It's fun to watch Republicans try desperately to wipe the Taft cooties off of Republican gubernatorial nominee Ken Blackwell (R-Cincinnati). Here are a couple of examples:
At the RealClearPolitics Blog
, John McIntyre quotes an anonymous reader, who wrote:
...do not be surprised if [Blackwell] is able to wage a campaign that paints Strickland as the logical heir to Taftian politics (higher taxes, squishy social views, and the charisma of a fish) and himself as the true reformer.
Mr. McIntyre agrees with his anonymous source:
I have thought for sometime this will be the Blackwell strategy and I think he is well positioned to make a credible case to the voters of Ohio that he is more of an agent of change than the Democrat nominee, congressman Ted Strickland. ... As a strong fiscal and social conservative, something both the current GOP Governor and the Democratic nominee are not, Blackwell has an opportunity to present himself to the voters as the candidate of change in the race.
, Michael Meckler has tried a couple of times to distance the Republican nominee from Gov. Bob Taft (R
-Cincinnati), while attempting to link Gov. Taft to the Democrats. Before the primary, Mr. Meckler asked
Wouldn't it be ironic if in the fall campaign the Republican gubernatorial candidate was blasting the sitting Republican governor, while the Democratic candidate was left to defend him?
More recently, Mr. Meckler stated
Yet progressives seem to have a much more charitable view of the governor than do conservatives or the national media. Last week the progressive website AlterNet produced their list of the nation's three worst governors, and Taft was nowhere to be found. Granted, the AlterNet list was based almost exclusively on policy, and here Taft doesn't look all that bad to progressives compared to other GOP governors. After all, Taft raised taxes, pumped a ton of additional money into primary and secondary education, set up a government-funded program that is supposed to dole out more than $1 billion for high-tech research, and fought a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.
Not so fast, Mr. Meckler. As Modern Esquire points out at Buckeye State Blog
Mr. Meckler seems to forget that it was conservatives like Bob Bennett and Ken Blackwell that cleared the field so that there could be a Taft Administration while progressives were trying to defeat it. He seems to yet again forget that the tax cuts came from a REPUBLICAN General Assembly headed by self-described conservatives who are now supporting Mr. Blackwell.
Modern Esquire is right. These attempts to tar Ted Strickland as the true heir to Gov. Taft won't pass the laugh test. Only one candidate for governor shares a party with Gov. Taft. Only one candidate stepped aside to give Gov. Taft a clear shot at the gubernatorial nomination in 1998. Only one candidate has been endorsed
by Gov. Taft. That candidate is J. Kenneth Blackwell.