Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ohio U.S. Senate race: A Ganley moment

WHAT CAN be said of Akron mega-auto dealer Tom Ganley's mini-senatorial campaign speech to a sparse Akron Press Club audience Thursday? I wonder. Well, it was different. With a teleprompted text of no more than 15 minutes, he may have set a Press Club record for the shortest offering in my several decades of listening to candidates at the Martin Center. And to his opponent in the Republican primary, Rob Portman, it may also have been the least threatening of oratory by a rookie political opponent. In short order, Ganley wanted us to know that (1)he was NOT a politician, (2)he was NOT beholden to a single lobbyist (that most certainly would come later if he ever was elected and worth a lobbyist's attention ) and (3) he was NOT a lawyer but was proud to be a conservative businessman. That point he emphasized so often that it is almost certain to show up on bumper stickers, to wit: . Ganley means business.

His approach to government was not unlike the sort of thing one might hear at Tea Parties, a modern phenomenon which his people say he has attended. He lamented the loss of jobs and said we need to create more opportunities for the unemployed. He was critical of deficit spending and insisted it would take a businessman to produce more jobs. Creating jobs has been political boilerplate for both parties, of course, since the colonials created the presidency for George Washington.

Referring to his campaign material that assigned socialist enterprises to the Obama Administration, I asked him whether he thought Medicare and Medicaid were the products of socialists. He didn't really say yes or no, merely declaring that they were programs that had been around for awhile. He also opposed taxes on "the rich" because they won't create jobs and "in fact, it worsens it by taking investment dollars out of the system." He also said he would have no problem with allowing General Motors and Chrysler to fail because they would be replaced by somebody else in the free enterprise system.

The most jarring note came after he skewered illegal aliens. Someone asked what he he would do about an illegal alien's sick child who needed medical attention. He would have deported them, he snapped. "They're illegal!"

It will be interesting to me to see whether Ganley's businessman-to-the-core rhetoric will carry all the way to Republican primary in May, considering that Portman is the bell cow for Republican operatives around the state.

My late Republican father once owned a Pontiac dealership in Pennsylvania. I'm glad he never ran for public office.


Henry said...

His politics was the reason I did not purchase a car from him. On the other hand I have no idea what political affiliation the owner of the place I did purchase my car had. Mixing politics and business is not a good mix.

Anonymous said...

He'd have 6 lobbyists from the health care industry alone.

Obviously a "teapartier" confused about the socialistic Medicare and Social Security programs. He should promise to save us from socialists government. Republicans must propose legislation that ends Medicare and Social Security and similar programs immediately-not a year or 5 years down the road-for the good of the nation.