The 2016 Ohio Sellout

Here is a brief summary of the how Ohio looks this election cycle, with a special focus on the senatorial race, which pits incumbent Republican Rob Portman against former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. 

At the campaign onset in April 2015, Strickland was up by such a comfortable margin that the Democrats were licking their chops of a sure senate seat pick up. Portman, however, did not prove to be a sitting target. He bobbed, weaved and altered course. This has paid off. Today, Portman is favored to win re-election by nearly 13-pct.

The two  changes Portman made that have played a major role in his resurrection were: 1) coming out against Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); and 2) endorsing Donald Trump.  Portman is the an establishment Republican to the marrow of his bones. Both of these campaign adjustments cut against the man's natural grain. Let's see how.

For his entire career, Portman has been a free trader par excellence. As a congressman, he voted for NAFTA in 1993. Then, before entering the U.S. Senate in 2011, Portman was a chief trade representative for former President George W. Bush were he oversaw any free trade agreement that came down the pike. Staying true to form, in a Senate vote last year, this Republican voted with the GOP McConnell-Ryan leadership to give President Obama fast track approval TPP.

However, feeling the tide of negativism towards for free trade stirred up by Donald Trump and pressure from a Democrat opponent, Portman flipped on TPP. His latest position is that he's now against the treaty... “as it now stands.”

It should be noted that here, Portman is not exactly unique. In neighboring Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, another chest-beating Republican free trader who is up for re-election, has done likewise and is now, the for time being, against TPP.

But even casual observers of the political scene know how this game is played. Once safely back in the Senate, Portman is apt to cite some cosmetic changes in TPP which will simultaneous allow him to vote for a superficially modified treaty while claiming he kept his campaign promise to protect America workers.  Expect Pat Toomey to do the same ... and ditto Hillary Clinton, another establishment politician who is wedded to globalism. The take-away point here, aside from the risk trusting professional politicians, is just how radioactive the issue of free trade has become. And that is thanks to Trump.

Then there's Portman's endorsement of Trump. This was done through clenched teeth. It was not something Portman wanted to do. It was a move born out of sheer necessity. For although Republican Gov. John Kasich (who is not up for re-election) has steadfastly refused to endorse Trump and has kept the state's formidable GOP organization from fully supporting the party's presidential nominee, Trump's strength in Ohio has always been formidable, so Portman feared alienating it. Like a professional politician, the man wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

Ah, but now the screw has turned. With Election Day fast approaching and with Portman safely up by double digits, his natural inclination surfaces. Portman has rescinded his endorsement of Trump, using the pretext of the 2005 video showing Trump making crude comments about women. In doing so, Portman has become yet another Republican enabler of Hillary Clinton and the Democrat agenda.

This flip-flop has caught the eye of Portman's opponent, Ted Strickland. This retread Democrat is now running an attack ad calling Portman a 'coward' for -- now get this -- staying with Trump for long as he had. Here, Strickland has read Portman like a book. But as usual for a Democrat, he has it backwards. Portman is a coward because he has abandoned Trump at this critical stage of the election. Democrats would never betray their own as evidenced in all the scandals of the Clintons. There, the Democrats not only circled the wagons and stayed with their own, but aggressively defended indefensible behavior. And who can deny that this strategy was not wildly succeeded?

Portman, although good on some issues like 2nd Amendment rights, is an unabashed a globalist who pushes free trade and supports foreign entanglements. Trump's call to “Make America Great Again” no doubt strikes Portman as offensive. By abandoning Trump, Portman hopes to maintain his membership in the politically correct Republican country club, which is the junior partner to the Democrats in transforming America .

I have to laugh when I hear Trump supporters saying they have to “hold their nose” to vote for Trump. That's exactly what many of us are being told to do and to vote for Portman, just as we were told to do in voting for the pathetic likes of John McCain and Mitt Romney. But I guess that is different, right?

Due in part to the betrayal of John Kasich and now Rob Portman, Trump, who was once slatted to win Ohio comfortably, now finds himself slightly behind in the latest polling.

Should someone as corrupt as Hillary Clinton win the presidency, the GOP establishment, their mega-donors, and allies in the conservative media will say “we told you so.” They will then expect to pick up the pieces, carry on as before, and that Trump supporters will be contrite over the loss and meekly accept the leadership of their betters.

I don't know about you, but I for one will never do that.

