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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Plain Dealer Endorses Rob Portman for U.S. Senate

In the race for OH's next U.S. Senator the Plain Dealer has endorsed Rob Portman over Lee Fisher, Ohio's current Lt. Governor. With Fisher being Lt. Governor, he shares half the responsibility for the failed policies of the Strickland Adminstration.

From the PD --
One of the state's most important contests this fall turns out to be an easy call: Rob Portman ought to be Ohio's next U.S. senator.

Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, Portman's Democratic opponent in the contest to replace the retiring George Voinovich, is a talented and smart public servant who's long appeared to have a clear compass about Northeast Ohio's needs and the state's economic development agenda in general. Yet after listening to both candidates for months now and watching how each man has conducted his campaign, there is no doubt that Republican Portman, 54, is better prepared to represent these interests as well as to tackle the weighty national issues that will come before the Senate.

Campaigning seriously since last year, Portman has devoted large chunks of time to doing what all politicians claim to do -- and what serious policymakers really do: listening. That has given him an impressive understanding of the issues, especially those related to the economy, that trouble Ohioans.

In branching out beyond the comfort zone of his old congressional district and his party's southern Ohio stronghold, Portman has in many ways duplicated what Ohio's soon-to-be senior senator, Sherrod Brown, did four years ago in his return to the statewide stage.

The comparison to Brown may unsettle admirers of both men. Portman's approach to most issues is as predictably conservative as Brown's is liberal. But for all the focus on Capitol Hill ideological gridlock, a lot of a senator's work involves seeking practical solutions to specific local concerns. That starts with listening. If Brown and Portman can put their partisan differences aside -- and Portman's House record and temperament suggest he can -- they could be useful allies to advance Ohio interests.

Portman also would serve the state well if he resists -- as Voinovich sometimes did -- the siren call of blind party loyalty. Simply opposing every idea from the Obama White House or its Democratic allies is no way to govern. If elected, Portman needs to be a responsible critic -- one who offers meaningful alternatives and tries to discover common ground on issues such as containing health care costs or trimming the federal deficit. The way he has run his campaign -- in an old-school "senatorial" fashion -- offers hope that he would do just that.

Even a few months ago, we might have said the same about Fisher. But Fisher's campaign for the Senate -- an effort we supported in his primary against Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner -- has been a profound disappointment.

In the 1990s, Fisher was an advocate of Bill Clinton's "third way" approach and campaigned as a moderate New Democrat. As Gov. Ted Strickland's development director until he surrendered that hat to run for the Senate, Fisher cultivated a pro-business image. That's why we have so much trouble recognizing the candidate who's running for the Senate by bashing foreign trade and clinging to the party line at every turn. It's a cookie-cutter approach Democrats around the country are using. It not only doesn't fit Fisher very well, it also revives the old criticism that he is a political chameleon.

Portman for his part takes a few raps from some quarters for having served as President George W. Bush's trade representative and budget director, resigning in the summer of 2007 -- when the storm clouds of recession were just gathering. But instead of being a handicap, his economic experience has become a plus -- as have his years of being a policy wonk in the first Bush White House and earlier and as a member of the House of Representatives from suburban Cincinnati for 12 years.

The best choice for Ohio is to elect Rob Portman to the Senate.
While considering the above PD endorsement of Portman, please be mindful that Lee Fisher, at a recent fundraiser, stated he supports the DREAM Act and Immigration Reform (AKA: Amnesty).

Plus, while many of us were honoring the fallen from the terrorist attacks on 9/11 -- candidate Fisher was out hosting a fundraiser instead of remembering this fateful day in our country's history.

This post is not a CTPP endorsement of any candidate.
We encourage everyone to be a free-thinking, sovereign-minded & educated voter.

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