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Monday, February 13, 2006
 
Hackett Gets Knifed In Ohio Senate Race--Updated

Remember all the libs crowing about Democrat Iraq vet Paul Hackett, who managed to get 48% of the vote in a special election to fill a Republican seat in Congress? The darling of the netkooks?

After the lovefest was over, Hackett decided to run for the Senate. And while he originally looked pretty good for the nomination, an experienced Democratic congressman, Sherrod Brown decided to run as well, after initially passing on the opportunity.

Tonight Hackett dropped out of the race. But get the bitterness:

"This is an extremely disappointing decision that I feel has been forced on me," said Mr. Hackett, whose announcement comes two days before the state's filing deadline for candidates. He said he was outraged to learn that party leaders were calling his donors and asking them to stop giving and said he would not enter the Second District Congressional race.

"For me, this is a second betrayal," Mr. Hackett said. "First, my government misused and mismanaged the military in Iraq, and now my own party is afraid to support candidates like me."

Mr. Hackett was the first Iraq war veteran to seek national office, and the decision to steer him away from the Senate race has surprised those who see him as a symbol for Democrats who oppose the war but want to appear strong on national security.

"Alienating Hackett is not just a bad idea for the party, but it also sends a chill through the rest of the 56 or so veterans that we've worked to run for Congress," said Mike Lyon, executive director for the Band of Brothers, a group dedicated to electing Democratic veterans to national office. "Now is a time for Democrats to be courting, not blocking, veterans who want to run."


Some of the more famous lefty bloggers, who had showered praise, donations and volunteers on Hackett during his summer 2005 run, now were eager to get rid of him. David Sirota, an influential liberal blogger with posting privileges at the Huffington Post appeared to have a particular grudge against Hackett, as you can see by checking his archives over there.

Update: Gary Hart agrees.
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