Monday, October 23, 2006
Musical chairs: Place your bets
Grab some popcorn. This is fun fun fun spectator sports:
Should the GOP lose control of the statewide offices this fall, will that mean the end of Bob Bennett as state party chairman? How many statewide seats must the GOP retain for him to keep his job? Is there anyone in line to replace him?
- John, Columbus
Darrel Rowland: John, you must've been listening in to some of our office conversation. Robert T. Bennett is arguably the most effective Republican state chairman in Ohio history, and one of the top ones in the annals of American politics.
A lot of us thought he would step down after 2000 when he filled the only missing hole on his resume, carrying his state for the GOP presidential candidate. Then we thought so again two years ago after the 2002 GOP "three-peat sweep" of statewide offices and Bush's 2004 re-election, plus some health concerns. But he has a lot of powerful national Republicans who have wanted him to stay at the helm of a critically important state.
I doubt if the history books will treat him unkindly even if Dems win big this year. The next question: Will he stay on for 2008, when America will have a presidential race without an incumbent president or a vice president on the ballot for the first time since the 1950s? I know of no successor in sight, although surely many would want the job if Chairman Bob decides he's finally had enough.