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Obama toxic for Ohio Dems

Published: Sun, December 15, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

When the fall 2014 campaign for Ohio governor rolls around, today’s controversy over a tax scofflaw being picked to be on the Democratic Party’s ticket will be a distant memory. In politics, such crises have a short shelf life.

To be sure, Ed FitzGerald, the expected Democratic nominee for governor, will be spending the next several weeks trying to explain to reporters how it was that he, an ex-FBI agent, could so royally botch the vetting of a potential lieutenant governor running mate. FitzGerald, Cuyahoga County executive, insists that he knew about Sen. Eric Kearney’s tax problems. However, his decision to part ways with Kearney — after the Columbus Dispatch and the Cincinnati Enquirer revealed some shocking details of the senator’s business tax debts — makes it clear that he either was not aware of the extent of the problem, or was blind to the political ramifications.

New search

Now, FitzGerald, who before the controversy was trailing Republican Gov. John Kasich by single digits in a major poll, is searching for a new running mate. Some Democratic Party insiders believe that the road to the governor’s mansion leads through the black community. They point to Barack Obama’s twice carrying the Buckeye State as proof that a Democrat can win statewide even though Republicans control all the administrative offices, from governor on down. The GOP also controls the General Assembly.

It could well be that Kearney’s being black trumped his tax problems — for FitzGerald and his campaign operatives.

But there’s nothing to suggest that the black voters who turned out for Obama in his re-election bid last year will come out for a white gubernatorial candidate.

Democrats may be better off disregarding the racial blend of the ticket, and, instead, focusing on issues that Republicans claim to own, such as patriotism. A candidate’s military service is an easy sell, especially in rural parts of the state.

But, even with the strongest ticket possible, the Ohio Democratic Party has a problem that will require a risky political move.

This headline appeared recently in the Columbus Dispatch: “Poll: Obama’s approval rating at an all-time low in Ohio.”

The story, written by veteran political reporter Joe Hallett, read in part:

“President Barack Obama’s approval rating has plummeted in Ohio to the lowest point of his presidency, a harbinger of trouble in the 2014 off-year election for Democrats in Ohio and across the country.

“Only 34 percent of Ohio voters approve of Obama’s job performance while 61 percent disapprove, according to a survey released yesterday by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“It marked the lowest score for Obama in any Quinnipiac poll nationally or in any state.”

Given that the president’s low approval rating is directly tied to the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — and the major failure of its website’s launch, the Republicans have a political gift for next year. If the Ohio Democratic Party publicly repudiates Obama, it may be able to win back Democratic voters who sat out the 2010 election for governor, thus handing victory to Republican Kasich.

Post-election analyses revealed that many Democrats were disenchanted with Obama and decided not to participate in the statewide election.

The result: Incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, a former member of Congress, lost re-election by a sliver.

Black backlash

But if Democrats decide to shun the president next year, there certainly will be a backlash from black voters in the heavily Democratic urban areas.

FitzGerald’s dropping the ball with regard to Kearney’s tax problems will seem like a minor glitch compared to what he faces with Obamacare.

Here’s how Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac polling institute, defined the problem in The Dispatch story:

“Clearly, much of the reason for the president’s decline in Ohio is Obamacare. Ohio voters oppose the Affordable Care Act 59 to 38 percent. Perhaps more significantly, voters say 45 to 16 percent they expect their own health care to be worse rather than better a year from now.”

And then Brown offered this observation about next year’s election:

“If voters still feel that way about their own situation come November 2014, that is likely to create a political playing field beneficial for Republicans. Voters still blame Republicans more for the government shutdown, but that issue’s salience is being dwarfed by the opposition to Obamacare.”

What are the Democrats to do?


1questionreality(290 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

Obamacare - a definite Christmas list of a plan that could eventually die of its own complexity. And Bert, at what dollar amount does a person have to owe the government before being called a tax scofflaw? How many such property tax scofflaws in Mahoning County, what is the total dollar amount owed the county and do any of them work at the Vindicator? Should the law abiding citizen be subjected to an increased county sales tax to make up that difference and the shortage caused by Kasich taking the wrecking ball to the Local Government Fund?

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2author50(1121 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

@question reality... you are not referring to a certain radio partner of the Vindicator are you?

@Terrapin Street - you really know how to throw a curve ball at Valley Politics.

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3questionreality(290 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

Re: 'the beauty of message boards' - The freedom to speak without retribution gives a real flavor for a community that the best local reporting could never deliver.

