Saturday, October 18, 2008

What's that, Sen. Voinovich?

I'VE READ  that Sen. George Voinovich arrived in the tiny town of Pomeroy, Oh. in Meigs county Friday  with his carefully articulated Republican talking points  that the party hopes the voters will love. Speaking to a partisan audience across the river from West Virginia, Voinovich called Barack Obama a "socialist" and argued that the Democratic nominee was to the left of Ted Kennedy.   On the other hand,  he praised John McCain for "maturity and experience and a proven record of reaching across the aisle."  Case in point, he said, was - good Lord! - Joe Lieberman, who has been crossing the aisle for McCain  since he was the pathetic choice of Al Gore to be his veep running mate. The worst kept secret in political circles is that Joe  is quite hopeful of being a higher-up in a McCain Administration now that Sarah Palin cost him an opportunity to be on the ticket with McCain. . 

Voinovich's reference to Obama's mythical  place as an outriding socialist in an otherwise centrist government (bailouts and all)  is  the least toxic of what the McCain campaign has been saying about him.  But it does confirm for potential  voters their fear of "socialism" even though some of the less thoughtful ones might have a dickens of a time defining it. You mean, Medicare and Social Security, too, Sir? 

There is one element of  Voinovich's warm  support of McCain  that revived some old memories about Voinovich's own rising career.  At one point in the upcoming return of Jim Rhodes to challenge Dick Celeste in the 1978 Ohio governor's race, George didn't mind telling me (although he did mind later when I reported it ) that Rhodes was "too old" to be governor and that the Republican party ought to be looking for younger,  fresher faces.  Let's see.  At the time Rhodes was not quite 69, a mere child.  McCain is 72.  But who's counting?  

P.S.  In another ironic twist of fate, Voinovich ended up on the ballot in 1978  as the lieutenant governor candidate, running in tandem with...yep, Rhodes.   You never know.  

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