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This is a surprise:
CINCINNATI -- Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett, who gained popularity for his staunch criticism of President George W. Bush, has dropped out of the Democratic race for U.S. Senate in Ohio, according to a published report.The move prompted this statement from the political group Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran's of America
Hackett told The New York Times for Tuesday's editions that the same party leaders who urged him to run for Senate after his sensational political debut in a House race last year had turned on him.
"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," Hackett said.
Hackett captured Democrats' attention last summer by blasting Bush's war policies, raising huge sums on the Internet and capturing 48 percent of the vote in one of the country's most conservative House districts. He declared his candidacy for Republican Mike DeWine's Senate seat after it appeared Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown would not run.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Eric Schmeltzer,
February 14, 2006 email@example.com, 646-415-8429
IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN VETS PAC STATEMENT
ON PAUL HACKETT LEAVING SENATE RACE:
"The Democratic Party loses credibility" on Iraq
JON SOLTZ, a 28-year old combat Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Executive Director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Political Action Committee (IAVA PAC), released the following statement upon news that Iraq Veteran Paul Hackett was leaving the Senate race in Ohio, due to internal pressure from the Democratic Party.
"It is an outrage that the Democratic Party has forced Paul Hackett out of the race for U.S. Senate. Hackett brought credibility on the number one issue facing the nation – the war in Iraq. The Democratic Party loses credibility on that issue because he is no longer running, and because they had a hand in his decision.
"The good news is that there are still a number of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans running for office around the nation. We are committed to getting these patriots the early institutional support they need, because it is becoming abundantly clear that the party leadership has no interest in them."
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America PAC (www.iavapac.org) is the only political action committee led by a Veteran of the war in Iraq, exclusively benefiting those Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans running for public office, and holding public officials accountable for their actions that affect the Troops and Veterans.
Jon Soltz served his country with distinction in the Kosovo Campaign as a Tank Platoon Leader between June and December 2000. From May to September 2003, Soltz served as a Captain during Operation Iraqi Freedom, deploying logistics convoys with the 1st Armored Division. He has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and the LA Times. He has also appeared nationally on MSNBC, PBS, and CNN. He is Executive Director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America PAC.
Hackett's full statement is here.
Thus ends my 11 month political career. Although it is an overused political cliche, I really will be spending more time with my family, something I wasn’t able to do because my service to country in the political realm continued after my return from Iraq. Perhaps my wonderful wife Suzi said it best after we made this decision when she said “Honey, welcome home.” I really did marry up.A related must-read (from a fellow milblogger):
To my friends and supporters, I pledge that I will continue to fight and to speak out on the issues I believe in. As long as I have the microphone, I will serve as your voice.
It is with my deepest respect and humility that I thank each and every one of you for the support you extended to our campaign to take back America, and personally to me and my family. Together we made a difference. We changed the debate on the Iraq War, we inspired countless veterans to continue their service by running for office as Democrats and we made people believe again. We must continue to believe.
Remember, we must retool our party. We must do more than simply aspire to deliver greatness; we must have the commitment and will to fight for what is great about our party and our country; Peace, prosperity and the freedoms that define our democracy.
Democrats typically use the case study of Paul Hackett (an Iraqi war veteran who narrowly lost a Congressional special election to Jean Schmidt) as evidence that their military candidates can win elections, but only time (specifically, about nine more months) will tell whether that's actually true or not. Helen Seliverstov, a political analyst for the web-based CalRaces blog, examines the seven "Band of Brothers 2006 PAC" California candidates running in the six Congressional races (including two-- Jim Brandt for the 46th and John Graham for the 48th-- in my native Orange County) and notes one strong trend: all are running in heavily Republican districts -- the average voter registration is 46% (R) to 31% (D), a fifteen-point average margin of advantage for their opponents. Seliverstov concludes:Maybe the "anti-Bush" rhetoric didn't poll well in Ohio. For whatever reason, sacking Hackett was not a particularly savvy move by the Dems.Not a single one of those districts is held by Democrats or has any chance of switching Parties due to the registration gap. This makes every one of these veterans look like sacrificial lamb candidates. I can understand this being a strategy of draining funds from Republicans, but that’s a funny way to respect those who have served their country. In California, if Democrats really wanted to have a veteran elected to office, there are plenty of safe Democrat Congressional seats that candidates could be recruited for. This is hypocrisy at its best.
General Lynch showed 2 maps last week, the first of ISF Owned Battlespace in Sept '05, the second of ISF Owned battlespace in Jan '06 with proections for Feb '06. The DNC can do it's math.
Supporting a Bush Bashing veteran, in a district they were going to lose anyway is one thing. Supporting a Bush Bashing veteran, for a Senate Seat, when the republican candidate is going to be standing in front of a map that will have the vast majority of Iraq highlighted in Green,that is another thing.(My guess is everywhere except AlAnbar and Salahadin)
In '92, Bush Sr had just won a war, Clinton nailed him on domestic issues. Outsourcing,jobs, health care, taxing the rich are "winning" issues for democrats.Posted by Soldier's Dad at February 14, 2006 06:39 PM
Not such a surprise to me. Hackett was purely a backup choice for the Senate seat, once Sherrod Brown change his mind and decided to run for U.S. Senate the money was going to flow to him and not Hackett.
There was also some undercurrent as to whether Hackett had any sustainable name recognition for the voters in Northeast and Northwest Ohio.
With either Candidates the Democrats will have a hard time trying to defeat DeWine and his campaign chest.
It's criminal how the democrats use the emotionally disturbed (people like Hackett and Sheehan) for their purposes and then discard them when they can't get any more mileage out of them. Reminds me of the song lyric 'you used me until you used me up'.Posted by docdave at February 14, 2006 07:32 PM
Hmm... that happened faster than I thought.
Although not expected to win, he sure made for some nice window dressing.
Would be interesting to know what happened here. Hope it comes out.
I remember seeing one of these liberal veterans' groups on C-Span and I had a feeling I never have when I see veterans: I felt sorry for them. They probably believe their party will pull out all the stops for them. What I sensed at the time has been proven by the way the Democrats have discarded Hackett. The party is using veterans as an electoral gimmick. If all of these individuals were strong candidates in their own right, the party wouldn't have to clump them together as if to say, "See everyone, we like veterans, too."Posted by Amber at February 14, 2006 09:11 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)