It is what it says it is.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Like a Child, Like a Baby, Like a Phenom, Like a Meteorite

(Big up to anyone who knows the song and artist this post's title is cribbed from... the artist is an underappreciated American treasure.)

Well, my play-in game pick was wrong... Darn Hampton let me down. And frankly, the relative inaction of the campaigns is letting me down too... heck, I've been imagining what would happen if this primary was being decided by a basketball tournament (which, judging by the lack of competency, energy, or presence shown by his campaign thus far, appears to be the only way Bill Grace could win... ).

This is another of those deadly lull periods in the race. The serious air campaign won't start for a while, the first round of attacks have come and gone, and we now have a better read of who's serious, who's not, and who's praying the voters confuse him with his brother.

I'd say that now, Bill Grace has essentially decided he'd rather not win. For him to have a realistic chance, he needed to make a splash, blow some people away at the various cattle calls, and maybe release an unexpected endorsement or two. Or at least have a website that doesn't consist entirely of a lawnsign. Looking back, it's tough to believe that less than a month ago, at the filing deadline, he looked to have a feasible, if unlikely, scenario for victory. Grade: "Much Poorer than Expected"

Likewise, Sawyer's prospects look somewhat brighter than they had a month ago. Sawyer, while facing resistance from unions and the like, and not actually running too terribly effective a campaign thus far, is the beneficiary of a strategic decision being made by a number of campaigns. It seems that with Cafaro being the figure to rail against, Sawyer is the candidate who benefits... no one has the energy to bring up the fact that Sawyer voted for NAFTA. He may not need to run a solid campaign, if Sutton, Kucinich, et al. continue to focus their campaigns against Cafaro, rather than Sawyer, Tom Sawyer could well win on Name ID. "Better than Expected"

Cafaro gets an "as expected plus". She's certainly running an aggressive media campaign, and she has institutional support from a number of corners. She does well at multi-candidate events. She's avoided the kind of mistakes that doomed her race in 14 last time... still, she's had her detractors, and she's by no means wrapped the race up. I'd now call her the early line favorite, but with Sawyer on her heels. I'm wondering if the Anti-Cafaro tactics displayed so far, from the shopping mall to the attacks on her statements as an 8year old, help her or hurt her. It should be fun to see what the next salvo will be against her.

Betty Sutton gets a "just slightly less than expected," although I'd bet there's a method to their decisions so far. They've gathered some endorsements and almostendorsements, and Betty has been fair to good on the stump, according to most accounts. Her profile has been somewhat lower in the media than I think it should be; I wonder if her campaign underestimates just how unknown she really is, and how difficult it will be to cut through the clutter in April. And the fundraising letter from Emily's List (hi staffers!) could have sounded maybe a teensy bit less desperate. She's made no big missteps, and they've probably decided on a April-centric strategy to account for the slow rollout, but if the race continues as it is, she'll be hard-pressed to compete at the top level. She probably needs to make a move soon, to avoid the narrative becoming Sawyer v. Cafaro.

As for Gary Kucinich, well, "as expected," with the caveat that my expectations were very low for him. His campaign appears to be based on the premise that he shares chromosomes and a last name with a sitting Congressman, and that he's not Capri Cafaro, who's icky. Otherwise, there ain't much "there" there. If he wanted to see his name on lawnsigns, he didn't have to go through all this trouble, he could have taken a drive to big bro's district. Speaking of which, if and when he has lawnsigns, will they include his first name, or just have "Kucinich for Congress?"

And a brief note on the rest of the field. I like what little I've seen and heard from them, and I do hope they get a fair hearing. Mike Lyons has actually received some positive feedback for his stump ability... although he may want to find a way to get his name in the paper. Norbert Dennerll seems to be a genuine guy, and with a Yellow Barrel of Magic, anything can happen. John Wolfe seems similarly committed and nice... and they all are putting in the work on the stump. So I congratulate them on their campaigns thus far.

Otherwise, let's end this lull... well, maybe keep it, just through the weekend... there's too much hoops on for politics to get in the way.

OH 13
ohio13 at gmail dot com


Blogger OHi3 said...

if Cafaro makes any mistakes, i would be greatly surprised.

she wont be making any mistakes, and i'm saying that from the perspective of supporting a different candidate.

3:06 PM

Blogger CampaignAddict said...

Mr. Sawyers speech last night at the progressive democrats of summit county did the one thing i've seen very few candidates ever do... it included an apology, a "whoopsie i voted for nafta and it didn't work, now get me back in there so i can fix it" I was truly impressed, if only because i heard a political candidate say "I was wrong." If he keeps this up he might actually be front runner material...

7:25 PM

Blogger redhorse said...

he has to address nafta and his vote. the prevailing community feeling on it is that he was wrong and the pact hasn't worked for NE Ohio; for him to go around and keep saying "well, you know, it was suppose to work this way..." won't cut it.

5:06 AM

Blogger Ohio 13 said...

I agree, redhorse. He has to take responsibility at some point, which is the big thing he hasn't done... He's used the "I want to fix it" line all campaign... which makes me angrier than it makes me believe he's serious. If someone shoots my dog, I don't ask that person to find me a new one.

6:17 AM

Blogger CampaignAddict said...

He did take responsibility at the speech he gave two nights ago, in fact thats pretty much what the first and last part of the speech were about. Although i do agree with you ohi3, just because he said whoopsie doesn't mean we should elect him.

8:09 PM


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