Josh Mandel is running against Sherrod Brown for the US Senate in Ohio. Well, sort of. Business interests from outside the state are running television ads against Brown, and Josh Mandel is giving interviews to far Right media outlets, but Josh Mandel himself is oddly absent:
Josh Mandel took several months beyond the required deadline to file his financial disclosure statement as a candidate for the U.S. Senate. He now has taken roughly as long to say no to the Akron Press Club, declining an invitation that Republicans and Democrats long have accepted, a chance to talk about his candidacy and take questions from people in the audience.
The refusal is cheeky given recent events in the emerging campaign, the state treasurer for 11 months challenging Sherrod Brown, the Democratic incumbent. Mandel has been hurling wild charges, most recently accusing Brown of siding with “fringe elements” (the Athens County commissioners?) in wanting to take care concerning oil and gas drilling in the Wayne National Forest.
At the same time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been airing misleading ads attacking Brown for, among other things, wanting to raise energy taxes. One ad distorts a photo of Brown, seeking to portray him as nothing less than shady.
Throw cheap shots, watch others do the same in your cause, and then refuse to stand up in Akron to discuss your candidacy? A worthy candidate doesn’t choose such a moment to duck. The refusal is all the more galling in light of the Mandel schedule. The past six months he has been raising campaign money in Honolulu, San Francisco, Chicago, New York and Washington. No time for a luncheon talk at the Press Club in Akron?
My take on it so far is that the ideological assumption the Chamber started with, that there’s been some massive popular shift to far-Right conservatism in Ohio, is just plain wrong. I don’t think that happened here. I know national pundits said that happened after the 2010 midterms, but if it was ever true it seems to have dissipated very quickly. I live in one of the most conservative counties in the state, and if I had to use one word to describe the mood of the local GOP political-types, after a two week round of attending Christmas parties with them, I’d say “deflated”, or even “conciliatory”. Not a lot of crowing or strutting going on. No one is waving the Gadsden flag. Since all of Mandel’s support comes from outside the state maybe that stale national ideological narrative is what Mandel, by way of the Chamber, is relying on when running his campaign. If so, I think that’s a mistake. I think Sherrod Brown’s career-long message of practical, grounded, middle class populism is a much better bet for this state than relying on the Tea Party fad.
As far as campaigning exclusively from 30,000 feet, I think that’s a mistake too. Ohio conservatives got away with that approach in 2010 because it was a very good year for Republicans nationally, but it was just a good year. It was not some seismic lasting shift in the statewide electorate, despite all the media hype about the Tea Party. Mandel is young, and he has no actual experience either in government or in running for anything. I think he eventually has to come out from behind the US Chamber of Commerce and when he does he’s going to encounter Sherrod Brown, who has a long history with the people in this state and deep knowledge of state and federal issues.
Brown works hard. He shows up. When he comes to this county, a county that is overwhelmingly conservative and didn’t support him in 2006, he doesn’t meet with local Democrats. He meets with local (GOP) government and business leaders and a broad range of ordinary people, because this really is a swing state, and an Ohio politician who wants to keep his seat has to meet with and listen to people who (sometimes) disagree with him and probably didn’t vote for him. Josh Mandel has never done that. He didn’t have to, in 2010. He just rode the wave. He ran a series of really vile attack ads against his opponent which were based on racial and religious bigotry, and walked to “victory”. No one knows if he’s any good at operating outside the conservative echo chamber, and he certainly isn’t getting much practice campaigning in Ohio because he’s fund-raising in Honolulu. He’s also not getting much practice acting as the state treasurer, but I think it’s clear to most people now that he never had any real interest in that job.
At this point, looking at the opposition, observing what I see as a misguided, somewhat stale approach premised on some truly out of touch national narratives, I feel pretty good about Sherrod Brown’s chances.
c u n d gulag
Just daydreaming here, but I’d love to see a Brown/Warren or Warren/Brown Democratic Presidential ticket in 2016.
But we’ll probably end up with Conservatard Dem like Andrew Cuomo, or someone like him, at the top of the ticket, with maybe someone just a tad more Liberal as VP. But just a tad.
Corn-fed conservative blogs seem more delusional than normal about the prospects for 2012.
Obama took Ohio by 4-5% in 2008. The bellwether State seems more disposed to a Dem landslide in 2012. What a revoltin’ development !
how long before we have a candidate from the right run for office who is literally not there? a completely fictionalized attack drone. and what percentage of the vote will ‘it’ garner? i’ll take a stab at 27% as a starter.
