Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Best Campaign Story You Never Heard

A friend attended the John Gilligan birthday party and relates the following story. Governor Bob Taft was there and presented some sort of award to Gilligan. In his remarks he said to the overwhelmingly Democratic crowd, "Don't get excited, I'm not switching parties." [Respectful laughter.]

"But if Ken Blackwell wins, I might reconsider."

[nervous laughter]
[uncertain applause]

I'm not surprised by Taft's dislike for Blackwell which is like, well duh, though that particular expression in that particular venue is a bit of a headsnapper. What I find most fascinating about this story is that it's nowhere, even in this the age of the blog. According to my friend, plenty of media folks were there. But nothing anywhere that I can find.

Two things, I think, play into that. The first is that people perceive Taft as utterly radioactive, to the extent that if he dislikes something, maybe we should do that. This is particularly true among Republicans whose only alternative to rethinking their theory of governance is to chalk up the state's problems to Taft's insufficiently Republican Republicanism.

The second factor is that an awful lot of people in a wide swath of the political spectrum are extremely nervous about the possibility of Blackwell winning. I've thought for some time that a Edvard Munch screamer with the legend "Governor Blackwell" in bleeding horror script would make for a wildly popular bumper sticker. I suspect you haven't heard this story because most of the people there think its wide distribution would help Blackwell.

So keep this between us, OK?