Fitzgerald runs up the white flag in Ohio gubernatorial contest

posted at 6:01 pm on August 26, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when the Democrats salivated at the opportunity to take aim at Republican Governor John Kasich in Ohio? Good times, good times. The Democratic nominee, Cuyahoga County exec Ed Fitzgerald, has so completely melted down with just eleven weeks to go that the campaign has now shifted to an effort to keep his collapse from impacting down-ticket Democrats:

Ed FitzGerald’s campaign for governor confirmed Friday what was speculated for days: That the beleaguered Democrat is altering his strategy in an attempt to ensure his troubles don’t doom his party’s entire statewide ticket. …

FitzGerald’s campaign is reshuffling after weeks of character questions that dogged the gubernatorial nominee and raised doubts about his viability against Kasich. On Monday, an exodus of staff advisers and outside consultants signaledDemocrats’ eagerness to salvage something out of the November elections.

The Northeast Ohio Media Group and others reported Aug. 1 that while responding to a 4:30 a.m. call about a suspicious vehicle in 2012, police in suburban Westlake found the county executive parked outside an industrial complex with a woman who was not his wife. Reporters subsequently learned that FitzGerald was driving on a learner’s permit at the time and had lacked a regular driver’s license for a decade.

FitzGerald had trailed Kasich in fundraising and polling even before the revelations.

If readers missed the meltdown, the Toledo Blade had a concise video analysis of Fitzgerald’s collapse:

“An extreme case of procrastination” doesn’t exactly commend one for high public office. How does an FBI agent miss a driver’s license renewal? The issue about being caught in conversation with a woman not his wife in a parking lot in the middle of the night could arguably be irrelevant to how Fitzgerald would do his job (and arguably highly relevant, too), but driving around at that time without a license makes Fitzgerald look incompetent, at the very least — especially since most Ohio adults manage to get their licenses renewed with a decade after their expirations.

Aaron Blake reports at the Washington Post that down-ticket Democrats have hit the panic button over the collapse at the top of their ticket:

Secretary of State candidate and state Sen. Nina Turner (D) put it this way: “The great Winston Churchill comes to mind: ‘When you’re going through hell, you keep on going.’ That’s pretty much what we are doing.” Ouch.

Democrats are running against GOP incumbents for all five statewide constitutional offices this year. They also hold less than one-third of the state Senate, less than 40 percent of the state House, and just 25 percent of the state’s congressional seats. (Against, this is a swing state.)

In other words, Democrats have lots of ground to make up. What they don’t have is a gubernatorial candidate who is going to motivate their faithful to turn out to vote from the top of the ticket. That’s a huge loss.

Blake also argues that this has ramifications in 2016 about Democrats’ ability to deliver Ohio, but that’s a bit of a stretch. The problem for Ohio Democrats is the candidate himself, not the state organization, although that may have its own issues, and not the Fitzgerald campaign, either. A wipeout in 2014 will weaken the state party, but it will have a couple of years to recover. It’s the same state party that carried Ohio for Barack Obama twice, and elected Sherrod Brown to a second Senate term in 2012. Republicans should celebrate the easy win for Kasich but take care not to get too cocky about 2016.

Interestingly, while it seems that Fitzgerald is throwing in the towel, the polls don’t necessarily reflect a total collapse — at least not yet. The RCP average shows Kasich up 8 points and below the 50% threshold in every poll, not exactly a comfort zone for an incumbent, although the polling for that average took place before the embarrassing revelations about Fitzgerald. Kasich had better watch his step to make sure he doesn’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, whatever Fitzgerald’s posture may be at the moment.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Wow!

sandee on August 26, 2014 at 6:05 PM

How does an FBI agent miss a driver’s license renewal?

To be fair, Ohio does not remind you to get your driver’s license renewed. Happened to me 4 years ago, only found out when I went to rent a car. The rental place was nice enough to drive me to the local DMV to get the renewal. Did remember this time though.

rbj on August 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

We may well have the democrats 2024 Presidential nominee.

