Blackwell gets a boost from far-right

BLACKWELL GETS A BOOST FROM FAR-RIGHT…. Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s campaign for Republican Nation Committee chairman got a boost yesterday when several far-right heavyweights threw their support to him.

Two dozen conservative luminaries will announce today their support for former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell for Republican Nation Committee chairman.

The group, which mixes leading economic conservatives, including Steve Forbes and Pat Toomey, and leading social conservatives, including James Dobson and Tony Perkins, had agreed to endorse and campaign together for a candidate based on a questionnaire assembled by veteran GOP activist Morton Blackwell (no relation).

“The conservative endorsers noted that there were other good candidates, but all agreed that Ken Blackwell is the best choice. They intend to contact grassroots conservatives across the country and ask them to urge the three RNC members from each state and U.S. territory to vote for Ken Blackwell for RNC chairman,” they said in a press release going out shortly.

It’s hard to say exactly how much influence the conservative extremists are likely to have — none of the endorsers are actual RNC members — but if the activists are able to mobilize some grassroots support for Blackwell, it may move some votes his way.

In the broader context, I’m beginning to think Blackwell would be the best choice, at least from a Democratic perspective. Blackwell was a fairly ridiculous Ohio Secretary of State, and his most notable accomplishment — running as the state’s Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2006 — turned out to be a complete trainwreck.

Blackwell certainly meets any and all of the party’s ideological litmus tests — he’s strikingly right-wing on all of the major issues — but he’s an awful manager who loathes compromise and seems to enjoy pitting people against one another, even within his own organizations. By the time Election Day 2006 rolled around, as I recall, Blackwell wasn’t even especially popular with reliable Ohio Republican loyalists.

If the RNC chose to make him chairman, I suspect a lot of Democrats would be thrilled.