Mandel "Outed" by Huffington Post
Yeah, I've been back only 24 hours and already there's something else to write about the sleaziest U.S. Senate candidate in Ohio history, Josh "The Empty Suit" Mandel.This is funny enough to almost make me forgive Huffington Post for its promiscuous use of the word "shocking," its irritating teaser headline construction, and its nonstop flood of Kardashian "news." In fact, I have to give kudos to HuffPo, because it really has Mandel in its sights.
It's Josh Mandel (right) with his friend "Dee Snider" (Twisted Sister) in a photo from his high school yearbook. Gosh, those Beachwood boys are sooooo hilarious.
A Mandel spokesman tried to finesse the unearthing of this photo, saying,
Josh didn't remember it, but it looks like he was joking around for a gag photo in his high school yearbook. Humor has always been an important part of his personality, especially when he used it to keep up morale among his Marines in Iraq. He also thinks it's important to have a spotter when you're doing lat pull downs."
Oh yes of course. He was a Marine! A Marine!!! A Marine!!!!! On the other hand, if humor has ever been part of his personality he's managed to keep it well-hidden. In public, he's come across as a arrogant, petulant, mean-spirited little punk. Perhaps his definition of "humor" is playing pranks of the "order 50 magazine subscriptions sent to an unwitting victim" variety that I've heard rumored his campaign did to someone in the Brown camp. Actually, no — "rumored" is the wrong word. I got it from a source I consider impeccable. Mandel and his buddies need to grow up — not campaign for U.S. Senate.
The issue isn't that Josh and a pal dressed in drag to clown around when they were in high school. It's how this fits in with the tiny subset of the electorate Mandel has opted to pander to. It's a group that's wickedly intolerant of what it views as any sexual "deviation." It's a group that was none too happy when the photos of Rudy Giuliani dressed as Marilyn Monroe surfaced.
And it's also about Mandel himself and what he is willing to use as a campaign issue. We saw in his campaign against Kevin Boyce how low he is willing to go (By the way, I was in the BMV today to replace a lost license plate and when I saw the sign advising people to "Make checks out to Ohio Treasurer Kevin L. Boyce" I was tempted to put away my cash and do it!). We saw it again in his willingness to talk about Sherrod Brown's decades-old divorce.
This high school photo isn't the only skeleton in Josh Mandel's closet. Maybe Joshie's feeling cocky because he knows that Sherrod Brown is not as unprincipled and unethical as he is and would never use this material. Sherrod's too busy talking about issues anyway — how to retain jobs by making trade fairer, how to serve veterans, how to expand access to health care. You know, things that impact people's lives.
Meanwhile, Mandel is out there lying and smearing and hiding his own positions behind boilerplate Republican talking points — or simply saying nothing at all. Sure, his dressing in drag as a teenage isn't all that important — but do we really have any evidence he's matured since then?