Posted: Oct. 29, 2004


Look, there's a Democrat from Delaware

Ohio, which is regarded in presidential politics as a potential 2004 version of Florida, does not have so much as a single statewide Democratic officeholder.

This is not good news for John F. Kerry and the Democrats, because as goes Ohio, so the presidency is expected to go. No Republican has been elected without it, and Kerry almost certainly needs to carry it if he is to come up with the Electoral College votes to win. Ohio has 20 of them.

With Ohio so short on name Democrats, it is importing them -- and it does not take much of a name to be asked. One of the recruits who went there this week was Jack A. Markell, the Democrat now in his second term as Delaware's state treasurer.

Markell drove himself out and teamed up with a couple other Democratic state treasurers from West Virginia and Virginia to stump for their presidential ticket. Naturally being treasurers, they focused on economic issues in a state that is hurting.

The treasurers went to four small towns, speaking at a factory that was closed and a steel workers' union hall as well as with local reporters who were not used to getting much outsider political action, so it was a big deal.

"For a chance to talk to three treasurers, it was something," Markell said. "Having people like us makes a difference."

It had to be a heckuva lot more fun than waiting to speak after Biden, Carper, Minner, Carney . . .

Forward march

Richard S. Gebelein spent last Saturday proving with his own two feet that democracy is on the march in Afghanistan.

Gebelein, a Superior Court judge serving as a colonel in the Judge Advocate General's Corps, wrote from his e-mail address at about his participation in a 25-kilometer march. For the metrically challenged, that is 15.5 miles accomplished by Gebelein's 58-year-old body.

Here is Gebelein's account with photographs that can be viewed by clicking here:

"The Danish Contingent sponsored a 25-kilometer 'ruck' march last Saturday. We at the Judge Advocate Section participated in force. The march is an opportunity for soldiers of many nationalities to participate in a grueling experience together, to suffer blisters and aches and pains together.

"It was a bit sad as we started the march with a moment of silence for two French soldiers who had died in an automobile accident.

"The march itself was an example of people at their best in so many different ways. As probably the oldest soldier marching, I was deeply touched by the young Danes, Germans, French, Swedes and many others who took the time and breath to inquire as to how I was doing over the four-plus hours of the march. Their concern was sincere and very much appreciated.

"The march concluded with exhaustion and blisters. The next day it was back to work at law reform."