Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mystery of the Elephant Queen

With much fanfare The New Summit Republicans promised to announce who their nominee for County Chair this afternoon. And the nominee is . . .

Carol Klinger.
. . .
. . .

Yeah, that's what I thought.

She is an at-large member of Cuyahoga Falls Council and apparently a Goodyear exec. Not that I have connections in GOP politics, but the name was no more than vaguely familiar. Comments around the blogs are confirming that she's not a big name within the party. In fact, she lists nothing political in her LinkedIn profile (though, cough cough, she's in my extended network along with 354,000 other close friends.)

She's certainly not someone with a demonstrated history of electoral success to fit with the NSR's promise to turn the county party's fortunes around. And it doesn't appear that she's a person who brings a number of supporters with her.

So now talk turns to speculation about What It All Means. Ed Esposito notes that Klinger is a political ally of Arshinkoff stalwart Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart. Ben Keeler crows that Ms. Klinger's resume makes her a tough beat.

Eric Mansfield notes that Kevin Coughlin didn't attend the press conference, but left that to go-to face guy Don Varian. Coughlin may be trying to take himself out of the equation and make the contest Carol v. Alex. On the one hand, it's a smart way to side-step the allegation that Coughlin's effort is all about him (or Roetzel and Andress) taking over the party.

On the other hand, given the dynamic of the election Coughlin stepping into the background is probably a bad thing. As noted before, the key to unseating Alex is convincing enough of the people who fear Alex but don't like Alex that someone can beat Alex. Otherwise, A2's storied penchant or petty revenge makes jumping too risky. It's not clear that picking an obscure pol with a demanding day job meets that imperative.


Anonymous said...

I think you underestimate Mrs. Klinger. The party chair should not be a household name. Alex is and look what good that's done republican candidates.

Scott Piepho said...

I have no doubt Ms. Klinger is very able and well qualified. But I think, given the psychology involved in this contest, mere ability is beside the point.

Anonymous said...

I reject the argument that she is not well know with in the party. She ran countywide as the Republican candidate for Auditor a few years ago. Furthermore, a supposed lack of name I.D. can be quickly fixed when you are dealing in a universe where only 472 people actually matter. Not to mention, at the last organizational meeting of the Summit County Republican Party only 212 PC's actually showed out of a possible 474. This year the numbers will be up from last year but the number of elected members that do care about the chairmanship is staggering. All these people want is to be able work the polls on election day, nothing more, nothing less.

Ben said...

I thought it was a good selection, someone very tough for AA to go after.

Anonymous said...


Congrats on your completely unbiased and absolutely accurate summation of the choice of Klinger!

Unlike the idiot Keeler, who is completeley on the coughlin bandwagon. I swear that idiot does nothing all day but post on other websites.

He should read some of your previous posts and the Chief Sources' previous posts to get an accurate picture of what coughlin is and what he is about.

The reality is the NSR people could not find anyone else to take on the job.

Klinger has no ally's on city council, Mayor Robart completely despises her, and if you called Robart he would tell you that.

Coughlin's absence is seen from insiders as his way of distancing himself from the impending defeat. Any political novice with a freaking brain can add up the fact Coughlins is nowhere close to where he needs to be to mount a credible threat.

What's really humorous Scott is seeing all these novices like Keeler drinking the coughlin kool aide. You know yourself what the guy is all about.....