@c u n d gulag:
Oh, God, not me.
I think if we want a liberal, populist bloc in the Senate, one with real clout, we’re going to have leave the liberals we have in the Senate longer than one or two terms. I know I harangue on this, but Congress is important. It’s not a lesser branch.
I think you are correct in assuming that the GOP players are drinking their own kool-aid about a supposed right wing shift in ohio. Nothing else explains this kind of “campaigning”.
They seem to think 2010 was some sort of referendum on liberalism. Not only that, they think it was so significant, that they don’t have to actually run against liberals anymore. They just have to throw their hat in the ring, get AFP to sponsor some nasty attack ads, and bam! instant seat in govt…
It’s batshit crazy. It’s nuthouse crazy.
I think this also applies to the various wacko GOP governors that landed in 2010. They don’t seem to think they have anyone to run against. They don’t even care about keeping their constituents satisfied with their performance. I mean hell, when they aren’t busy ducking their constituents, they openly lie to them, and insult them. It’s ridiculous on it’s face. This is not how politics works.
I alluded to this on a thread about walker a few days back.
2010 happened because a bunch of lazy, stupid assholes stayed home and didn’t vote (even made a POINT of it, because they threw a tantrum over obama) – you know who you are. I could name a few from C&L blog for example.
It didn’t happen because liberalism was defeated. It happened because people were lazy. And now these clowns in office went and pissed off all of these previously lazy people… this can’t end well for those office holders.
As I said before, what’s the upside in all of this (for AFP, ALEC, the GOP, or big business?) it’s just not a winning strategy.
Sherrod Brown seems to be the real deal. Glad to hear this news.
honolulu, san francisco, chicago, new york, and washington? what’s this guy doing palling around with socialists, feminazis, and sharia law-ers?
Not surprising. Didn’t the Reps win a Senate seat in Wisconsin by hiding the candidate away from those traditions like participating in debates. I believe Johnson even said “You’ll learn my positions after the election.” They’re probably banking on making Brown unpopular.
So what happens if their candidate doesn’t disclose his financial records when everyone expects him to? Is he removed from the ballot or disqualified even if he wins?
Well, I think the national candidates are doing it. Mitt Romney seems to be the only GOP candidate with a real “campaign”, like, with people in it.
What will be interesting to watch is whether this is consistent in conservative circles, re: statewide races too.
One thing Wingnut Nation does well is show up. They waited until Obama was elected before starting the TP protests. They eat their own, but don’t
jettison the politicos who upset them until they have anointed their replacement.
I just realized something: They’re acting exactly like the cable company, or the gas company– or any other company with a local monopoly.
Not happy with the services we provide? Well, where else ya gonna go?
Villago Delenda Est
OT, but look out…another Ron Paul money bomb campaign is in progress…for “Tea Party Day”…December 16th.
@kay: I agree, but I was running out of screen space.
The stuff w/ the GOP governors is kind of a microcosm of the GOP at a national level…
One potentially significant difference is the part that the national MSM plays in keeping the wheels from coming off of the GOP clown car… but all of that is debatable as to whether the same thing plays out on a local level, I think. But I don’t live in Ohio, nor do I watch Ohio television, or read Ohio newspapers on a regular basis so I couldn’t really say.
I love the Chamber ad because it’s so insulting. It’s literally just flashing images and disjointed words. To me, it just screams: “we in the Chamber have complete contempt for you yahoos in….whatever state”.
@Judas Escargot: Totally. I’ve actually considered the comparison between Comcast and the GOP before. heh
That’s because Romney was running for president. The others were doing book tours or angling for Fox News slots. Being passed the not-Romney baton really surprised Cain, for example.
I would love to be among the first to cast my vote for Captain Tuttle, in light of his long and dedicated service to our nation in the Korean Conflict. He is your father’s father’s Republican.
Sort of. They have a highly motivated, and crazy core. (always have). I’ll refer to these people henceforth as the 27%’ers (apologies to kung-fu monkey).
They only do well when turnout is low. That’s why the voter caging.
If people show up to vote, the clowns lose. If they don’t, the clowns win. Such as it has always been.
It’ll be interesting. Can conservatives run their entire campaigns in national media? I think we’re about to find out. Maybe Romney didn’t get the memo, because he’s the least popular person?
