Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Brown on WCPN Postmortem [UPDATED]

Some impressions about Sherrod Brown's appearance on WCPN. UPDATED: Thanks to Ohio 2nd, I've changed a misstatement about Hackett's website.

Style.

I've just read the comment to the liveblog by Oh-02. I don't know if his charge of defensiveness comes from just reading the blog or listening over the internet, but it's a fair charge. Style is largely a province of individual perception. Lots of people thought Clinton was smooth -- I found him slick and insincere.

Some describe Brown as shrill or defensive. Listening to him, I would describe him as passionate. He really believes in what he says and it shows. After two presidential campaigns in which the Democratic candidate showed little sign of having a pulse, much less passion, I find Brown's speaking style refreshing, but that's just me.

I'm also happy to see him directly confront accusations against him rather than engage in some rhetorical juijitsu. Again, it goes against the Gore/Kerry/Shrum playbook, but so much the better for it.

Finally, it should be noted that "Sam's" questions cross the usual DMZ on a number of occasions. For example, he was asking about union endorsements and kept after Brown about why he didn't get all of them. (something I forgot about when trying to do the up-to-speed part of the post.) Brown kept pointing out that he's only lost one so far, but Sam kept carping on the issue. I would have been defensive too.

Having said all that, I think Hackett's style will go over better. He can also throw an elbow in the paint, but does so with a somewhat lower-key style that will turn fewer people off.

Substance.

Brown is right that Hackett hasn't been talking that much about substance in the public forum. His website still doesn't have a positions section. (The positions section is here.) Based on the MTB session, Hackett does have policy positions and can express them reasonably well. Brown is almost certainly a smarter guy and deeper thinker, but Hackett is good enough to be a Senator.

Some quibbles on specific issues. First, I'm tired of Democrats acting like allowing reimportation of drugs is some sort of panacea. Canadian drugs are cheaper because Canada has price controls. If Canada becomes a conduit for the American drug market, that will change, one way or another.

Second, Democrats need a response to Kelo (the eminent domain decision.) I suggest something the following:

"The Kelo court simply followed precedent and said that limits on eminent domain aren't required by the Constitution. The Kelo majority said specifically that any limits can and should be imposed by legislatures. And that's what has happened. All over the country, legislators from both parties are passing legislation restricting the use of eminent domain. In Ohio, the effort was led in part by Liberal Democratic Senator Kim Zurz.

"When conservatives criticize courts for being activist, they complain that judges are acting like legislators. This was a case in which the court decided that legislative action was more appropriate and the legislative process has worked. This was actually a conservative decision, but conservatives complain about it because conservative judicial principles didn't yield the result they wanted."

One issue that didn't emerge in what I heard was gun control. Hackett is all over Brown on this one and it's a difference between the two that has strong implications for the general election. Hackett my have the NRA endorsement through the general. In any event, the postcards won't come out against him. I'd like to hear how Brown responds to the issue.

Overall, my feelings haven't changed. Hackett is a better candidate, though Brown is good. Brown would be a better Senator, though Hackett would be good.

7 comments:

Ohio 2nd said...

Interesting analysis. I'm not sure I agree, but it's hard to say how people will deal with being in the Senate. It is a strange beast.

I'm cool with passion. I think that Brown could have played all this nonsense off better. You can be passionate and still stay focused. He would have been a hero if he had laughed off the the ODP incident. Brown tells off bloggers. Who doesn't want to see stuff like that? Damned upity bloggers.

Being passionate and defensive are a dangerous mix. As someone who gets way too into things I should know.

Trial by fire. Both candidates need to muscle up before DeWine. This is the way to do it.

FYI, Hackett does have a position's section, it's just down one level. www.hackettforohio.com/about_issues.

joebu said...

Hackett is a better candidate, though Brown is good. Brown would be a better Senator, though Hackett would be good.

You are probably correct on that assertion. To me, Hackett clearly is a better candidate who has a much better much chance of beating DeWine given the political dynamics in Ohio. However, the unknown is Hackett's ability to legislate. But I have faith that after the learning curve, Hackett will know how to play the horsetrading game on Capitol Hill very well.

Anonymous said...

Slim environmental policy by Mr. Hackett. Considering that he has no record to run on, he better provide more than three sentences:

" I’m committed to the development of clean, renewable and affordable energy because it doesn’t just benefit the environment it helps to grow the economy and to create new jobs.” "

Charles Krauthammer is in favor of clean, renewable, affordable energy, too (you know, the neocon columnist).

Paul gives us all of six lines on Iraq, his signature issue.

Pounder said...

Anon,
is that you phil ?

Anonymous said...

no, pounder, my name is not Phil

Anonymous said...

How is the environment Paul Hackett's "signature issue"?

-Ann

Anonymous said...

Iraq, Ann. Paul gives us all of six lines on Iraq, his signature issue.
-Anon