In the last week of the 5th CD special election campaign, I can't look away from Jim Ogonowski self-destructing. This Republican has been surprisingly close to Dem Niki Tsongas. He appears to have given that away.
He finally leapt into the whirlpool with his latest campaign ad. It shamelessly pimps his dead hero brother and his sister-in-law. See the video of this below.
That is extreme in tasteless political pandering, but then he doesn't have many cards to play. Reflected glory from his brother and sympathy for the widow have strong emotional pull. They don't seem to say anything meaningful about his qualifications for office, but votes are votes, eh? Well, maybe not for him.
The flailing rather than swimming continued with his subsequent indignation that anyone dare criticize his emotional manipulation. For hearty giggles, head over to Hub Politics and Red Mass Group, where they seem to have a flaming case of MassResistance disease. They can't use enough superlatives and hyperbole. Everything related to Niki's campaign "has aspired to reach new lows in politics -- even for Democrats" or "is absolute BS" or any of a long list of ad hominem insults (as in Chester Atkins, who used to hold the seat being contested is the "check-bouncing-unethical-former Congressman").
The comments continue the theme, but let's not hold Ogo responsible for remarks beyond his own. They are plenty damaging.
His statements suggest that these desperate, last-days theater will resonate with voters and let him close the narrow poll gap with Niki. Instead, our gentleman hay grower will almost certainly have lots more time to watch his crops dry. Even in one of the commonwealth's most conservative districts, using the noble dead as your political puppet will not play well.
Disclaimer: During the Dem primary months, I expressed my mixed thoughts about Niki. In particular, I strongly disagree with her fantasy that market forces will make big pharma and medical corporations offer good health care affordably. She's my candidate after the primary and Ogonowski keeps confirming that.
Mid-day Follow-up: Wowsers, Niki seems to have stayed above the nastiness on this too. She issued a statement saying she disagreed with Atkins' criticism of Ogo. In contrast to the Ogo sorts who alternately whine or spit, she commented,
"I strongly disagree with what Chet Atkins said and did and his comments are not reflective of my views. I’m the one running for Congress and he does not speak for me. This morning I spoke to Jim Ogonowski and I reached out to Peg Ogonowski. Their family has suffered a terrible loss and that should be respected.This goes against the tone of politics I’ve established on my campaign."Pretty savvy...with considerable sangfroid with all the sniping from the right side.
Follow-up Follow-up: Oh, my, Jimmy failed this one too. He's back to being Jim Oh-Go-On. His graceless response to Niki's public apology and reaching out to him and his sister-in-law was to denigrate her actions and make a series of demands. That includes dropping Atkins from her supporter list and returning any contributions he made.
You can see the announcement here at Red Mass Group. It does not appear on his site yet.
He went on to continue to insult her in response — "She and her special interest group friends have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on TV, Mail and Radio this past week twisting words and deceiving voters."
Nice guy, eh? Just the sort of fellow you want speaking for you in Congress.
Tags: massmarrier, Massachusetts, Congress, 5th CD, Tsongas, Ogonowski