@Benjamin Franklin: i don’t buy the conservative claim that the tea party was coalescing up to two years before obama was elected, in response to w bush. if so, why nary a word, for _two years_? and then, two whole months after a democrat is sworn in, they ‘want their country back’. i agree that wingnut nation is incredibly disciplined, they get the marching orders, and stay on point. but two years without a peep from this group that is supposedly soo incensed that they just can’t take it any more? not buying it.
the only reason that matters as to why 2010 happened (in 3 words):
low. voter. turnout.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@gaz: It seems to me like you are agreeing with Franklin. Wingnuts are good at showing up, they just don’t always win. But their odds improve significantly when no one else shows up.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent):
That’s why I said sort of.
Wingnut Nation is a slippery term. (so is 27%’er)
What I was basically alluding to is this:
If people were showing up to vote in the off years, the only chance the GOP would have is to run ELECTABLE candidates.
But as long as people aren’t voting, they DO NOT HAVE TO.
Also, too: =)
If “Wingnut Nation” = the GOP then I disagree with BF.
If “Wingnut Nation” = the hard right crazy 27%’ers then I agree with BF.
If people were voting in decent numbers, the GOP will have two choices:
1) Run candidates that aren’t crazy.
2) Share the fate of the Whigs
That’s exactly why they see no correlation to ‘Occupy’. They grumbled silently, or amongst themselves about TARP. They are Status Quo proxies, whose only real enemy is, change.
“Josh Mandel”? Sigh. Oh, Jewish Republicans, I do not get you, at all.
Sorry. pasted wrong quote.
@something fabulous: There’s a word that explains it. Starts with a Z and ends in “ist”
c u n d gulag
Kay, point well taken!
Yes…the tail which wags the dog.
Villago Delenda Est
There was not a peep out of the Teabaggers until 4 November 2008, right around 8PM PST.
Then all hell broke loose, as the Federal deficit became the most important issue, ever!
@Benjamin Franklin: ok, i agree with that assessment of 2010, but that doesn’t really address the ‘tea party was coalescing 2 years before obama was elected’ claim. if i put it this way: ‘the tea partiers would have voted for w bush in 2008, if that was a possibility, because they are full of beans’, does that make my position clearer?
Time to bring you all back down to Earth: The latest Rasmussen Poll has Romney up by three nationally.
Ohio? Romney is up by 1, and even Newt Gringrich defeats Obambi in Ohio.
Look here and get outside of your liberal bubble. Obambi’s approval rating is, at best, 43%, and at the end of the day Presidents get about what their approval rating is at re-election time.
@c u n d gulag:
It takes a long time to become powerful in the Senate, because it’s calcified and arcane.
Sherrod Brown sort of shot ahead to senior status, because Voinovich was deeply depressed and barely functioning, or whatever, but I think it takes a while to reach “liberal lion” Senate status. We could have Franken, Warren, Brown. etc. We need an army of domestic policy-focused populists, not a few scattered moody, capricious loners :)
@Villago Delenda Est:
….after drinking Jim Crow moonshine.
Three words for Sherrod Brown: The Black Keys. Get those Akron boys back in the state for some good old GOTV.
@kay: This line of conversation you are taking here (about the national media) is pretty interesting.
Personally, I’ve not been able to predict where the MSM’s real loyalties lie though, so I don’t know what THEY WILL DO (because I have only vague ideas about their motivations)
The best I can come up with WRT to the above is that:
1. The MSM is looking for ratings, and seems to think that copycatting reality television is the best way to go. The GOP is providing and endless line of clowns, so they are more appealing to the MSM in front of a camera (look!! – there’s herman cain saying another crazy thing!!!). Maybe they’re actually non-partisan at heart. They’re just pointing the cameras at teh crazy.
2. Of the few “VSP”‘s out there (folks like Brooks – and other Broderism acolytes) they just fear change. They don’t understand where the GOP really is right now, because they simply can’t allow themselves to believe that one of our parties has gone off the rails. For these guys, there’s this overwhelming desire to believe the world they grew up in is the same one in which they live now, and that our politics is still the same old status quo. I don’t know that Brooks, Sully, and their ilk are actually aware that one party is now completely batshit bircher. I think they just simply won’t allow themselves to believe it. Maybe. Maybe it is just too hard for them. They’d rather believe that the GOP is just as sane as it was under Eisenhower (or dare I say, Reagan)
@Veritas: I’ll be you
$10,000a Newt Romney you’re wrong.
