CLEVELAND, Ohio – Democrat Ed FitzGerald reset his campaign for governor Friday, selecting Dayton-area attorney Sharen Neuhardt as his new running mate.
A twice-failed candidate for Congress known as a staunch defender of abortion rights, Neuhardt replaces State Sen. Eric Kearney, whose business-related financial problems became a distraction to the campaign and forced him from the ticket last month.
Neuhardt is a twice failed Congressional candidate, with no other campaign experience. She’s so grossly unqualified to hold Ohio’s second highest office, that members of the media questioned why Fitz made the pick:
The truth is, she doesn’t. The pick was made for two reasons, and two reasons only: (1) Fitz needs someone from the Southwestern corridor of the state, and (2) she’s a staunch abortion advocate.
In other words, Fitz has tipped his hand on his campaign messaging: full-blown “war on women” rhetoric. All designed by an all-male ODP staff:
Funny how that works, huh?
But more to the point, Neuhardt has no redeeming political advantages outside of her aggressive advocacy for terminating pregnancies. She’s white, which doesn’t help with Eddy’s problems with minorities. She’s a corporate lawyer, which actually hurts his messaging. And she’s never won any political office, which makes you wonder if she knows how to win a city council race, let alone a gubernatorial campaign.
Her only quality—the only thing she can possibly bring to Eddy’s campaign—is her defense of those who kill babies.
If Fitz picked her, a woman with only one talking point, then he’s officially adopted that as his only talking point. From now until November, all the Fitz campaign will push will be abortion on demand.
At a time where our nation is struggling under the weight of aggressive overregulation, a healthcare law that is killing healthcare in America, and an economic environment that simply hates on job creators, Fitz is making his campaign about the “right” to kill unwanted children.
How that is a winner is beyond me. Worse yet, Fitz might as well just come out and declare his campaign will be about one issue and one issue only. With the Neuhardt pick, everyone knows it.
Including potential primary opponents.
With all the speculation surrounding a possible Kucinich/Portune ticket, the Fitz pick could be what they need to tip the scale in their favor. Both Kucinich and Portune can and have addressed numerous issues, not just the ability to terminate pregnancies, many of which are far more important to Ohio voters.
Add to that Kucinich’s national support network, and even with the ODP going all in on Fitzy, you have a recipe for a primary upset. If Kucinich and Portune can put their egos in check and figure out how to coexist as runningmates, I’m not sure Fitzgerald could compete, particularly given the new, singular focus of his campaign.
Even in a vacuum, Neuhardt is an odd pick for Fitz. But given all the issues he faces going forward, it shows he’s got only one messaging point. And that’s a candidate that’s tough to support—even in a party primary.
And this is just Day 1. As the primary season ramps up, it’s a virtual certainty more will come out.
That’s not a good sign for a candidate without ideas.