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4papa1(677 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

Knightcap, why do blacks vote democrat, really? ya think it might be because their chairman hasn't started voter suppression acts in 26 states? or maybe because democrats haven't taken the food out of the mouths of the working poor and the poor families and their children? or maybe, could it be, that president Obama wasn't overheard at a private dinner for the ultra rich saying he doesn't worry about the 47% of voters in the middle and poor classes, he cares only about the upper 1%? or maybe it also might be that democrats didn't cost taxpayers 23 billion dollars by shutting down the government? whadayathink? it sounds to me like too many of those knightcaps have softened your brain.

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5redeye1(4559 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

papa By your post I can see that you are a socialist just like OBAMMY. The working poor are in the situation that they created themselves. If they didn't quit learning in school they just might have decent job today. Secondly it 's become a life style of many in this valley to be on welfare, because they are now so use to Gov't freebies and they are just too lazy to find work. I suspect you are one of them. If the 1% didn't pay their taxes , not one of you would be eating remember that , it's not the Government money you are eating but the tax dollars of every working stiff. So get off your couch and help out and quit defending these welfare mob people

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6Minority_Voter(18 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

Brothers and sisters, it dont matter TERRAPINST or Devil Dog Betras both are racist white trash. When we elect our new party chairman, Jaladah Aslam we will win and kick Kacich out.

Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!! Boycott Betras!!

God Bless and the fight continues!

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7jmagaratz(167 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

? of why blacks vote for democrats----

answer: because whites vote republican.....

there--very simple answer to a very stupid question

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8jmagaratz(167 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

Memo to Terrapinst....

1) apology accepted; and,
2) your point was?

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9lacrossemom14(14 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago

if you look at what Strickland did wrong, and what Kasich continues to do right, its clear that there is no race no matter who Fitz chooses as his replacement

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10jmagaratz(167 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago


my point is: a) blacks--as a group--tend to vote democrat; and, b) whites--as a group--tend to vote republican...

changing demographics of population make-up seem to be towards overall "minority" (black, hispanic) voters voting democrat....

populations of rural areas are declining; suburbs are beginning to reflect economic dislocations; dissatisfaction is increasing--democrats will develop campaigns that reflect these realities.....

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11jmagaratz(167 comments)posted 10 months, 1 week ago


off the mark about "race baiters" being limited only to those you mentioned; "race baiters" also exist among white political leadership.....

blacks vote democrat because of recent record (since LBJ) on matters related to civil rights and voting rights--they vote to protect their interests....which is also what whites do....

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12jmagaratz(167 comments)posted 10 months ago


bottom line is that voters vote based on their own best interests--period....

politicians use "divide and conquer" as the means to solidify groups of voters around perceived "best personal interests"....example: use of term "welfare queen" term by white (mostly republicans) politicians to rally the white vote against the economically disadvantaged.....

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13papa1(677 comments)posted 10 months ago

terrapinst, so now you're copying other peoples passwords and writing garbage that they would never write. whoever you are, you are an ahole.

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14dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 10 months ago

How can you get 41% of ALL REGISTERED VOTERS EIVO? I'm registered, nobody called me. You mean 41% of registered voters who watch Fox News and responded, don't you? It is funny that you won't even read an article if it came from CNN, but u will attack all of those who doesn't take FOX News's word as the gospel. Polls from any source are garbage! All speculation until the polls close. For all of you who don't follow Eivo, two things says it all. 1. Until two weeks ago, he didn't even know that Obama couldn't run for President again, and 2. He complains about freeloaders, but does not have a job himself. Please form your own opinions, but if you are depending on him for knowledge, do yourself a favor and do your own research.

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15dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 10 months ago

If you can read, I don't listen to ANY polls. What are they good for? They only take a small slice of the pie. You will never see me post any polling results, unless it is the actual results of the election polls. I have posted links with stats on it before from CNN, and you won't even read it because it came from CNN, so it is you who is so narrow minded that you will not even look at anything that doesn't come from a right wing source.

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16IslandMike(757 comments)posted 10 months ago

Obama is not running again. The FIXED NOISE CHANNEL is making a big deal about his lousy approval rating. They made a big deal about his approval rating before he was SOUNDLY re-elected. FIXED NOISE said that no President in U.S. history was ever re-elected with an approval rating as low a Obama's. They forget to mention the four major things the Democratic Party has working in its favor:
1. The Tea Party
2. Rush The Crack Head
3. Sarah Palin
4. Megan Kelly & the KKK FIXED NOISE CHANNEL.

As long as the aforementioned stay in the public spotlight, they will push all independent / moderate voters to vote democratic. The dems are going to take the White House in 2016 AGAIN!!

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17dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 4 weeks ago

And then Reid can say okay, but we want to make all guns illegal too. Fantasy land comments from you once again eivo.

