An Open Letter to Paul Hackett

I still don't understand why you are dropping out of the race. As a candidate for the US Senate from the Democratic Party, you don't answer to the national party. You don't answer to party leaders of any kind. Your loyalty is not given to the party leadership, beyond their status as representatives of the party membership. After all, the party leadership serves at the pleasure of the party membership. You answer to the Democrats of Ohio, the members of the party, the people who will choose, or not, to nominate you as their candidate in the primary election.

I understand and respect your promises to other Democrats hoping to be candidates for the US House of Representatives. It is appropriate that you respect those promises.

If you no longer want to be, or feel that you can serve as, a US Senator from Ohio, I respect that. If you no longer want to, or feel that you can, serve this country as an elected leader, I respect that. For those reasons, it is altogether fitting and proper that you withdraw.

However, if you are withdrawing because you are not receiving support from party leaders, even if they are actively working to undermine your campaign, then your withdrawal is not appropriate. The proper forum for determining the Democratic Party candidate for the US Senate for the term commencing 3 Jan 2007 is in the Democratic primary election, on 2 May 2006. Furthermore, if you withdraw for the wrong reasons now, you become complicit with those who sought your withdrawal.

Don't get to caught up in the money, either. You can get elected without even a dime. All it takes is the voters of Ohio to get you there. The money is just one tool to help you get your message to the voters of Ohio..

If, by some chance, you have not previously considered the situation in the light I present it, and if this letter, and many others like it that I am sure you are now receiving, have given you cause to reconsider, then I offer you one final suggestion: even now, you can change your mind. You have only to admit that, in the pressure of the moment, with little experience in this type of politics, you made a rash decision. Your political career will survive. Your honor will survive. After all, the only wisdom that comes too late, is that which comes not at all.

Of course, I don't have to tell you all this; I am sure you have already considered it. I simply felt that your letter of withdrawal did not adequately explain to me your reasons, which led me to write this letter in hopes of asking you to reconsider a decision which you don't consider subject to reconsideration.

Thankyou for your service,
Kevin O'Brien