Saturday, February 21, 2009

Why I love Jennifer Brunner

If Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner woke up last Wednesday morning with a bloody horse's head in her bed, it wouldn't surprise me.

That's how ticked off the Ohio Democratic Party Lifers Club was at Tuesday's news that she would spurn an incumbent run as secretary of state for a 2010 U.S. Senate seat tussle against Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher. After all, Brunner romped to a pretty easy secretary of state win in 2006 and looked to be in decent shape to hold the critical state apportionment board seat in a couple of years.

(Apportionment board seats - state au ditor, governor and sec retary of state - matter especially in 2010 be cause they will de termine who draws the legislative and congres sional districts in Ohio for the next decade. And Ohio Senate Democrats, especially, aren't going to sniff a majority in this lifetime or any other without the power of the pencil.)

So now instead of Brunner on cruise control, Ohio Democratic Party Chief Chris Redfern and the rest of his gang have their hands full trying to keep the spring 2010 rumble of Jennifer vs. Lee from ever actually taking place.

Still, if your name isn't Chris Redfern, Tuesday was kind of a fun day to be involved in politics - Brunner beating Fisher to the punch in an early afternoon announcement, forcing him to scurry back from a speech for a hastily thrown-together early evening news conference.

(Where he inexplicably entered to "Hip Hop Hooray" by New Jersey's finest rappers, Naughty by Nature. Who knew? Fisher always seemed like more of a West Coast-Snoop Dogg kind of guy to me.)

That Brunner would buck the Democratic establishment - Gov. Ted Strickland and House Speaker Armond Budish, for example, appeared by Fisher's side in a show of solidarity - actually makes some sense. She likes to roll the dice and has a tough street-fighting streak.
A feisty liberal Democrat woman? Yea, I'll take her. It seems that the fact that the establishment was very much in for Fisher did not go unnoticed, which is always fun (a point I had made before).

Because I'm a bit of a hellraiser myself, I have to say that I may be overidentifying with her.

Remember: primaries aren't bad. They certainly helped Obama.

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