Could Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel Sink Any Lower?
Wait,wait ... don't say anything. We all know what the answer is: Just when you think he has hit the rock bottom, he manages to break through bedrock to yet another layer of sleaziness and dishonesty.
He's got another lying ad on the air attacking Sherrod Brown, this one about his allegedly poor attendance record and attention to his job in the Senate, claiming among other things that he has missed 350 votes.
I'll wait while you stop laughing before I go on.
I know what you are saying: Is this the same Josh Mandel with the obvious total lack of interest in his elected job as state treasurer from day one? The Josh Mandel who missed 14 straight Board of Deposit meetings and from what I heard from someone that when the bad publicity finally forced him to go to one, he squirmed and fidgeted and made an early exit? The Josh Mandel who took every Monday off in June to fund raise for his Senate race while drawing a taxpayer-funded salary?
Yeah, THAT Josh Mandel.
And never mind that his ad is totally WRONG.
Here's the Plain Dealer with some truth:
He claims incorrectly that Brown misses hundreds of votes and dozens of sessions, when Brown has been almost ridiculously attentive to his work and his constituents — something Mandel cannot claim in his work at the treasure's office, his four years as state legislator, or his four years in Lyndhurst City Council. Mandel can't point to a single major vote Brown has missed, and he certainly can't fault Brown's record of being available to his constituents at townhall meetings, forums, candidate events, listening sessions etc. I don't think I have seen Mandel out there meeting a constituent group that wasn't handpicked to be friendly to him (teabagger groups, for instance).
This is a pure swiftboating ad: attack your opponent on his strengths — and your weaknesses — creating a narrative so topsy-turvy that voters have no idea what's going on.
I'll tell you what is going on. Josh Mandel is once again demonstrating that no tactic is too dishonest, too unethical, too flat-out immoral for him to deploy. He showed us that when he ran the ads in the treasurer's race against Kevin Boyce, claiming he did all his hiring "at the mosque," doubly accusing him of croniness and Muslim-ness, which by implication, Mandel considers evil. A double hit of lying and religious bigotry.
I have to wonder if Mandel's campaign strategists include the same people who gave terrible advice to Joe Cimperman when he ran against Dennis Kucinich in the 2008 Democratic primary. Cimperman's TV ads focused almost exclusively on Dennis' attendance record, claiming "Now is not the time for a part-time congressman." But like Brown, Kucinich's attendance record and dedication to his job are among his strengths. The votes Kucinich missed — often during multiple family crises which included the deaths of three siblings — were almost all minor ones.
But Joe Cimperman is not the morally bankrupt sleazebag Mandel is. A novice at running a campaign larger than a ward-level city council race, he had bad counsel. In Mandel's case, given that such an ad is just one more attack on the pile of garbage emanating from his campaign and those supporting it, one has to look at it as a reflection on the candidate himself — and just one more in a pile of examples why Mandel would be one of the worst Senators Ohio ever elected.
He'd almost certainly be too busy mounting his 2016 presidential bid to ever show up in the Senate.