Ken Blackwell Enters Race for RNC Chair

A friend told me he was "crying with joy" when I passed him along the following news:

The race for Republican National Committee chairman, still unsettled with just six weeks to go until the party's leadership election, got another jolt Friday when former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell threw his hat into the ring.

In a letter to RNC members, Blackwell touted his experience as an elected official, as well as his strength as a fundraiser and television communicator.

"I have run for public office 17 times, winning on 13 of those occasions," the former Cincinnati mayor wrote. "I have been a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and network news programs."

Blackwell also noted that he raised $12 million for his unsuccessful 2006 gubernatorial campaign, and pledged to "completely remake the Republican Party by returning to our core philosophy (limited government, traditional values and a strong defense), reaching voters more effectively (by better utilization of technology, targeting and voter identification and turnout), and reorganizing the RNC itself (spending smarter, replacing staff and consultants and modernizing our fundraising infrastructure)."

Ken Blackwell migh be a stronger voice for the GOP than the guy who only recently resigned from a Whites-only country club (Katon Dawson)... but not by much. As I noted a few weeks ago, Blackwell's anemic 36.7 percent showing in the 2006 Ohio Governor election was the worst performance by a Republican in at least three decades, and that's not exactly the kind of record that the Republicans need to lead them out of the wilderness in the coming four years. But if the GOP wants a far right reactionary with an underwhelming electoral record at their helm, I say go for it.

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Ken Blackwell for RNC Chair?

The Hotline, via Mike Memoli:

After receiving calls from RNC members asking him to run for RNC chair, ex-OH Sec/State Ken Blackwell is now considering a bid (Wake-Up Call! sources).

All I can say is "awesome." Ken Blackwell is a disaster, and would be a disaster for the Republican National Committee -- just as he was for the Ohio GOP in 2006. That year, in what was supposed to be a competitive race for Governor of Ohio, Blackwell earned just 36.7 percent of the vote, the lowest share of the vote any Republican had received in a gubernatorial race in the state in at least three decades (Wikipedia's numbers only go back to 1978). So if Republicans are looking to tap a far right extremist who couldn't even manage to pull in three out of every eight votes in a statewide race is a key swing state, I say "awesome."

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A sucker bet in Ohio

Ohio's No. 1 loudmouth, Cleveland afternoon talker Mike Trivisonno, knows gambling. Trivisonno - Triv, for short - spends much of his free time playing cards, online and with friends. When he's not playing cards, he's talking about playing cards during his daily drivetime show on AM powerhouse WTAM. And when he's not talking about gambling, he's polluting the airwaves with his caustic, uninformed brand of right-wing talk. Hiding behind the myth of independence, Triv is equal parts partisan hack and professional wrestler, a bullying, ignorant boor armed with both an agenda and an attitude. With that background in mind, it's important to take note of Triv's latest on-air ploy, an effort that seems to effortlessly combine his two interests. His plan, discussed Tuesday: A sucker bet disguised as anything but.

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Today's Strickland-Blackwell debate--the most telling remarks

The first of four scheduled debates between Ohio gubernatorial candidates Ted Strickland and Ken Blackwell took place at noon today, airing on the Ohio News Network and streaming live on WFMJ. It will air again on ONN tonight at 11 p.m.. I have posted the full text of both candidates closing remarks here, but I think an interchange that took place after the official closing remarks was the most telling...

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The vote for Ohio's future

With the primary behind us, the choice for Ohio's next governor is now set. And the differences between Republican nominee Ken Blackwell and Democratic nominee Ted Strickland couldn't be more clear.

In Blackwell, voters are faced with an opportunistic hypocrite whose incompetence is as well-documented as are his ties to the Bob Taft-led culture of corruption. In Strickland, voters are faced with a candidate who recognizes that true leadership and a voice for all Ohioans is what this state needs to return to prominence.

But this race isn't just about Ohio. It's about driving a stake through the heart of the Republican Party. It's about showing everyone that the politics of division have no place in our society. It's about demonstrating that the people have the power to chart a course for a better tomorrow.

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