Words Columbus Media Insider with the M looking like broken glass

One woman is willing to sacrifice for the good of the Democratic Party.

Another woman is not.

Betty Sutton, the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, originally was a candidate for the gubernatorial nomination.

In the early polls she was running neck-and-neck with Richard Cordray. She would have made history as the first women elected governor of Ohio.

Political leaders and party insiders sat down with her and asked her to make a significant sacrifice. Give up her campaign for the state's highest office and become Cordray's running mate.

She accepted.

One insider told me that Betty Sutton was willing to defer her own ambitions for the good of the party and to increase the chances that a Democrat will win.

This contrasts with 2010 when several Democratic state officeholders declined a relatively safe race for re-election and ran for higher office only to lose and drag down the rest of the ticket with them.

On the national scene, we see the exact opposite happening. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives, steadfastly refuses to step aside, thus continuing to allow the Republican candidates for the House to run against the prospect that she would again be the Speaker of the House if Democrats regain control of the chamber in 2019.

Democrat Danny O'Connor was pounded in the 12th District special election on the issue of Pelosi. He first stated clearly that he would not support her for Speaker, but then inartfully commented to MSNBC's Chris Matthews that he might, setting off a new round of GOP attack ads.

Pelosi's approval rate is 29 percent while her disapproval rating is 49 percent.

Despite all the good that Pelosi has done in her long and distinguished career, she has become a major liability for Democrats trying to retake the House and put a check on the renegade president. Pelosi needs to remove herself as a future Speaker.

Betty Sutton sacrificed for the good of the party. Nancy Pelosi needs to do same.


Secretive OSU Trustees Won't Employ Meyer Much Longer

The mystery participants in the Urban Meyer drama ironically are the Ohio State University board of trustees, a public body.

They met in secret over the football coach's fate, they deliberated in secret, and they are keeping their mouths shut in the aftermath of the suspension of the OSU football coach and athletic director Gene Smith.

Most of the trustees were appointed by Gov. John Kasich, whom Meyer endorsed in the 2016 Ohio Republican presidential primary. Shortly before the fateful meeting Aug. 22, Kasich telegraphed his support of Meyer. What's a little political favor-returning among friends?

Here's what I think happened based on news reports and web gossip.

Meyer showed up expecting not more than a wrist slap and to be back on the practice field later that afternoon. President Michael Drake told the trustees he wanted a six-game suspension without pay. Meyer hit the ceiling and said either reinstate me or fire me. Shelley Meyer was called in to remind him that he had promised his family more circumspect behavior when he took the job and that he should not abandon the players he loved and recruited. Smith was summoned and offered to share the blame with Meyer and take a suspension himself. (Note: If you add the suspensions of Meyer and Smith together, it adds up to six games).

Meyer reluctantly and angrily agreed. Then the OSU public relations people had to write up the statements Drake, Smith and Meyer would make and arrange the 10 p.m. press briefing.

At the briefing Meyer emotionlessly read his statement, never looking up. His answers were clipped. Drake and Smith looked up and were poised.

The bottom line is that Meyer will not be an employee of OSU much longer. You do not humiliate a $7 million-a-year coaching legend and expect him to stay around. I predict he will be gone within two years. There are 50 major universities and 30 NFL teams who would willingly pay him $10 million a year.

Smith does not need this level of abuse either and will be gone in two years. There are 50 colleges who would be happy to double his $2 million salary.

Drake appears to have the silent trustees in his grasp and can stay as long as he wants. Drake, Meyer and Smith talked in the press conference about what happened in the meeting. Why can't the trustees? This is not a corporate board they serve on. This is a public board. They should tell the public what they did and why they did it.

Most of the trustees are from the upper one percent of society, hardly representative of 11 million Ohioans.

I'll bet Jonathan Waters, the OSU marching band director whom Drake fired unceremoniously in 2014, wishes he had been offered a three-game suspension and kept his job.

Please send your comments and suggestions for future columns to John K. Hartman.

(ColumbusMediaInsider, copyright, 2018, John K. Hartman, All Rights Reserved)

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