyer and Sutton. We would have assumed that public support would be at a minimum for any candidate, and what there was would be for Sutton. It is difficult to draw any conclusions from this event, and if any other attendees care to contact me, we'd be happy to get a number of viewpoints. We'd love to hear if others who saw what went down are in agreement, or if their read was different than that of our sources. Post in the comments, or email us at ohio13 at gmail dot com .

For the record, none of us were in attendance, as we've yet to be hired to that rich consulting contract (Campaigns! Hire us to that rich consulting contract!). But as we noted briefly before, one of the untold stories of this campaign is that Capri Cafaro is building up a good deal of institutional support, kind of under the radar.

Her campaign has been aggressive in reaching out to the party and union figures that play a large role in an election such as this, and has apparently been doing a good job at it. And the fact that her people have made inroads in Summit County shows that someone on their team must know what they're doing. With the negatives floating around about her, it was vital for her to counteract their potentially crippling effects by building institutional support and trying to shift the course of debate off of personal and onto political issues.

As we've said before, Capri Cafaro is and will be the central figure of pretty much any election she runs in, this one included. Rather than downplay it, it appears her campaign has decided to take advantage of it. This can set her up to be the target of a barrage of negatives later on, and potentially allow someone else to get late momentum and win, but it also gives her, for the time being, some ability to control the issue agenda at play in the race.

Still, it's a fine line that will take careful planning to work. The other campaigns will undoubtedly be working just as hard to shift the agenda to one that helps them and hurts Cafaro. Sutton will probably try to shift towards the "culture of corruption" theme, Sawyer towards "experience," Grace towards a "I know the problems of the district" theme. Their success at these attempts to shift the issue "battlefield" from one of Cafaro's choosing will play a very large role in determining a winner.

OH 13

6 Comments:

Blogger redhorse said...

good source. I've had trouble running down one I had there, but your report will inform the quesitons I ask of my source.

2:23 PM

 
Blogger palehorse said...

Dear team, you have it correct. The room was definitely Capri-rific. One of the Billy's reliable sources claimed that candidate sutton was not on the "invite" list, and came unannounced, then worked the room wonderfully. Give 'em hell, Betty.
Red will follow on with more precise and lucid comments once he has been debriefed by said source.

8:15 PM

 
Blogger politicalknifefight said...

I too was at the Summit event. Your sources that say it was a Cafaro love-fest are correct. Palehorse's source that said Sutton worked the room well was incorrect. She came with five people obviously one of which was invited and spent the whole evening talking to those that brought her.

8:51 AM

 
Blogger redhorse said...

I've now heard this for two different people: Capri lovefest, Betty did okay.

Curiously, no one can really say what Tom did. Perhaps he was the uncomfortable one?

1:24 PM

 
Blogger HorseWhisperer said...

From what I saw, Tom seemed to do alright. Although he wasn't consistently surrounded by the Summit County elite, he was never without company. I managed to speak with him and he seemed to be in good spirits and optimistic about the campaign.
Capri was definitely the belle of the ball. You couldn't move without seeing someone wearing one of the "saw" pins. Her sister was even sporting one of Sherrod's canary in a cage pins. The entire campaign clan worked the room confidently with complete ease. A couple people from her camp (sister included) even showed up at the "afterparty" and did a little karaoke.
As far as Betty is concerned, the fact that she even showed up was priceless! Her entrance created an audible buzz throughout the crowd.

1:08 PM

 
Blogger Betsy McCall said...

Capri Cafaro is the Paris Hilton of Ohio politics. Thank goodness union folk don't control Ohio Dem politics any longer.

9:19 AM

 

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