According to Dan Balz of the Washington Post, it looks like the fall election strategies of the Democrats is to — wait for it — morph U.S. Senate candidate Rob Portman into former president George W. Bush and gubernatorial candidate John Kasich into Lehman Brothers’ Dick Fuld. As my wife routinely observes, that strategy belongs in the latest edition of the Restatement of the Obvious, a companion legal text to the Restatement of Contracts and Restatement of Torts.
Seriously, when the facts don’t help you — and the loss of 385,800 non-farm, non-government jobs from January 2007 to June 2010 plus an above-average unemployment rate for the dynamic duo of Ted Strickland and Lee Fisher are really bad facts — you have little to no choice but to make the campaign about bogeymen. Just as Pres. Barack Obama and the Democrats in Washington have spared no expense to insulate their union friends from the pain of the economic downtown while Ohio bled almost 400,000 private-sector jobs, Strickland/Fisher “cut” (read: retirement and vacancy savings) a whopping 800 government jobs. So much for everyone paying their “fair share.”
With President Obama in town to raise money for Strickland, he brings lots of other baggage with him given his plummeting approval ratings. The Ohio visit was full of the typical protests and counter-protests, but fundamentally won’t change the dynamics in the two races. Strickland and Fisher find themselves down with just under two-and-a-half months to go because, as James Carville wisely added to the Restatement of the Obvious in 1992, “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Yes, it is.
— Matt A. Mayer is president of the Buckeye Institute.