VorDaj on August 26, 2014 at 6:08 PM

“I forgot to renew my license, and I forgot that woman was not my wife. So sue me.”

Akzed on August 26, 2014 at 6:10 PM

I’m happy enough to vote for Kasich’s re-elect (though I’m still pi$$ed at his Medicaid expansion crapola) but he will never get my vote for POTUS if he’s delusional enough to decide to run in 2016.

Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:10 PM

To be fair, Ohio does not remind you to get your driver’s license renewed. Happened to me 4 years ago, only found out when I went to rent a car. The rental place was nice enough to drive me to the local DMV to get the renewal. Did remember this time though.

rbj on August 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

True, but 10 years?

Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Edwards redux

BobMbx on August 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

rbj on August 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

I doubt many states remind you of licenses expiring, I know Ga. doesn’t.

I usually find out when I have to use them for identification.

Barred on August 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

I had to take a drivers test because they didn’t notify me about my license. Nowadays I check the date everytime I look at it.

Kasich isn’t taking anything for ranted. There are commercials all over tv but I haven’t been paying close attention. They might be by someone else.

crankyoldlady on August 26, 2014 at 6:13 PM

True, but 10 years?

Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

That is a long time, but I don’t look at my license very often.

rbj on August 26, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Hey, Ed, you should really cover this:

Holder Continues to Ignore Blatant Racial Discrimination in Guam

I had no idea…and I consider myself to be a fairly ‘Hi-Info Voter.’

Imagine a place under US jurisdiction where white and non-Chamorro residents are PROHIBITED from voting. Forget Voter ID. This is real disenfranchisement based solely upon race.

Resist We Much on August 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

The Northeast Ohio Media Group and others reported Aug. 1 that while responding to a 4:30 a.m. call about a suspicious vehicle in 2012, police in suburban Westlake found the county executive parked outside an industrial complex with a woman who was not his wife. Reporters subsequently learned that FitzGerald was driving on a learner’s permit at the time and had lacked a regular driver’s license for a decade.

Wow. That’s some serious resume enhancement…

Newtie and the Beauty on August 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

True, but 10 years?
Bitter Clinger on August 26, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Hey, he had a learner’s permit by 2012… ;-)

Newtie and the Beauty on August 26, 2014 at 6:38 PM

There’s really a simple explanation for all of this: Fitzgerald was just getting in some driver’s training hours and the woman with him was the only licensed driver he could find to go with him at 4:30 in the morning.

cynccook on August 26, 2014 at 6:54 PM

Secretary of State candidate and state Sen. Nina Turner (D) put it this way: “The great Winston Churchill comes to mind: ‘When you’re going through hell, you keep on going.’ That’s pretty much what we are doing.”

Well, you could just lie down and burn. It won’t last long. Think of Wile E. Coyote – the cartoon always ends at some point.

Marcola on August 26, 2014 at 6:57 PM

Reminds me of a song…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9vST6hVRj2A

zmdavid on August 26, 2014 at 7:10 PM

I remember parking behind industrial parks with a woman not my wife.

Even got caught by the plod in the process once.

Then I married her. The woman not my wife, not the plod.

JEM on August 26, 2014 at 7:13 PM

The Democrat voter fraud machine could still pull this one out. Anyone got the numbers on the recent southern border imports to Ohio?

ROCnPhilly on August 26, 2014 at 7:18 PM

Good thing the cop came. Fitzgerald might of left that parking lot and drove over some back road bridge.

docflash on August 26, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Kasich is also the beneficiary of some good, though by no means great, news on the employment front.

Things may not be looking up, but the hemorrhage seems to have slowed.

formwiz on August 26, 2014 at 7:33 PM

One reason Kasich is not at 50% was his decision to suck at the Fed’s teat for that Medicaid money. He lost my vote.

CW on August 26, 2014 at 7:50 PM

Winston Churchill just called from the Afterlife.