Here is a brief summary of the how Ohio looks this election cycle, with a special focus on the senatorial race, which pits incumbent Republican Rob Portman against former Ohio governor Ted Strickland. 

At the campaign onset in April 2015, Strickland was up by such a comfortable margin that the Democrats were licking their chops of a sure senate seat pick up. Portman, however, did not prove to be a sitting target. He bobbed, weaved and altered course. This has paid off. Today, Portman is favored to win re-election by nearly 13-pct.

The two  changes Portman made that have played a major role in his resurrection were: 1) coming out against Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP); and 2) endorsing Donald Trump.  Portman is the an establishment Republican to the marrow of his bones. Both of these campaign adjustments cut against the man's natural grain. Let's see how.

For his entire career, Portman has been a free trader par excellence. As a congressman, he voted for NAFTA in 1993. Then, before entering the U.S. Senate in 2011, Portman was a chief trade representative for former President George W. Bush were he oversaw any free trade agreement that came down the pike. Staying true to form, in a Senate vote last year, this Republican voted with the GOP McConnell-Ryan leadership to give President Obama fast track approval TPP.

However, feeling the tide of negativism towards for free trade stirred up by Donald Trump and pressure from a Democrat opponent, Portman flipped on TPP. His latest position is that he's now against the treaty... “as it now stands.”

It should be noted that here, Portman is not exactly unique. In neighboring Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey, another chest-beating Republican free trader who is up for re-election, has done likewise and is now, the for time being, against TPP.

But even casual observers of the political scene know how this game is played. Once safely back in the Senate, Portman is apt to cite some cosmetic changes in TPP which will simultaneous allow him to vote for a superficially modified treaty while claiming he kept his campaign promise to protect America workers.  Expect Pat Toomey to do the same ... and ditto Hillary Clinton, another establishment politician who is wedded to globalism. The take-away point here, aside from the risk trusting professional politicians, is just how radioactive the issue of free trade has become. And that is thanks to Trump.

Then there's Portman's endorsement of Trump. This was done through clenched teeth. It was not something Portman wanted to do. It was a move born out of sheer necessity. For although Republican Gov. John Kasich (who is not up for re-election) has steadfastly refused to endorse Trump and has kept the state's formidable GOP organization from fully supporting the party's presidential nominee, Trump's strength in Ohio has always been formidable, so Portman feared alienating it. Like a professional politician, the man wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

Ah, but now the screw has turned. With Election Day fast approaching and with Portman safely up by double digits, his natural inclination surfaces. Portman has rescinded his endorsement of Trump, using the pretext of the 2005 video showing Trump making crude comments about women. In doing so, Portman has become yet another Republican enabler of Hillary Clinton and the Democrat agenda.

This flip-flop has caught the eye of Portman's opponent, Ted Strickland. This retread Democrat is now running an attack ad calling Portman a 'coward' for -- now get this -- staying with Trump for long as he had. Here, Strickland has read Portman like a book. But as usual for a Democrat, he has it backwards. Portman is a coward because he has abandoned Trump at this critical stage of the election. Democrats would never betray their own as evidenced in all the scandals of the Clintons. There, the Democrats not only circled the wagons and stayed with their own, but aggressively defended indefensible behavior. And who can deny that this strategy was not wildly succeeded?

Portman, although good on some issues like 2nd Amendment rights, is an unabashed a globalist who pushes free trade and supports foreign entanglements. Trump's call to “Make America Great Again” no doubt strikes Portman as offensive. By abandoning Trump, Portman hopes to maintain his membership in the politically correct Republican country club, which is the junior partner to the Democrats in transforming America .

I have to laugh when I hear Trump supporters saying they have to “hold their nose” to vote for Trump. That's exactly what many of us are being told to do and to vote for Portman, just as we were told to do in voting for the pathetic likes of John McCain and Mitt Romney. But I guess that is different, right?

Due in part to the betrayal of John Kasich and now Rob Portman, Trump, who was once slatted to win Ohio comfortably, now finds himself slightly behind in the latest polling.

Should someone as corrupt as Hillary Clinton win the presidency, the GOP establishment, their mega-donors, and allies in the conservative media will say “we told you so.” They will then expect to pick up the pieces, carry on as before, and that Trump supporters will be contrite over the loss and meekly accept the leadership of their betters.

I don't know about you, but I for one will never do that.