Saturday, September 09, 2006

CityBeat on OH-01 - interesting read

Cranley mounts second campaign against incumbent Chabot

Photo By Jon Hughes/
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot says his challenger, John Cranley, is avoiding controversial issues, including the war in Iraq.

On the surface, the showdown between U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Westwood) and Cincinnati City Councilman John Cranley, his Democratic challenger, for Ohio's 1st Congressional District seat seems a mere replay of their 2000 race.

That year, the freshly scrubbed, baby-faced Cranley -- a political neophyte who had recently graduated from Harvard Law School and never held a full-time job -- returned to his hometown to take on Chabot, a somber Newt Gingrich-era politician then completing his third term as part of a wave of conservative lawmakers swept into office to oppose President Clinton, scale back government and end what many viewed as waste and corruption in Washington.

In that race, Chabot beat Cranley by a 53-44 percent margin, with a Libertarian candidate capturing 2 percent of the vote.

Six years later, though, much has changed. The earlier race occurred before George W. Bush "won" the presidency. Before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Before the recession that ended the economic boom of the 1990s and the return of record-breaking federal deficits.

Perhaps more important, the earlier race was before the Iraq War began, before allegations about U.S. human rights abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, before revelations about the president authorizing warrantless wiretapping of American citizens and accessing their Internet records.

It's a different world now, and a different race.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


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