Mandel may sling some mud, but some of it deserves to stickOh? Stick to whom? Josh Mandel? Or his opponent, a "deserving" Sen. Sherrod Brown? Brown would be a good guess. Even the sole italicized quotation under the heading was drawn from an anti-Brown letter. (The eight published letters were evenly balanced pro and con, if you got that far.)
The brouhaha was prompted by an earlier PD editorial taking issue with Mandel's revival of a generation-old issue that Brown assaulted his former wife - now friendly and raising money for his campaign - during a rancorous divorce proceeding. The story is hardly new, and even was circulated during the liberal Democrat's successful 2006 challenge of then-Sen. Mike DeWine, who declined to inject it into the narrative of his own campaign. But you should remember that the same Josh Mandel raised questions about his African-American opponent in 2010 during the race for Ohio Treasurer, suggesting that the guy was a Muslim. He wasn't, but why should that be a criterion? Mandel won.
Back to the PD: The critical editorial lost its edge when the writer concluded that Mandel was "capable of better". There's no evidence that he can be - or will be - in his catch-as-catch-can rush to Capitol Hill at age 34. But the ambiguous headline and the italicized quote weighed against Brown.
The letters rested above another headline over two other letters near the bottom of the page that read:
Wisdom of Sen. Brown's pollution vote debatedOnce again, it certainly appeared to be a Brown negative.
All of this should be put into the context of the state's corporate media (read: Republican) being less than thrilled by Brown's friendship with organized labor and opposition to exporting America's jobs. He's been running uphill against the state's editorial writers for years , the last time in his successful challenge to DeWine, which Brown won in a landslide.
The PD seems a tad frustrated that a young right-wing Republican prospect like Mandel may be forfeiting any claim to credibility by his nastiness, deceptions and callow game plan toward his current opponent when he is "capable of better." Hint, Josh. Hint. There are still more than four months to shape up for editorial endorsements. Sunday's fuzzy headlines on the PD's letters page are another start.