We called this almost 2 weeks ago. Ed Fitzgerald fumbled and bumbled his running mate choice so badly, that we advised him to cut his losses and replace Kearney before it got any worse for him.
Which brings up a big question that Fitzy’s closest advisors have to be considering at this point: is it time to admit mistake and drop Kearney from the ticket?
Of course, Fitzy’s campaign would take a hit on the public relations side of things, but it’s still early in the election cycle. It’s not even Thanksgiving. Fitz could dump Kearney today, and it would be old news by Monday, buried amid an avalanche of Black Friday news.
Then Ohio’s reporters started asking the same question. Would Kearney be replaced on the ticket?
The answer from the Fitzgerald campaign was unequivocal.
(Fitzgerald Spokesman Matt) McGrath says there is no possibility the tax issue would lead Kearney from being removed from the ticket.
“That’s laughable, absolutely not,” said McGrath.
But what McGrath said was “laughable” now looks to be only a matter of time. Democratic sources are already leaking that the campaign has been vetting candidates to replace Kearney.
10TV has learned the two Democrats on FitzGerald’s list from central Ohio are House Minority Leader Tracy Heard and Columbus City Councilman Zach Klein.
Heard, who is African American, is said to have the edge as FitzGerald attempts to solidify his Democratic base.
Democratic strategists believe Kearney could leave the ticket as early as this week.
But according to Kearney, Fitzgerald hasn’t told him anything like that.
Kearney, reached late Monday, said he has not been asked to leave the ticket.
“We have not had that conversation,” Kearney said. “I have nothing to report.”
Just like Fitzgerald left Kearney to handle reporters on his conference call alone, he seems to be leaving him out in the cold and out of the loop when it comes to whether he’s staying on the ticket or not. Maybe he’s hoping Kearney will drop out. Maybe Kearney’s going to make Ed do it himself.
In either case, the talk around the state today is no longer if, but when.
— Chrissie Thompson (@CThompsonENQ) December 10, 2013
Ohio GOP spox on Dem sources saying Kearney's days are numbered: "They have put their own running mate on an island by himself."
— Henry J. Gomez (@HenryJGomez) December 10, 2013
— Jeremy Pelzer (@jpelzer) December 10, 2013
I don’t think it’s possible that Fitzgerald could have handled this any worse.
Which means he’s not even close to being qualified to run the state.