Tags: Dems | Heartened | Narrow | Loss | Ohio

Dems Heartened by Narrow Loss in Ohio

Wednesday, 03 August 2005 12:00 AM

"This very red district became a lot bluer," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The result shows "there is no safe Republican district," he said.

Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett commended Schmidt for winning despite "the onslaught of national media attention given to her opponent's exploitation of the Iraq war and the extraordinary investment of resources committed by national Democrats."

Schmidt, 53, got plenty of help from national Republicans, too, and both candidates were able to spend heavily on advertising.

Hackett, 43, was critical of President Bush during the campaign, especially over how the president handled the insurgency in Iraq. Hackett opposed the invasion of Iraq, but says the United States must now improve training of Iraqi security forces so that U.S. forces can leave.

He didn't see the election as a referendum on Bush or the war, and said his criticism of the president probably was a wash when it came to votes.

Schmidt said the accelerated campaign period and low turnout of special elections make their results unreliable for trends.

"I would caution anyone who sees this as a bellwether that this is a special election," she said Wednesday. "They're unique. The dynamics are very different."

Among those offering congratulations to Hackett were Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry, who said in a statement that Hackett "talked about the issues that really matter and he wasn't afraid to speak the truth about his experiences in the war in Iraq."

Amid chants of "'06," Hackett said Tuesday night: "You win some and you lose some. When you win some, you're happy; when you lose some, you take a day off, you go check out the game tapes and see where you messed up, so you learn from your mistakes, and you start practicing to win the next one."

When pressed later, Hackett said that first, he'll likely return to duty in Iraq next year with his unit. The Marine Reserve major completed a seven-month tour this year.

He has not ruled out running again.

Schmidt, heading to Washington on Thursday to begin working on her transition into Congress, said she isn't worried.

"I can't speak for my opponent, but I'm going to be serving this district for a very long time," she said.

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"This very red district became a lot bluer," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The result shows "there is no safe Republican district," he said. Ohio Republican Party chairman Bob Bennett commended Schmidt for...
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2005-00-03
Wednesday, 03 August 2005 12:00 AM
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