You can pay me in ‘consulting fees.’
@Veritas: I’d argue on the merits, but you are not worth it.
Here’s an easier argument – so I can use small words for you and not waste more time than you are worth on this:
You’ve been wrong about pretty much everything.
So your argument here simply reassures the non-crazies on the thread.
OTOH, if you said Obama was going to win in 2012 – I suspect you’d send half the thread into fits of worry.
@kay: I agree. Two quick additional points (gotta go worknow): 1. Being Senator is not the same skill-set as being President (see, inter alios, Kennedys, various). 2. The dumbing-down of national journalism has encouraged the idea that political success means winning at the ballot box, rather than getting something important done.
This time for really reals, huh?
Sorry about the confusing response. How’s this?
I agree with you. They would vote for a dog, as long as it wasn’t a Dem.
Hence; they are full of beans when they say they opposed TARP.
@Benjamin Franklin: The 27%’ers would vote for Pancreatic Cancer if it had an -R next to it.
I’m just surprised they haven’t exhumed reagan’s corpse for a 2012 comeback. Oh wait. Reagan’s corpse is too liberal on immigration and EIC.
IOW you don’t have a counterargument, and I win.
IOW you don’t have a counterargument, and I win.
But it’s the kind of crazy that’s likely to be self-correcting. The politicians who think the future is going to be like 2010 will get their heads handed to them the next time they run and it’s not 2010 all over again. Since advancement to higher levels in politics usually comes from winning, the ones who understand old fashioned campaigning and can win in non-sweep election years will be the ones who get ahead.
I think there’s something different going on with them. They understand that 2010 was an anomaly, and they can’t count on getting that kind of victory again. That means this may be their best chance for a long while to get the most radical parts of their agendas passed. They’re going for broke, trying to do as much as they can while they still can. They probably figure (correctly) that it’ll be easier for them to go for broke now, make as many changes as they can, and then stay on the defensive when the pendulum swings the other way.
@Roger Moore: You make a good point.
But are you saying that Walker and Scott *knew* (from the moment they got elected) that they’d face single terms (or even a recall?)…
I guess I could see that – sure is giving some operatives a shit ton of credit for cleverness though. It’s crazy like a fox – maybe too smart?
The reason I ask, is they started pushing widely unpopular policy before the governors seat was even cold. (Adding – that pendulum is likely to swing back with a vengeance). their constitutients will probably remember this for a couple of election cycles, no?)
@Veritas: You cited rasmussen. which automatically means you lose. That’s sad that I had to clarify that for you. Show some other polls – PEW, gallup, and then show me where Newt trends better consistently. You can’t. You lose. Again.
And after 2012, when I have proof that you are wrong, I won’t be shy about rubbing your nose in it.
Oh, I think it’s us as much as “journalism” in terms of the obsession with the presidency and the executive branch generally.
This is lofty, but I think it’s because we’re in love with the idea that one strong mavericky leader is all that’s required. We don’t put much value on the ability to work well and effectively as “one among equals”, which is actually really hard. Ted Kennedy couldn’t order anyone to do anything. He was surrounded with Senate egos as big as his own. Because he couldn’t issue directives, he had to develop other skills. I value those skills.
I don’t know for sure whether they were expecting to be one termers or not, but I get the definite impression that they had marching orders from their masters to push through whatever they could ASAP. I think they understand something that many politicians tend to miss: the goal of winning elections is to implement an agenda, not to set yourself up for the next election. That works especially well if your agenda is to tear down the the government rather than build it up, since destruction is always easier and faster. I think the calculation is that destroying collective bargaining rights and selling off everything that isn’t nailed down will tend to stick, so the policy victory will be long-lived even if the electoral victory isn’t.
That’s how I feel about Kasich. Not in some elaborate Koch-conspiracy way, but in a very real gut-level “this person isn’t running this state” way.
He seems helpless. There’s just no connection between him and what he says.
thanks for keeping us informed about OHio
and electronic voting machines designed by professed republican companies
I thought the kerfluffle with the Chamber’s advertising in the last election cycle was going to keep them out of partisan politics this time around. I’m frankly surprised and tired of the Chamber acting like this. Our local Chamber is pretty right wing, but they have common sense and aren’t wingnut batshit crazy.