October 13, 2005


Blackwell woos the Statehouse types: Can good polls (and John McCain) bring old-school Republicans aboard? (Dan Williamson, October 13, 2005, The Other Paper)

It was another ho-hum week for Ken Blackwell. Yet another statewide poll showed the Ohio secretary of state with a commanding lead for the 2006 Republican gubernatorial nomination. Yet another national Republican celebrity, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, endorsed Blackwell's candidacy.

And in Columbus, Republicans establishment types continued to silently wring their hands.

Blackwell's biggest weakness—and so far his only weakness—is that the Republicans who have worked alongside him on Capitol Square for the past dozen years have yet to embrace his campaign. Blackwell fever might be sweeping the state, and even the nation, but it hasn't made its way into the corridors of power Downtown.

Traditionally, Republican power brokers—lobbyists, consultants and businesspeople—have coalesced around their favorite candidate for governor, and that candidate has tended to go on to win the nomination. For '06, there are two Republicans—Ohio Auditor Betty Montgomery and Attorney General Jim Petro—with whom they feel comfortable.

But Blackwell scares the hell out of them. [...]

It isn't inevitable, but a Blackwell nomination certainly looks more probable with each passing day.

According to a Dispatch poll published Sunday, 32 percent of registered Republican voters favor Blackwell, compared to 18 percent for Petro and 16 percent for Montgomery.

That survey came on the heels of last Thursday's surprise endorsement from McCain.

Blackwell's candidacy had already received enthusiastic support around the country from Christian conservatives and anti-tax crusaders. But McCain is a hero to Republican moderates—and even to some Democrats—and is often vilified by conservatives who share Blackwell's hard-right ideology.

By touting his new alliance with McCain, whom Blackwell described as "a national hero and a man of integrity," the secretary of state demonstrated that he's no longer singularly focusing his campaign on galvanizing the right.

""He's trying to move more to the middle, feeling that he's got pretty much the conservative base locked up," said Green. "And that's smart on his part."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 13, 2005 9:10 PM

"...a man of integrity," spelled K-E-A-T-I-N-G

Posted by: anon in texas at October 13, 2005 9:29 PM

McCain is making some brilliant moves--he's spending political capital to endorse popular Republicans who are likely--or serving--governors, i.e. the guys who deliver their state's primaries to him in 08.

Posted by: cornetofhorse at October 13, 2005 10:10 PM

Blackwell & McCain surely prove the old adage, "politics make for strange bedfellows".
That said, you know I've been "singing" the praises for J. Kenneth for at least 2-3 years now, and, if the most probable next President wishes to join in, who am I to argue.
anon in tx; on a scale of one to ten (meaningful being ten) this is at best a point five.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 13, 2005 10:10 PM

Smart move by McCain, riding Blackwell's coattails all the way to the White House.

Posted by: pj at October 13, 2005 10:12 PM

Very shrewd move by McCain. This officially gets him forgiven for his endorsement of John Cambell's opponent the other week.

Posted by: Timothy at October 13, 2005 10:52 PM

I remember the Keating Five incident. Both of Arizona's senators were implicated. McCain was considered the least involved of the lot. I sometimes think that he was tossed in because he was the only Republican with any ties to Keating (a major Phoenix developer) at all.

Posted by: Brandon at October 14, 2005 12:01 AM

The Other Paper?

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 14, 2005 12:18 AM

If memory serves, Keating was a figure in the S&L failure "scandal" of the 80's, nothing to do with bringing housing to those desiring it, ie: a developer.

Posted by: Mike Daley at October 14, 2005 12:45 AM

If memory serves in the late 1950s, Keating founded the Cincinnati anti-pornography organization Citizens for Decent Literature, so there is actually an Ohio connection involved with the original post.

He was in fact a real estate operator, who was finally sunk because of a resort he built in Arizona. He had bought control of a Lincoln Savings and sucked out all of the Depositors money and put it into his resort.

Lance Ito (remember him?) was the judge in Keatings criminal trial in 1989.

Mother Theresa vouched for Keating's character (she had received over a million dollars from him, so that placed McCain in good company)

Also none other than Alan Greenspan had given Lincoln savings a glowing financial report.

Charles Keating was a champion swimmer, winning the 1946 NCAA 200 yard butterfly competition. His son Charles Keating III swam in the 1976 Olympics, and his grandson Gary Hall Jr. competed in three Olympics and won 10 medals.

All and all sounds like a great guy..ahhh except for one..mistake.

Posted by: h-man at October 14, 2005 2:01 AM

Columbus has the Columbus Dogpatch--oops, 'scuse me, silly spell checker didn't work right!-- I mean Columbus Dispatch, its traditional MSM monopoly daily, and two "alternative" papers. Columbus Alive! is your standard-issue far-left alternate-lifestyle moonbat paper, while The Other Paper is "alternative press" for normal people--sort of a dead-tree equivalent to the Brothers Judd Blog. If the article had come from Columbus Alive!, I'd be skeptical, but The Other Paper is at least as reliable as the Dog-, er, Dispatch, and usually more so.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 14, 2005 6:49 AM

Mike: I thought you lived in Omaha.

H-man: IIRC, John Glenn was another one of the five

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 14, 2005 10:42 AM

Right now I live in northeast Ohio, but I spent three years in Cowlumbus, two of which were a clerkship at the Supreme Court of Ohio.

Posted by: Mike Morley at October 14, 2005 3:28 PM