Plain Dealer Endorses Sherrod Brown
As I have long predicted, the Cleveland Plain Dealer has followed the Akron Beacon Journal in endorsing Senator Sherrod Brown.
I figured they would have a hard time endorsing a guy who told them it was up to them to figure out if he was telling the truth and whose campaign refused to say where he stood on an issue because he's not in Washington yet voting on it.
And boy, did they have some words for Mandel! Among them:
There's another powerful reason to vote for Brown -- a negative one: Electing his Republican opponent, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, would reward one of the nastiest campaigns ever waged in this state. It would reward a candidate who hasn't moved beyond partisan slogans and careful sound bites. It would reward ambition untethered to substance.
That is a concern of mine too: if Mandel (or Romney) were to be elected, it would demonstrate that a campaign of lies fueled by unaccountable billionaire money actually works — and that would pretty much be the end of democracy in America. We have to show that it DOESN'T work.
The paper mostly praised Sherrod highly, while noting that in 2006, it endorsed his (much less dishonest, corrupt, and underqualified than Mandel but who isn't) opponent, Mike DeWine. It said he's a "tireless worker and cheerleader for Ohio, its people and its interests" and "good listener and creative lawmaker."
Like most conservative newspapers forced to admit the Democrat is WAY more qualified, it calls him "overly partisan" and "to the left of most voters in this middle-of-the-road state."
I seriously doubt that's true; if you were to poll his positions one by one, I think you'd find he's right in the mainstream of what people want when you remove labels like "liberal" and "conservative." Their statement that "We wish Brown would round off his partisan edges and take off his ideological blinders on trade and entitlement reform" is just stupid. He's better informed on trade issues than most of Congress, and on both trade and entitlements, he's protecting the interests of regular working people who just want a decent job to pay their bills. He's a populist in the truest sense.
I think the Columbus Dispatch will grit its teeth and endorse Sherrod Brown as well. Mandel has poisoned his own nest with his over-the-top lies and smears, his unethical and borderline illegal tactics, his refusal to come clean on where he stands on most issues, and arrogance toward voters and media. It's all a little hard to swallow.
Remember back in 2010 when Mandel ran the infamous "mosque" ad against his opponent state treasure Kevin Boyce? The media recoiled — rightfully — and called him out on it. I'm sure they were hoping it was just an egregious misstep and that Mandel would learn his lesson, which clearly hasn't happened.
The Plain Dealer went so far as to endorse a totally unqualified Libertarian for state treasurer — even less qualified than Mandel! — making it clear they probably had planned to endorse Mandel but that ad made it impossible. But they still didn't want to give Boyce the boost (even though he was a decent man doing a decent job).
The only way Mandel will learn his lesson is crushing defeat in the Senate race. Given what he's shown us in the last two years I've got to wonder if Mandel is intrinsically capable of learning any lessons at all.