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Attacking Portman – A Test in Futility

Ohio Democrats have picked their strategy for 2010.

Go negative.

From a New York Times article back in October:

…Mr. Corzine’s strategy for a comeback victory has turned into a template for Democratic candidates to survive in the 2010 midterm elections. Its shorthand description: winning ugly.

Now that Democrats control the White House, Congress and most governorships, voters’ discontent with the status quo represents their burden, which has Democratic strategists considering tactics to push back challengers.

“Very often the instinct for an incumbent party is to defend and justify,” said Geoff Garin, a pollster for Democratic candidates. “But in this kind of environment, the best defense is a good offense. This needs to be a cycle where Republican vulnerabilities are a central part of the debate.”

Of course, that didn’t work very well for Mr. Corzine, did it?

But we all know that won’t stop them trying to do the same thing against John Kasich and Rob Portman.

Now, we’ve already covered the blatant inaccuracies of the attacks on Kasich – but what of the attacks on Rob Portman – specifically, his time in the Bush Administration, and in particular his role U.S. Trade Representative?

Want to talk about his record? Fine. Let’s look at his record.

Portman served as the Trade Representative for a year from May 2005 to May 2006. As a Cabinet-level position, the appointment requires Senate confirmation, and Portman was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate for the job. In his role, Portman was responsible for promoting policy and U.S. goods to foreign states.

Now, surely during his time in the evilllllll Bush Administration, he must have promoted policies that damaged his home state of Ohio, right?

Um. Not so much.

2005 – $35,110
2006 – $38,161
2007 – $42,562
2008 – $45,628 (7th largest export total of all 50)

2004 – $1,611
2005 – $1,575
2006 – $1,752
2007 – $2,196
2008 – $2,915

Don’t want to take my word for it?

Fine, we can always ask Lee Fisher and Ted Strickland how Ohio’s exports have done after Rob Portman’s disastrous tenure in the Bush Administration:


But what particularly amazes me is that despite Ohio’s massive job crisis that began in 2008, the state was still able to perform well.

It’s almost as if trade conditions were of such a state that Ohio was able to overcome its economic deficiencies.

And we now know we have Rob Portman to blame.


So Dems, as you move forward with your attacks, you now do so with full knowledge that Rob Portman promoted trade policies that benefited Ohio exporters.

I know this won’t stop you from your offensive, but at least it will give you something to think about as you try to sleep at night – knowing that you’re trying to b.s. the entire state of Ohio.

But at the end of the day, what matters is whether the attacks connecting Portman to Bush will work from a political perspective.

Well, as we’ve discussed previously, all evidence suggests the tactic will fail.

Just ask Jon Corzine.

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Third Base Politics is an Ohio-centric conservative blog that has been featured at Hot Air, National Review, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and others.


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