Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DeWine: Bland speech, tiny audience: Recipe for disaster

WELL, IT has to be called a train wreck for the candidate and for his host. I refer to Mike DeWine's solo (in nearly more ways than one!) appearance at the Akron Press Club luncheon Tuesday. DeWine, as you may know, is the former Republican senator who is trying to unseat Ohio Atty. Gen. Richard Cordray in November. Speaking almost inaudibly, head down, into his prepared text, DeWine wanted to leave us with the the notion that as attorney general, he would provide "leadership" and would "do better." At least, that's what I think he said. He also opined that the Tea Party had brought into the system "a lot of people passionate about politics." Right.

He reminded the sparse audience (fewer than 35!) which included a few Cordray aides, (one of whom filmed what there was of the speech) and DeWine's wife Fran, that being an unyielding defender of the law and the Constitution, he would file suit against ObamaCare because he considers it unconstitutional. He also attacked Cordray for a sloth-like work of BCI, the state crime lab - delays that have since been dismissed by such independent sources as the Plain Dealer's PolitiFact/Ohio.

DeWine had turned down a Press Club invitation to debate. If he had been the futurist that he claims to be, he would have also rejected the later Press Club offer to let him speak alone. It was an embarrassingly inertial moment for some of the folks. and it could be felt hovering in the dead air. (Cordray, accepted the Press Club's debate invitation, and had to settle for his own solo appearance on Oct. 7.)

He did score a first, however. The skimpy crowd was the smallest audience for a statewide candidate since the Club started sponsoring debates at least a decade ago. Even his former part-time employe, Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff didn't show up for his ex-paymaster. Nor was there a table reserved for Republicans, which was the chairman's call in the past. Tsk. Tsk.

Ok, the event wasn't a total loss. Dewine passed out his wife' s recipe booklet - "Fran DeWine's Family Favorites" - before heading to the lecturn. Besides recipes, that booklet prominently showed his wide-ranging belief in God, Mother and Country. The back of the booklet featured a photo of Mike and his wife, an American flag and what might be mistaken for a religious leaded window. Actually it depicted blind justice.

It couldn't have been more unsettling for the candidate, what with the rain outside and chill in the room.

FOOTNOTE: It was a troubling day of setbacks for the DeWine campaign. The Ohio Tea Party PAC had just announced its endorsement of one of its own, AG candidate Robert Owens of the Constitution Party; the Dayton Daily News, the newspaper in DeWine's Southern Ohio neighborhood, endorsed Cordray, saying the case for him was "overwhelming"' and the Toledo Blade hardly mentioned DeWine in editorially supporting Democrat Cordray for his "honesty and dedication."


Anonymous said...

With Mike Dewine and Jon Husted having little backing from the tea partiers, Arshinkoff will be keeping his political relationship with Dewine and Husted on the down low.

Anonymous said...

I realize that campaigns do not chose photos without reason, but the photo on the back of Fran's cookbook was taken at the Greene County Courthouse. If you have a problem with the stained glass, take it up with Greene County, not with DeWine.