And Another Endorsement for Sherrod Brown … And Another

The message is coming through loud and clear, as one Ohio big-city daily after another rolls out its endorsement for the re-election of Senator Sherrod Brown.

Following the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon-Journal, the Toledo Blade and the Youngstown Vindicator have now endorsed Brown.

The Blade says that Senator Brown “Based on his effective and progressive first-term performance and lack of credible opposition [heh heh], The Blade urges the re-election of Sen. SHERROD BROWN.”

The Blade used virtually the same set of reasons as the Plain Dealer’s editorial last weekend. No, I’m sure they didn’t copy; they’re both just looking at reality. That’s not unusual for the Blade, but somewhat out of character for the Plain Dealer which is famous for its fantasy endorsements like the one where it said Kasich can “cross partisan lines and get results” and “has no time for divisive hot-button tactics.”

It devotes two paragraphs to his support of the auto bailout, which saved northwest Ohio’s heavily auto-industry dependent economy. That region would have been in a sorry state without it.

It also gave him credit for his work on the agriculture committee, on revising the tax code and on campaign finance reform, saying “He supports a federal constitutional amendment that would reverse the Supreme Court’s dreadful ruling in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates to largely unlimited and unregulated political spending by opaque corporate interests.”

Of course, it has to get in a little “We don’t approve of everything he does” kicker. :ike the Plain Dealer, it chooses to imagine that his avid support of fair trade rules goes too far and can “slide into shrill China-bashing and protectionist appeals.”

Tell that to the hundreds of thousands of Ohioans who’ve been impacted by the outsourcing of good-paying jobs.

The Blade’s words for Josh Mandel echo the Plain Dealer’s critique as well — not surprising given the campaign he has run. Benefiting from those “floodgates of unlimited spending by opaque corporate interests,” Mandel has chosen to hide behind their skirts.

“He has aligned himself with extreme factions of his party,” says the Blade, before pointing to his incessant lying, his vague positions that rarely go beyond sloganeering, and his lack of interest in his elected office as state treasurer.

The Youngstown Vindication calls Brown “the clear choice in Ohio’s U.S. Senate race.”

The Vindicator praises the Senator for his forthrightness in defending the Affordable Care Act and for “standing firm against China’s rapacious trade policies.” It refutes the vapid charge from Mandel’s campaign that he is “too liberal” for Ohio, saying,

To the extent that he has consistently supported General Motors for the jobs it brings to this Valley, we can live with his liberalism. And to the extent that he recognizes that while the budget must be balanced, it shouldn’t be on the backs of Medicare recipients, we can live with his liberalism.

But the Vindicator was also the most brutal in its evisceration of Mandel and his campaign, saying, “If there were a dictionary entry for such political mendacity, it could carry the picture of Josh Mandel.” Hey, they’re stealing my material!

It mocks Mandel’s claim that he is an “outsider” in contrast to Sherrod the career politician”

Mandel is an outsider only to the extent that since becoming the state’s treasurer in January 2011, he has spent much of his time outside Ohio, raising millions of dollars in special interest money for his run against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown.


It contrasts its interview with Brown, in which he gave a spirited defense of health-care reform with a list of the benefits it’s already brought, to what it calls Mandel’s “tortured evasions” on the auto bailout, and his refusal to give a yes or no answer when its editors asked whether he would have voted for it.

It called his claim that Brown is supported only by partisans, whereas he himself enjoys extensive support from independents and Democrats, “nonsense.” And it suggested that Mandel be given four full years as treasurer to demonstrate whether he can do the job or whether “[his] absenteeism and the cronyism he practiced in filling some of the highest jobs in the treasurer’s office will catch up with him.”

Senator Brown has also been endorsed by the Athens News and Northeast Ohio’s Sun papers. Yet to weigh in are two biggies: the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Inquirer, both normally as conservative leaning (if not more so) than the Plain Dealer.

Can they avert their eyes, hold their noses, and come up with a fantasy endorsement for Mandel? (They should talk to whoever wrote the Plain Dealer’s Kasich endorsement if that’s their plan). We’ll soon find out.

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