Blackwell's immediate problem is to consolidate the GOP base, however. Eight years ago, the Ohio GOP's urban establishment worried that rural GOP voters would, in the end, not pull the lever for a black gubernatorial nominee. This contempt for their own party's voters was always misplaced, and oddly enough, Blackwell's strength is now in those very same rural counties. It is the urban party establishment that supported Petro. That establishment is uncomfortable with much of Blackwell's conservative social agenda, but especially with his support for TEL.
I realized long ago that when Democrats called for a "big tent," they meant for them to enter and dominate, not others. I was surprised that Republican "moderates" meant the same thing, though I suppose that I shouldn't have been. These are the same Republicans who gave us 40 years of Democrat dominance in the US House of Representatives.
Opposition to Affirmative Action and the antics of Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton/et al have been about ideas, not race. Mainstream conservatives, I am happy to note, have shed the racial inhibitions of those who came before them long ago, while it is still the Democrat Party which seeks to gain power by dividing our citizens against each other.
To see that the Ohio Republican leadership thinks so little of the average Republican should come as no surprise to those who have had to watch Taft and Co. run a great state right (or should I say left?) into the ground.
NOTE: For you Jim Jordan fans -- Jordan was once a student of Smith's and gets high marks from his former professor. That says something!