But by Sunday, the Plain Dealer was reporting the latest collision between State Sen. Jon Husted, the Republican candidate for secretary of state, and Ralph King, the leader of an outfit called the Cleveland Tea Party Patriots. For whatever reason - and you don't need many these days to stake out an opponent - King & Co. don't like Husted. Worse than that, as King explaind to the PD reporter, "The only relation Jon Husted would have with the Tea Party is if he would have been driving the British ship into Boston Harbor." Safe qualifier. Even Google couldn't put Husted on that British ship. Besides, King accused Husted of showing "open hatred and contempt for the Tea Parties." Husted, of course, denied it.
There will be a lot of this sort of political auto de fe as the Tea Partiers flex their muscles, or whatever, this year, and Republican candidates are spending more time genuflecting to them than demanding that they stop telling lies. As matters now stand, the state GOP ticket is leaning heavily to a detente with the enemy.
John Kasich, the candidate for governor, has spoken at their rallies while trying to fend off Democrats' charges that he is tainted by being a white collar manager for Lehman Brothers up to the time that it went bankrupt. (Curiously, he has defended his years of employment with the big bank by suggesting he was little more than a walk-on each day - a claim of low-level servitude that seemed contradictory to his bonus of $432,200 in 2008 on top of his salary of $182,692!)
Rep. Seth Morgan, a very conservative GOP candidate for state auditor, has been endorsed by the State Tea Party; auto dealer Tom Ganley, challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton in the 13th congressional district, has appeared at Tea Party rallies; and U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine,who wants to be attorney general and should know better, has announced that his first task upon entering the office would be to file suit to repeal the health care reform law - and what Tea Partier would be against that?
As political campaigns go, this year's will be more irrational than ever. Don't be surprised if there are some surprises over in the Republican camp.