• The Wall Street Journal examines the overcrowded race of Republican candidates seeking to succeed US Senator Rob Portman.
The primary is a microcosm of what is happening in the GOP nationwide. Of the room : For three decades, Rob Portman ticked all the boxes for a classic pro-business Ohio Republican: executive positions in both White Houses of Bush. Twelve years at home. A short stint as a lobbyist. A dozen years in the Senate. Until recently, Portman candidates characterized the party in the state, pushing back opposition from socially conservative activists or the Tea Party. No more. With Mr. Portman’s retirement, the fight to succeed him revolves around one question: Which flavor of (former President Donald) Trump is best? Five of the six candidates for next May’s GOP primary offer voters slightly different variations of the former president’s personality – as well as Mr. Trump himself. All have made pilgrimages to his South Florida estate in search of approval.
Trump himself told the Journal, “I’m watching Ohio very, very closely,” and added, “They’re all for Trump – that’s a wonderful thing.” (He still hasn’t approved one, however, and later notes that the one who won’t get his vote is Matt Dolan, a more moderate new entrant.)
There are a lot of colorful details. For example, businessman Bernie Moreno, who in 2016 called Trump a “madman invading the party,” told the Journal that he had changed his mind because of the way Trump had pressured to hold his campaign promises. “One of the greatest presidents I’ve ever seen,” Moreno said during a fundraiser.
In an interview, investment banker Mike Gibbons, 69, called 43-year-old candidate Josh Mandel a “boy.” Mandel tells the Journal he is combative on social media because he was released by Trumpism’s shameless approach. He said he believed Trump got more votes than President Joe Biden in 2020, “without providing any evidence,” according to the Journal.
“This is not the time for bipartisanship, this is not the time for civility,” Mandel told the newspaper. “Now is the time for the fighters.”
• The Huffington Post publishes a long profile of United States Representative (and Senate candidate) Tim Ryan of Youngstown, focusing on “whether a Democrat with dominant liberal economic positions and moderate views on so-called social problems can overcome Ohio’s drift to the right and (former President Donald) Trump’s influential legacy in the state. An Ohio Democratic campaign strategist who requested anonymity told the publication: ‘There is a feeling of: what does he really represent?’ For the most part, however, ‘few analysts think the state’s Democrats, who have a tight bench, have better options, “the Huffington Post notes.” He exceeded my wildest expectations, “said Joe Retof, a Columbus-based Democratic consultant who did “He’s not involved in the Senate race. Ryan” really is Democrats’ best asset to take over this seat, “said David Cohen, professor of political science at Akron University.
• There are funny comments from US Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, in this Politico profile of Senator Jon Tester, a Democrat from Montana who thrives against political odds. Of the room : Despite being from a state that Biden lost by 16 points, Tester is not among the Democrats who are cursed for obstruction by liberal activists. In fact, the fat farmer from Big Sandy, MT has become a reliable advocate for much of Biden’s agenda, even as he envisions a potentially perilous re-election campaign in 2024 in a state where he is already quite enough. difficult to be a democrat.. Brown, one of three Democrats in the state Senate that former President Donald Trump has twice won, described his friend this way: “He’s willing to lose for his principles. I’m not saying a lot of that.” Brown adds, “He’s a real farmer and I’m, like, a politician. But the other thing is his personality is larger than life.”