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18dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm not for the first two. And Obama didn't cancel anyone's insurance. The insurance companies didn't re-offer the plan which happens all of the time. I have had my plan switched through my employer on numerous occasions because the previous years carrier or plan was discontinued. Now why would you be against a person who would like to do the responsible thing and buy insurance, but can't because their greedy insurance company dumped them and no other one will pick them up because of a pre-existing condition? Like you said before, you are not against raising min wage or extending unemployment benefits. Then why not just be for it instead of holding those people's lives hostage because you want to say, Not unless you repeal Obamacare. Would conservatives agree to doing away with guns, even though all of the mass shootings over the last few years? NO. Then why try to negotiate something so rediculous, that has no chance of passing?

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19dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Chicken Little, I am not saying not to negotiate ANYTHING, but to be reasonable when negotiating. For example, don't close down the government knowing that what you are asking for is unreasonable and not going to happen. Would conservatives give up gun rights to pass a law to lower taxes on everyone by 1%. No, because that isn't reasonable. My point is that you said you are okay with extending unemployment and increasing the min wage, so why do you have to get anything in return for it anyway if you are for it?

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20dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

or, You could do your jobs, win the majority, and then have control and do what you want. Then you won't have to take anything hostage.

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21dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

thats it, just win the majority in BOTH, then all the wars on men, children, women (maybe not women, GOP doesn't think highly of them), Christmas, religion, whites, small businesses,and the upper class will all come to an end. We might end up in 3 or 4 real wars instead of imaginary ones, but hey, you will be happy.

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22IslandMike(757 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Three months from now, people will come to accept ObamaCare and the Dems will be fine.

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23dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I see eivo, you can use polls from whatever source, AS LONG AS THE NUMBERS SAY WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO. Articals from CNN are not credible because Obama controls that media station, but now you can use a stupid poll. I guess the 2016 elections should be cancelled now, since Christie won the poll.

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24dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Well for now quit crying. Win the majority in both the house and senate, and repeal away. Then we can see what fix your party can come up with for healthcare.

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25dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Good idea, I think we will go for the trifecta, do our jobs and get some stuff done for a change. I'm tired of rebubs wanting something until they find out the Dems want it to. Then they say, "no, not unless you give us this....."

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26ytowntomg(26 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

win the senate in 2014, impeach Obama.

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27dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

And then find something else for you to bit@h at. FYI, it won't be hard....

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28dontbeafool(943 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You will probabably just go back to screaming at the neighborhood kids who look at your lawn wrong.

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29jojuggie(1288 comments)posted 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A new Gallup poll finds President Obama’s approval rating at 39 percent and his disapproval rating at 54 percent. But it’s not just that the public is increasingly displeased with the job Mr. Obama is doing; they are growing weary of the whole packaged deal. They are frustrated with the president, his style, his attitude, his approach to the job.

The Boston Herald reports:

President Obama’s tanking approval rating in newly released polls shows Americans are tired of his whining, according to some experts, who also see a fighting chance for Republicans to rack up coast-to-coast victories in the 2014 midterm congressional races.

“We think of presidents as being morale leaders … and he goes out and complains,” according to Richard Benedetto, a retired White House correspondent and a journalism professor at American University. “He complains about the fact that he doesn’t get enough cooperation from the other side. ‘It’s not my fault, it’s the Republicans’ fault.’ And that message gets old for the American public. … It’s not a good sign for Democrats in Congress going into next year.”

No, it’s not. And here’s one of the many challenges facing Mr. Obama: Can he alter the patterns of a presidency? I ask because the president is a chronic whiner, a habitual complainer and excuse-maker. He relied on blame shifting for his entire first term, and I suspect it’s not merely a tactic for Obama. It is how he’s been conditioned, how he views the world and his place in it. He believes deep in his bones that every setback he encounters is due to outside forces. And so he has laid the blame for his failures on his predecessor, the congressional GOP, the Tea Party, conservative talk radio hosts, millionaires and billionaires, Wall Street, Japanese tsunamis, the Arab Spring, Fox News, and more. Those excuses no longer work–and because they don’t, one of the main political arrows has been removed from the Obama quiver.

It’ll be interesting to see if Mr. Obama is emotionally able to adjust to this new situation. My guess is he’ll try the same lines of attack–including portraying himself again and again as the only adult in a room of unruly children–even as most Americans believe his act has grown old and stale. And as the failures of the Obama presidency continue to multiply and his record of incompetence becomes even more indisputable, will Mr. Obama become more aggrieved, more prickly, and more detached from reality? The new year will go some distance toward answering whether you can teach a hubristic president new tricks. This much we know: the old ones have become tedious and monotonous.

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