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Now that the National Entertainer-In-Chief election is over, what to do?

Here's what not to do: Overanalyze.

Donald Trump won in the Electoral College. How did he do it and still lose the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly three million votes? If only 80,000 votes were changed in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Blah, blah, blah.

The simple explanation is that America is tired of the Clintons, and Hillary was not an inspirational figure. Late-deciding voters did not want to face four years of  boring television and social media from the White House, so folks shifted over to TV celebrity Trump because they were choosing a National Entertainer-In-Chief, not a Commander-In-Chief.

Boredom is the mortal enemy of many of our fellow citizens, not Putin. In fact, a lot of people find Vladimir a charismatic figure like Trump.

In a another case of over studying, Washington Post and New York Times columnists recently have praised Sen. Rob Portman for a magnificent campaign. What a political genius that Portman, they wrote, citing all sorts of reasons for his rout of Ted Strickland.

They downplaying the real reason: $50 million in negative ads. I guess it would not be nice to say that Rob bought the election, but he did.

Clinton should have abandoned O-HI-O

The Clinton campaign spent twice as many millions as Trump's, but used it unwisely.

The clearest case in point is right here in O-hi-o. Clinton hardly campaigned here in September leading to stories that she was too far behind to compete and would be wise to take her resources elsewhere.

But come October, Clinton and her "brain trust" decided to return to Ohio with a vengeance, featuring many visits by Hillary and surrogates and spending millions on ads.

Result: Clinton got clobbered by 450,000. She should have abandoned Ohio in October and put time and money into PA, MI and WI where it might have made a difference.

You might say that it was an act of kindness by the Clinton campaign to stay active in Ohio in order to help Ohio Democrats running for lesser office, but they all lost anyway. Maybe by not as much but a loss is a loss.

From presidential candidate to anonymity

Ohio Governor Who's That took a hit from CBS Late Late Show host James Corden the other night. In a fast-paced, picture-oriented review of 2016, Corden put up a picture of Ohio's once famous governor and mumbled something akin to "Who's That?"

John Kasich has been playing at being governor lately but with little enthusiasm for the job, no doubt realizing that if he had been more circumspect with Trump, he could be the vice president-elect now, not Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.

Kasich recently announced that the state tax take is down, that Ohio might be on the verge of a recession and that budget cuts might be needed.

So much for his so-called "Ohio miracle" that was part of his presidential campaign rhetoric. followed by two major Ohio newspapers, the Akron Beacon Journal and the Toledo Blade, quickly jumped in to say that Kasich and company had overcut taxes and had nobody but themselves to blame for putting Ohio in the lurch.

Kasich blamed it all on his predecessor Ted Strickland.

Whenever Kasich and Portman get in a tight spot, it is "blame Ted."

Ted remains unable to defend himself.

Portman's Trump Tower visits raise intrigue

Portman recently visited the Trump Tower, leading to speculation that he might be in a line for a job in the Trump administration.

A Portman departure from the Senate would open up his seat to an appointment by, Who's That?, none other than Kasich.

Try out this scenario (with some antacid): Kasich appoints himself to the Senate, rejuvenating his national presence, and turns the governorship over to Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor. She becomes the GOP gubernatorial frontrunner for 2018, using her incumbency to push governor wannabes Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State John Husted to the sidelines.

In 2018 Kasich would be on the ballot against who knows what Democrat (Ted?)  for the remaining four years of the Senate term. Both Ohio Senate seats would be up for grabs with  GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel challenging Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown for a full 6-year term.

Master Communicator Coleman ready to rocket?

What's in it for the Democrats? Taylor is the weakest of the three Republican candidates for governor so maybe, just maybe, a Democratic powerhouse will emerge in the form of Mike Coleman.

The four-term mayor acted like he had had enough of elective office when he left the city's catbird seat a year ago. He joined the mega law firm, Ice Miller, as rainmaker with the opportunity to make some serious dough.

In 2004, Coleman sought the Democratic nomination for governor before bowing out amid controversy. I heard him on the campaign trail back then and was not impressed. I did not think he could appeal to small town Ohioans. Fast-forward to 2016. I heard him again recently and I was convinced of two things. Coleman still has the fire in his belly and Coleman has become a master communicator who could win over Ohio's good old boys and girls, such as Trump did.

Coleman does not have the money of multimillionaire Jerry Springer, who this columnist last month proposed run for governor in 2018 because the TV show host could come up with the $50 million it will take to win and because Trump opened up the field for controversial TV show hosts.

But unlike other names put forward to run for governor, Coleman has the potential to raise the $50 million he needs to win the governorship. Also, Coleman remains extremely popular in central Ohio, grew up in and has ties to Toledo (home of the University of Toledo Rockets, hence the pun above), and, as a Black role model, would do well in Ohio's other urban areas.

If Coleman ran and won for Ohio governor, he immediately would become a national political figure and a player in the 2020 Democratic presidential sweepstakes. It must be a tempting prospect to say the least.


-- The price of a single copy of the Columbus Dispatch keeps going up. $1.50 daily for Monday-Friday. $2 for Saturday and $2.50 for Sunday. The quality keeps going down as more stalwart journalists take buyouts. Locally written content is being replaced by syndicated stuff that one can find elsewhere. Price up, value down is not a good plan.

-- Dispatch editor Alan Miller wants us to believe that the paper has an army of reporters covering the Capitol, but the excesses of the alt-right Legislature were never greater than the recent lame duck session. A Dispatch editorial called it "mischief." No, it is not mischief. It is disgraceful malfeasance and legislative lunacy. The perpetrators should be followed around by dogged reporters, exposed every day in the news columns and castigated every day on the editorial page.

-- Channel 4's Better Call Jackson promotion seems more like an ad for an ambulance-chasing attorney rather than some sort of news product. It is hardly a worthy replacement for 4's disbanded investigation unit.

-- Channels 6 and 28, on the upswing news wise, could be thrown for a loop if it is true that their owner, Sinclair Broadcast Group, is giving sweetheart treatment to the Trump crowd, as was alleged recently.

-- Veteran national journalist James Warren cited my comment in last month's Columbus Free Press that it would take $50 million to run for Ohio governor in 2018 in his columns in and

-- Journalist par excellence John Michael Spinelli referenced our column last month suggesting that Jerry Springer run for governor in Ohio's leading political blog,           

Poetic Injustice

Coleman lights
Democratic way

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(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2017, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)


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