Hack Beats Hackett

Wed Aug. 3, 2005 2:09 PM EDT

Yesterday, Democrat Paul Hackett came within about 4,000 votes of being the first Iraq War vet to be elected to Congress, and the race was far closer than most predicted. Today's post-election run down from the Cincinnati Enquirer doesn't contain much of interest, except for the revelation that Bush had the Republican candidate, Jean Schmidt, hand-deliver a condolence letter to a family in the district whose son was killed in Iraq.

I could understand that sort of action if the candidate were the district's sitting representative, or if the president had sent Ohio's Republican governor, or someone like that. But Schmidt was just an ex-state legislator who led Cincinnati's Right to Life group. Her only qualification to deliver a presidential letter was that it might help her party get another seat in Congress. That might be smart politics, but it's a pretty craven way to manipulate the war dead for political gain. Welcome to Congress, Representative Schmidt. You'll fit right in.

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