Published September 22, 2011
They’re back. Vice President Joe Biden was in Ohio Tuesday, and President Obama will be back in the Buckeye State on Thursday. This will mark the fourth trip from the dynamic duo in the past three weeks.
Obviously, this has nothing to with campaigning; it’s all about jobs.
And Ohio, of all places, is in need of them. They needed jobs before the first stimulus bill, which is why Obama and Biden blanketed the state back then to shill for stimulus. But since then, Ohio has lost even more jobs, almost 50,000 of them.
Now the president and vice president are coming back to promote the new stimulus bill – which they refuse to call a “stimulus bill” – even though it has slimmer prospects of passage than Obama giving a speech, any speech, without a teleprompter.
So if one were just a bit cynical, one might wonder if perhaps Obama and Biden are visiting Ohio for the benefit of their fellow Democrats in the Buckeye State. After all, Sen. Sherrod Brown, who is up for re-election next year, was glued to Obama’s hip every time the president visited his home state from 2009 through the first half of this year.
But maybe all that Obama love didn’t pan out as Brown had hoped. His main Republican rival, state Treasurer (and two-tour Iraq war veteran) Josh Mandel, out-fundraised him in the second quarter, $2.3 million to $1.5 million. He was the only sitting Senator, in fact, to raise substantially less than a Republican challenger – and that was just Mandel’s first three months in the race.
That might be why Sen. Brown was a no-show at Biden’s event Tuesday and was conspicuously absent when Obama visited the capital city of Columbus last week, and why he’s already announced he won’t be able to attend Obama’s Cincinnati event this Thursday. (Perhaps he’s waiting for the installers to show up from Solyndra to install solar panels on his roof.)
The problem, it seems, is that every time Air Force One (or Two) descends on Ohio, so does almost everything else in the Buckeye State: jobs, hope, and Obama’s poll numbers.
The liberal elite are fond of referring to Ohio as part of “flyover country.” These days, it’s not hard to suspect that many in the Buckeye State wish that Air Force One would fly over Ohio altogether and go somewhere else.
Joel Mowbray is a syndicated columnist.