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The full story

A Cleveland Plain Dealer article says there was a "complex mix" behind Hackett's departure from the Senate campaign:
For all the storm whipped up by his fiery parting words, however, the full story of Hackett's decision to withdraw may be more complex than his initial comments indicated.

Interviews with people familiar with his campaign suggest that Hackett's team was struggling not only with outside pressures from Democrats eager to avoid a primary, but also from internal tensions stemming partly from Hackett's personality and his newness to the grueling pressures of running a hotly contested, high-profile Senate race.

Former aides say that some of the very strengths that made many Democrats see star potential in the tall, handsome, blunt-talking Marine major - his independence, his irreverence, his disdain for politics as usual - also made it particularly hard for Hackett to adjust to the demands of running for Senate.

Hackett's only experience with big-time politics, they point out, was a short special-election campaign for Congress that drew little attention outside southwest Ohio until its final few weeks.

"It's a very hard thing to make the jump to running for U.S. Senate," said Mark Blumenthal, a pollster who worked for Hackett's campaign. "There's a reason why people who have done it a lot of times are better at it - because you learn the hard way how hard is it to raise that money and how important it is to have experienced people around and to trust them."

...Former Hackett aides say the biggest problem facing his campaign at the end was insufficient money. Hackett cited the problem himself in an interview with The Plain Dealer earlier this week. Despite his initial rant on party leaders, he said, the overriding reason for his exit was a realization that he couldn't raise the $3 million he thought he needed to win the primary.

... One of their biggest obstacles to banking that money, they said, was that Hackett hated fund raising.

While most candidates share that feeling, people familiar with Hackett's campaign say he was especially resistant to efforts by aides to get him to use one of the most efficient but unpleasant fund raising techniques: sitting at the phone for hours, calling friends, relatives, and strangers to ask for money. Tension over the problem led in January to the departure of his finance director.

...Another problem for his campaign, some aides say, was that Hackett - who billed himself as a political outsider eager to change Washington's ways - didn't seem to fully trust the political professionals he hired to help run his race. It was shocking but not out of character, they say, that Hackett announced his departure to The New York Times Monday without first telling his staff, who learned of it from the Times.
Is it common for candidates dropping out of a race to inform the media before they inform their own staff? Seems kind of classless, but I don't know, maybe that's SOP.

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