He requested that Ohio Democrats never use his quotes, when trying to explain away their troubles.
Because it’s insulting even to a dead guy.

orangemtl on August 26, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Spoken with a Bill Clintoon-impersonation voice:

” I did NOT take unnecessary license with that woman ! ! ”

Let’s see – who will the dems blame for all these issues ? I mean, they can’t blame Fitzgerald, can they ???

raynbene on August 26, 2014 at 8:06 PM

It’s so nice to see a couple of dims imploding this cycle, instead of Rs. About time.

Of course, the national media are ignoring these stories, but we’d hear about them endlessly if they were Rs.

cat_owner on August 26, 2014 at 8:32 PM

The problem for Ohio Democrats is the candidate himself, not the state organization, although that may have its own issues, and not the Fitzgerald campaign, either. A wipeout in 2014 will weaken the state party, but it will have a couple of years to recover.


Where did the candidate come from …???

… seriously, I am becoming more convinced the only HA editors who proof read their posts are AP & MKH … and some days AP gets distracted by kitteh videos.

PolAgnostic on August 26, 2014 at 8:50 PM

Kasich is walking on thin ice with conservatives. He has stabbed us in the back too many times since being gov. The latest with the all in on Common Core is causing too many to say, no mas

1nolibgal on August 26, 2014 at 9:40 PM

To be fair, Ohio does not remind you to get your driver’s license renewed. Happened to me 4 years ago, only found out when I went to rent a car. The rental place was nice enough to drive me to the local DMV to get the renewal. Did remember this time though.

Most states don’t , they count on personal responsibility a concept foreign to most dems.

goatbod on August 26, 2014 at 9:47 PM

I’d say Kasich ’16 but I prefer he remain governor for the whole 8 years. I also prefer a Republican win in 2016 so I can’t say Kasich ’20. Kasich ’24 it is!

jarodea on August 26, 2014 at 10:30 PM

I feel for “Fitzgerald”. If he was in Mass, he would be part of the “Fitzgerald” Kennedy clan (a.k.a. J “F” K) where scoring chicks on a weekly basis who are not your wife is part of the political mystique and a 100% shoe in for election as a Democrat.

Heck, as a Mass a “Fitzgerald” Kennedy could even count on the NOW babes to fall on their knees in worship as long as he is a liberal Democrat. Gad know they gave Teddy a pass for over 30 years as he preyed on every skirt in Congress.

pnkearns on August 27, 2014 at 1:48 AM

Wow. Lee Conklin. He’s aged a lot since I lived in the Toledo area. He was a gangly youth….good times, good times.

Kasich is a good egg. Just not a presidential one.

Bigurn on August 27, 2014 at 3:58 AM

Gee, as backwoodsy as we are in MT, we get a mailed reminder. Is it too late for him to drop out and have the state dim committee appoint someone so the progs have a candidate to vote for, but then, it’s not like he committed plagiarism?

Kissmygrits on August 27, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Hopefully this mean Fitzgerald will eventually leave the Cuyahoga County Executive position. To think he could run for Governor after running the county for the last couple years is pretty funny.

ConDem on August 27, 2014 at 8:37 AM

The law doesn’t apply to democrats, Bunky! Don’t you know that?

earlgrey on August 27, 2014 at 9:58 AM

To be fair, Ohio does not remind you to get your driver’s license renewed…
rbj on August 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM

In Ohio, they do send you a postcard now – 30 days after your license expires. Just got one for my son who forgot. You have 6 months to renew without taking the test again.

HilliardPatriot on August 27, 2014 at 11:32 AM

Good, now maybe if they can stop mailing ballots to every resident instead of just the physically impaired, we might stop people like Melowese Richardson from voting 6 times for Obama in Ohio.

Perspicacious on August 27, 2014 at 12:14 PM

“I forgot to renew my license, and I forgot that woman was not my wife. So sue me.”

Akzed on August 26, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Chuckle!

Trochilus on August 27, 2014 at 4:56 PM