I get glimpses of Josh Mandel, the Republican Whiz Kid and Ohio Treasurer running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. His Midas-like right-wing sponsors want to oust Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democrat. What a surprise!
I see Josh in a brief TV clip standing with Mitt Romney in front of a bunch of coal miners in Southeast Ohio. Not until later do we learn that the miners were ordered by the company bosses to appear at the event and docked a day’s pay for not being at work. Nice.
I see Josh in another film clip standing with Romney down in Cincinnati, one of the usual suspects tagging along with the Romney team.
I see Josh in a video posted on the Summit County Republican Party’s homesite. Party chairman Alex Arshinkoff later refers to him as a “Jew with balls” because he served as a Marine in Iraq. Josh would be tempted to use that expression in his TV ads if it weren’t so vulgar. Maybe he will anyway. He likes being known as a tough guy.
I see him in his appearance at the Akron Press Club, in which he tries to impress everybody with his persistence in winning political campaigns. It was where I first heard him tell about how he knocked on 19,679 doors (give or take one or two?) as a kind-of-young door-to-door salesman in his 2006 campaign for the Ohio legislature. And, for heaven’s sake, wore out three pairs of shoes (will they show up on eBay someday?) At the same program, Josh’s aides tried to prevent a video photographer from filming the event. They only wore out one pair of shoes scooting around the hall. Josh, it’s an open door press club. Get used to it.
Where I don’t often see Josh is in the stampede of attack ads paid for by financial angels like the American Petroleum Institute or U.S.Chamber of Commerce that slander Sherrod Brown without mentioning Mandel. And maybe some that I haven’t seen bought by Karl Rove’s Crossroads America or the Koch Brothers. The folks who have seen Josh are at Tea Party events, where he is a favorite son. Josh’s guardian angels of SuperPACs and Tea Partiers that have bought and paid for him are keeping his challenge to Brown scarily close.
I keep up with Josh with news stories that quote him as calling Brown “un-American” because the Democrat supported the auto industry bailout. That recalled his attempt to define his Democratic black opponent in the treasurer’s race as, well, you know, a Muslim. But wait. In a Beacon Journal article about incivility in politics, Josh’s communications director, Travis Considine, of all things, complained that the paper engaged in incivility in stories about the candidate without “the courtesy of an interview for us to set the record straight…” Did i get that right?
Josh, please. You will be 35 years old later this month. That will make you eligible to run for president. So grow up.