The man is a true conservative superstar. I understand he took a drubbing at the hands of Ted Strickland five years ago, but Blackwell wasn’t just fighting the biggest Democratic wave in twenty years, he was also fighting an internal party still run by insiders and supports of disgraced ex-Gov. Bob Taft. I live in Virginia, but one of my cohorts in my local YR group worked in Ohio in 2006 and said that Blackwell was never the candidate any GOP insider wanted and he had crash his own party just to win the nomination.
But aside from electoral success – which includes three other statewide victories and serving in government at the federal level and even at the UN – Blackwell is a candidate that is right on the issues of the day and is really an unflappable conservative. He’s run on those ideas when his own party didn’t want too and he ran on those ideas when the country and his state were furious with his party. He proved in defeat that he wouldn’t pander or waiver to win. He ran in 2006 on the issues and ideas that won in 2010 for so many others.
I like Josh Mandel, and even Blackwell expressed admiration for the young treasurer in David Cantanese’s post about this at Politico. But, to me, Blackwell deserves a chance to become a conservative leader on the national stage while the wind is at our sails after so valiantly carrying our standard when the wind was against us.
(And yes, I know its a Democrat firm, but they were pretty dead-on in 2010)