LET’S SEE.  How does the Romney/Ryan “comeback” team plan to win  over all of the Democrats in northern Ohio?  Let me count the ways.

Well, for one thing, there’s the Catholic vote, and wasn’t that Rick Santorum fulfilling his pastoral obligations at the  Feast of the Assumption celebration  in Cleveland? He marched in the religious procession  and savored meatballs and cavatelli at Holy Rosary Church.  Buon appetito,Signore Santorum!

So that no one would mistake his true  mission, Rick laid it out this way, reported the Plain Dealer:  “Look, here I am in a Catholic church.  This is an area [where] the idea is The President of the United States is imposing his will not just on what insurance you have to buy, but making you buy something that’s counter to your faith.”  This sort of talk non e vero.  

No one should ever doubt that he’s a true believer first and fully unprepared to  understand  the modern Catholic.  And second, some priests are already attacking  the Ryan budget  for its failure to respect the needs of the poor.  Santorum repeated much the same message when he moved down to Akron, hammering President Obama for the latter’s  let’s-pretend “War on religion”.  The turnout at the Tangier Restaurant was anemic but polite and hardly animated.

Next on Northern Ohio’s GOP Richter Scale:  There’s a religio-political twofer named Josh Mandel the Jewish Ohio treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate  from the Cleveland area. I tried to remember all of that as I watched Josh preening his pro-mineworker credentials for a group of miners.   I kept waiting for Mitt Romney at his side to say several mine owners were friends of his.  Or that he loved coal mines because the openings are all the right height.

Finally, while Secretary of State Jon Husted tried to reassure critics that he was doing the right thing by making all early-voting hours the same throughout the state, it didn’t solve the problems of urban counties like Cuyahoga, where Democrats say  more than half of early ballots  were cast by African-Americans in 2008. The county vote in 2008 gave Obama 68.9 pct of the tally, McCain 199,864.   (Total cast: 665,117)

In Republican Darke County, where 25,793 votes were cast, Obama lost by more than 2-1.  That was pretty true of all of the less populated rural counties carried by Republicans.   If everyone were denied a vote in Darke County, it would be far less less harmful to Republicans than if voting hours were not eliminated on the week end before the election.  Do the math.

So when Husted says he is only being fair, it is fair to ask:  To whom, sir?

As it now stands,  the rules of early voting are being governed by what realtors  tell you when they are trying to sell you a nice house:  It’s location, location, location.