Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel, who promised to serve out his four-year term when he was running in 2010, had millions of dollars pumped into his campaign this year to oust U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat completing his first six-year term. Fortunately, the voters of Ohio did not buy what Mandel was selling.
Indeed, his defeat was a repudiation of the outside groups, led by national Republican operative Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, that spent $40 million on Mandel’s behalf. That figure was contained in a Columbus Dispatch story that also showed Crossroad GPS spending $12 million.
But the bottom line of the hotly contested, often nasty, Senate race is that the voters of Ohio did not find the Republican credible in his criticism of Brown and did not appreciate his sleazy politics, as when he called the incumbent “a liar” during the second of their three debates. The state treasurer also characterized Brown as “un-American” during an editorial board meeting with the Dispatch.
This is not to suggest that Brown’s campaign was all peaches and cream, but his verbal blasts were timid compared with what he endured.
The voters of Ohio made the right decision in sending Brown back to Washington and telling Mandel that they expect him to finish the job he was elected to do. Taxpayers don’t take kindly to officeholders who seem to be constantly running for higher office.
During the campaign it was pointed out by reporters that the state treasurer had spent so much time away from his office raising money for his senatorial bid that he failed to perform his official duties defined in the statute.
By contrast, Brown’s record in office reflects a hard-working legislator who is firmly committed to helping the middle class recover from the beating it has taken since the national recession that began in the latter part of 2008.
His principled stand on such controversial issues as the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, and the auto bailout of GM and Chrysler endeared him to the electorate.
The final results from Tuesday night’s election show Brown with 50.4 percent (2,640,957 votes)to 45 percent (2,362,235 votes) for Mandel.
By contrast, President Barack Obama, who won re-election by carrying Ohio and the other battleground states, received 50.1 percent (2,672,302 votes) to 48.2 percent (2,571,539 votes) for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Brown made reference to the Republican Party’s assault on the middle class in a statement after the results of his race were posted.
“Today in Ohio, in the middle of America, the middle class won,” he said — through his wife, Connie. The senator had lost his voice by the end of the grueling campaign.
“This race was never really about me or my opponent,” he said. “It was about a veteran in Columbus, the waitress in Waverly, the steelworker in Yorkville, the auto parts worker in Toledo, the small businessman in Marietta, and the farmer in Waldo. And it was about their families and neighbors.”
Mandel’s attempt to portray the senator as a flaming liberal who is out of touch with the people of Ohio was not only foolish but politically dumb.
Brown has never shied away from his liberal roots, but his record demonstrates a commitment to working on behalf all Ohioans, be they liberals, conservatives or moderates.
The voters have rewarded him for his hard work with a second term.