NOTES FROM THE WEEK END:
Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel is the little senatorial candidate who isn't there. At least he won't be at the University of Akron Martin Center upon turning down an invitation from the Akron Press Club for a solo appearance. According to David Cohen, a UA political science professor who has been trying to lure Mandel to the lectern for months without success, the Republican will not accept the same invitation that U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (shown in photo) has agreed to. Brown will speak on Jan. 6. The program is co-sponsored by the Press Club, Bliss Institute and League of Women voters.
Cohen, who arranges many of the programs for the Press Club, said this on his blog:
"Despite the fact that I have attempted to schedule Mandel for a separate appearance since May, and despite that fact that his staff indicated in September that he was willing to come in, his political director informed me last week that he is too busy."
Sorry, Josh. I would have used your picture instead of Sen. Brown's, but you gave me no reason to do it.
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Rick Santorum, the theocratic Republican presidential candidate who is hardly there, finally has something to crow about. Both Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, two of the trade's deepest thinkers, speak quite approvingly of his quest. Palin effuses that voters looking for "ideological consistency" ought to look at Santorum. Beck goes much farther, declaring: "If there is one guy out there that is the next George Washington, the only guy that I could think of is Rick Santorum. I would ask that you take a look at him."...(OK,Glenn, we did. Any other silly ideas?)
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Despite the alleged good-will of the holiday season, the congressional carnivores are getting nastier by the minute. For instance, POLITICO reports that Speaker John Boehner shares Herman Cain's fondness for chicken salad. The blog notes that Boehner huffed that President Obama's proposal of a temporary payroll tax cut was "chicken shit" instead of chicken salad. On the other hand, he chirped that Republicans were doing everything possible to allow "more American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn." Somehow, Boehner managed to make more sense when he choked up and sobbed on TV.
Gov. Kasich told the Plain Dealer in an interview that people have trouble figuring him out. That's debatable. His problem is that a lot of people have already figured him out during his first year in office, which explains his dismal approval ratings. Still, you get a sense from his recent remarks that after his Issue 2 disaster in the November election he is trying to cast a softer image, particularly as he told the PD: "I don't like when people are always so serious around me." And you have to wonder about his learning curve after so many years in
congress and now in the governor's office when he says: "You know, I haven't made any faux pas in really a long time. Have you noticed? You just learn. I learned that you have to be careful what you say. Everybody is listening. " (He's also learning that political Cialis is not for everyone!)