Is this a case of the Democrats having a thin bench or simply taking the wrong message from the 2016 election? In addition to all of the midterm congressional races to worry about in 2018 there will be more than a few governors’ seats to fill. One of these is in Ohio, where John Kasich is term limited and on his way out the door. So far at least three Democrats have indicated that their hats will be in the ring, including former lawmaker Connie Pillich, state senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni and former congresswoman Betty Sutton. But, at least in the minds of some of the party movers and shakers, why would you settle for someone boring like that when you could get a celebrity? Hey… how about Jerry Springer? (Business Insider)
Influential Ohio Democrats are pushing former Cincinnati mayor and daytime TV host Jerry Springer to run for Ohio governor in 2018, more than half-a-dozen Democrats familiar with the race told Business Insider.
Many said Springer, who sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio in 1982 and remains active in state politics, could be a good fit for the current political climate.
Springer’s proponents have highlighted his ability in the era of President Donald Trump to provide his own funding for a campaign, and to connect with working-class voters familiar with his television show and history in Ohio politics.
I may have told this story at some point in the past but it’s particularly applicable here. One time during my earlier days of blogging, back when Ed Morrissey was still running Captain’s Quarters, I asked Ed why he didn’t move out of punditry, come off the bench and run for the House or Senate from his home state. You know… get into the fight on the front lines where he could really make a difference. While Ed was never opposed to the idea of serving, he told me that he was reticent because he already had a massive paper trail behind him consisting of columns he’d written on every subject under the sun, including some early ones where he was still forming some of his opinions and gathering information. It would, he reminded me, provide a rich body of research for any opponent to dig through and cherry pick comments to use in an ad campaign against him.
Compare that to the thousands of hours of talk shows that Jerry Springer has done by now, talking to all manner of people, many from, shall we say… exotic backgrounds. The mind boggles at the rich veins of oppo material that the eventual GOP nominee could dig up. Besides, haven’t the Democrats been carping all along about how Donald Trump had no experience and was a television celebrity? Is that really what they want to go for?
Then again, maybe that’s what the Ohio Democrats are actually thinking. Hey… Trump won, after all! And some even less likely candidates have seen statewide victory in politics after coming from ridiculous professional roots. We’ve already had a professional wrestler as a governor and a Saturday Night Live comedian in the Senate. (But come on, man… those were both in Minnesota.) Still, Springer does have a bit of governance on his resume from his time as Mayor of Cincinnati, so perhaps it’s not so crazy after all.
In a way I sort of hope Jerry gets the nomination. If nothing else, the ad campaigns should be to die for. And if he wins, who know? 2020 Trump v. Springer anyone?