It is what it says it is.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bloggers Bracket, MTBs, and other stuff

First off, we have a winner. Scott of Word of Mouth clinched the Ohio Bloggers Bracket Championship with UCLA's victory over LSU. He's the proud winner of a front page post here on Ohio13... and maybe a beer or something next time I visit Lorain...

There were a couple of MTB's this weekend, both of which I missed. My schedule for work is quite insane most of the time, and as form holds out, I was travelling from Thursday thru Sunday (hence the lack of posts). It is probably for the best... meeting candidates forces one to treat them (most of the time) as human beings, and when treating the race like a serial drama, that can be a bad thing. If the things that happen in a political race happen to real human beings, we might have a tinge of guilt, so better to have them happen to a cast of characters.

Bill Grace got relatively high marks on his performance at MTB. Although, it seems that everyone realized that he no concrete legislative proposals... his policy chops apparently range from suspect to non-existent. Which brings me to Cafaro appearance the next day, where she gets roundly attacked (in other news, the sky is blue, dogs dislike cats, and the sun rises each day in the east). The complaints that people seem to have are essentially that she has a policy proposal that they think is a joke. Fair point, and since I find policy somewhat less exciting than memorizing the phone book, I have to take their word on it. It just seems strange in contrast that Grace is OK despite having no policy positions whatsoever, while Cafaro is bad because she has policy positions which may be lacking in the details.

There are reasons aplenty why this blog stays clear of Cafaro in most cases. The first and most pressing is that other blogs handle parsing and analysis of Cafaro better than I do. Hell, there's a site that appears to be dedicated just to beating on her, and everyone else takes their shots on issues from the substantive (policy, youth) to the marginal (Shopping Mall Heiress) to the utterly Absurd (statements she made as an 8 year old). While they can be fun, at the same time, there's a sense that people are out to get her... and I guess I just don't hate her that much.

Second, we don't find her as objectionable as it seems the rest of the blogosphere does. Not that I intend to vote for her, because I am leaning heavily towards another candidate (feel free to take guesses), but at least one of my associates on this blog does intend to vote for her, and frankly, there are so many things about the campaign as a whole which get ENTIRELY overshadowed because people would rather discuss what's wrong with Cafaro.

Third, if every candidate in the Dem field were held to the standard that everyone insists on holding Cafaro, Craig Foltin would win in a landslide. Every candidate has strange and somewhat absurd negatives... if you Lexis-Nexis most of them and take the time to read what comes up, you wouldn't vote for any of them. When I do, on occasion, hold a candidate to that kind of standard, I catch hell from people. If Tom Sawyer were treated like Cafaro has been (and particularly since he is the candidate that people have a real reason to oppose, IMHO), would he seem nearly as plausible a candidate?

Yeah, I am well aware that Cafaro has been tainted by the Traficant thing... and the carpetbagger thing... but other candidates have been given a free pass on their malfeasance, extremism, or other negatives. So, yeah, as Cafaro becomes newsworthy, should it be revealed that as a three year old she beat her preschool teacher to death with a lead pipe, yeah, I'll bite. At this point, it just seems like the same old attacks. And after a while, online, and in the electorate, they get old.

So if it seems like, as Pho put it, "Ohio 13 is the only blog that has been anything like supportive," it's not that... it's more a fatigue thing. We don't love Cafaro... we just don't hate her either.

So, this week, the campaign begins to heat up... less than 1 month from E-Day. Please send in your reports of field activity, events, etc. so we can let everyone know what's going on. This week, we have the following posts planned:

1. Geographic analysis of the race.
2. Breakdown of who wins if who attacks whom (which may be one of the more complex posts we've attempted here)
3. Anything else that pops up
4. Hopefully, Scott's piece, should he have one ready.

That's all for now... have fun, and get ready for a month of insanity... bring galoshes.

ohio13 at gmail dot com


Blogger scott bakalar said...

My post - here?
I never actually planned on winning the darn thing, so I never bothered preparing one, or even thinking about it - guess I'll have to get busy. Thanks for the opportunity to play along.

We have a line on MTB sessions for Paul Burtzlaff and Gary Kucinich this weekend, although they're not confirmed yet, and then I think that might be it for the 13th Candidates. I really don't see Foltin or the other dems at this point agreeing to Meet the Bloggers.

It was my goal to be at every 13th candidate MTB session, and so far I have a perfect attendence record. Perhaps I may do a MTB review/synopsis post of those that have taken part in the sessions for the Ohio 13 Blog piece - or I could just take that beer.

I suppose it might not be a good idea to report that the Ohio Bloggers Bracket was the first NCAA pool I have ever actually participated in? I had UCLA - Ohio State in the final, so I won't consider my win official until UCLA beats Florida tonight.
Totally a case of someone who doesn't know what the hell they're doing guessing very well.

I'm writing up my take on Cafaro's session right now, so hopefully I'll get that posted at my place tomorrow.

8:30 AM

Blogger Pho said...

While I ranked him as second in the race, I'm not at all sure Grace would share your view that he was treated gently in my post. I tried to objectively convey the experience of meeting him and people I've spoken to who read the post didn't feel favorably toward Grace for having done so.

If I treated Cafaro more harshly, well I'm grading her on the curve she's asked for. Grace doesn't pretend to be a policy geek with a passel of legislative proposals. Cafaro does. She says we should vote for her because she has SAW. Finding out that the proposal hasn't been vetted by economists or indeed subject to the most rudimentary analysis was shocking. I expected Cafaro to be someone with interesting ideas who I couldn't vote for because I don't trust her to represent my district. Instead I've found a whole new list of reasons to vote against her.

Finally, I'm fatigued by your dark mutterings about the other candidates. I don't have access to Lexis/Nexis. If you have something to say about Grace or Sutton, bring it. I'm still open about who I support and would like to have all the information available. But instead of specifics on this blog, we keep getting these "if only they looked at the other candidates . . ." line. Tell us what your talking about already.

11:15 AM

Blogger OhioExile said...

You guys might find this interesting.
Hotline take on the 13th.

6:08 AM

Blogger OhioExile said...

Got a question about the 13th answered by Chris Cillizza of the post.

Chris Cillizza Chate 4/5/06

9:10 AM

Blogger OHi3 said...

Labor leaders are making the Labor "influence" irrelevant by continuing to live in the past. Union membership continues to decline, and their leadership is still whining about what happened nearly ten years ago, instead of planning for the future.
They all jump on a surreal bandwagon to support Sutton (I guess they feel they have to do something); but, Sutton didn't have to vote for or against NAFTA, and she doesn't even know how to walk up to people and shake hands, work a room, as far as I have seen. How union "establishment" thinks she has more chance to fight for Labor interests than Tom Sawyer, I'll never understand.
I used to think Mr. AFLCIO John Ryan was one of the smartest guys around; now he's making references to Tom Sawyer being equivalent to a murderer. It's pure insanity. From what I know, John Ryan has never even met Tom Sawyer, let alone have a conversation with him. To impune motives without information, let alone resort to such juvenile name-calling, is also downright irresponsible.
I see no evidence that any of the candidates besides Tom Sawyer has a workable approach to improving our economy, creating new jobs and dealing with the education and health care issues in this District. He has the academic training, the practical experience, and the proven success record to bring resources back to his City and his District.

11:45 AM

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