When President Trump blew into Cleveland the past weekend, the Plain Dealer reported with a prominent front-page headline,”Trump uses visit to boost Renacci”.
That’s Rep. Jim Renacci. He’s the former Wadsworth mayor and wealthy businessman who is now a candidate for the U.S. Senate after first announcing that he would run for Ohio governor and do whatever necessary to win. That was until political temptation induced him to change his mind and challenge Sen. Sherrod Brown.
My first tepid response to the Trump-Renacci tandem was to wonder which of these two guys would be hurt the most by their meeting at the president’s altar.
Renacci, you may recall, was among the earliest Trump surrogates and has never let anybody forget his lofty mission to, as he puts it, make Ohio great.
But it also means that he is stuck with a president who has cut taxes mightily for the rich while sending a few pennies to the remainder of us.
And a president who has no use for environmental concerns while his EPA director fouls the waters and air by ridding the country of regulations.
And a president who, according to the Washington Post, has lied or distorted the truth more than 3,000 times since taking office. (Congressman, not fake news!)
And a president who, we can now safely assume by his hush money, bedded down with a porn star and probably others.
And a president who is the first president who has refused to reveal his income taxes and has suggested that anybody who does is stupid.
And a cruel president who has held thousands of DACA immigrants hostage while his attorney general insists there is no problem with stripping infants from their mother’s arms at the border.
And a president who has been denied an invitation to the funeral of a U.S. Senator, John McCain, who is still alive. (Trump said that McCain wasn’t a war hero because he was captured, a fate that Trump, with five deferments, would never have to face.)
Jim, you can be expected to endorse all of these negatives – and many more, it’s only May – while you cling to Trump’s lapels all the way to your showdown with Sherrod Brown in November. After all, the dictionary definition of “surrogate” is one who is a deputy or “substitute” for someone else.