Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Schmidt can barely Hackett

**MOCKINGBIRD EXCLUSIVE INSIDER REPORT**

The following account is provided by a confidential source deep within the Jean Schmidt campaign:

Having just left the Eastgate Holiday Inn after tonight's humiliating "victory" over uber-liberal Paul Hackett, I am finally able to transmit this highly sensitive and secretive report to the publisher of The Mockingbird.

The past several days have been quite busy, as anyone can imagine. Managing phone banks, helping set up campaign rallies, and coordinating media events is not easy work, especially when the conservative base just isn't all that excited about the candidate. And let's be honest. There isn't ANY other district in the country where Jean Schmidt could have beaten Paul Hackett. She won this election for one reason and one reason only - there are just barely enough people here that hate liberalism enough that they went to the polls and held their nose long enough to vote for the "conservative" candidate.

To be fair, Mean Jean takes the appropriate stance on the social issues - at least insofar as it will get her the votes she needs. I am convinced she really is pro-life, but I'm certainly not convinced she can do much to advance the cause except regurgitate the ideas that other candidates are able to articulate. That is the difference between Schmidt and other, more talented conservatives: Regurgitator vs. Articulator.

But more on that later. Let's talk about the nuts and bolts of what went down over the past 72 hours or so.

Sunday, phone banks were up and running in every county. Ohio GOP pukes were everywhere, and almost all of them were on a witchhunt looking for someone to blame. Why? Because the Schmidt campaign was coming apart at the seams, and the last thing anyone wanted to admit was that Jean Schmidt was the problem. Again, don't get me wrong. She works hard - she outworked every other candidate in the primary and managed to knit together enough votes to pull it off. But there is a pretty large constituency out there in OH-02 that believes Schmidt would not have won this race if the field were smaller. I'll leave it at that, for now.

So it was quite interesting when the entire Schmidt campaign team, volunteers and all, were invited to Joe Braun's house for some deliciously thick, (though badly overcooked) burgers. The potato salad was pretty tasty though. I think I ate all the deviled eggs on top of the salad. Mmmmm. Sorry if you didn't get any.

Mean Jean was there in Joe's living room, along with her evil twin sister (does she own any clothing other than white shirts and pants?) and we all participated in a seance that culminated in the required viewing of Mean Jean's appearance on Hardball, set to run in a continual loop on Joe's VCR. Did Mean Jean speak to the group to thank us for all our hard work on her behalf (or at least for being blindly obedient to the GOP)? Nah. She just ran around the house like a sheep dog, herding people into the living room for the third or fourth viewing of that awful video, where the sound wasn't even in sync with her mouth. It was horrific. Mercifully, Jean left and took Jennifer "White Pants" Black with her.

Monday, we kicked off the "36 Hours to Victory Tour." All I can tell you about this tour is that if it weren't for the ORP, the Wednesday headline in the Enquirer would read: "Jean Schmidt found dead in suite at Holiday Inn - Suicide Suspected"

In the morning, several news stations covered the campaign efforts, but Channel 12 got snubbed the Fritz told them they could go pound sand for their less-than-flattering coverage of the candidate and her relationship with the disgraced Republicans in Columbus. Later that afternoon, in another display of her ineptness, she pissed off the rest of the local media by forcing them to chase her as she left one event early (before the media folks could get set up) and raced eastward in a desperate quest for votes. Here's an exclusive photo I took from the motorcade during the "36 Hours to Victory Tour":




On Tuesday, I stayed away as much as I could. There really wasn't that much to do, so I handled some routine tasks and checked up on poll workers and voter call lists in my assigned area. There were a lot of phone calls and discussion between the Schmidt Loyalists about "what to do about Tom Brinkman." This wasn't a new issue on Tuesday, there just wasn't anything else to do except talk about that. The general consensus seemed to be that Jean needed to win by a large margin in order to avoid being challenged in the May primary by someone perceived as more conservative - i.e. more energizing to the Republican base. There is no love lost between Brinkman and Schmidt, that's for sure. But the Schmidt camp seems to be of the opinion that Brinkman has plans to challenge her in May. Any halfway intelligent observer knows that, while Schmidt may be vulnerable in a May primary, such a challenge probably won't come from Tom Brinkman, since he would have to give up his seat to do it. Regardless of what happens, I think competition is a good thing for the party. If Jean isn't the best candidate, there's no reason she automatically should get the keys to Congress just handed to her for the next 10 years. Competition is a healthy thing.

At any rate, when the polls closed, we headed to the Holiday Inn to watch the returns. Jean and her evil twin didn't arrive to the hotel until 8:35pm, where they hustled off to the private suite we had reserved for her.

As the returns started coming in, things went sour. It was immediately obvious from the absentee ballots that this thing was going to be close. Around 9:30, the Hamilton County folks realized the problem, and Chip started working his phone right there in plain sight, making sure the dirty tricks squad had done all they could. The real good stuff happened about 15 minutes later, when the Schmidt Loyalists in Clermont made up a bogus story about "humidity" which enabled them to hand count a number of the ballots. Was that a number 2 pencil and eraser taped to the palm of the ballot workers there in Batavia? Look, these two ballots for Hackett are stuck together... we should throw them out because it's an "overvote." What's this? A write in vote for David R. Smith? Nah. Just change it to "Schmidt."

And on and on. So now she's the Honorable Representative Jean Schmidt. Well, good for her. I need to take a bath and wash the filth off of me.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
Special Thanks to our Undercover Operative known affectionately at The Mockingbird as "Deep Wrinkle."

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