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E.J. Dionne: Leaving No Republican Behind
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Author:  Catherine [ Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:00 pm ]
Post subject:  E.J. Dionne: Leaving No Republican Behind

[url=http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20070723_leave_no_republican_behind/]Leaving No Republican Behind
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Is this the man we might want leading the country....some day?

My interview with Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was delayed for a reason that explains why this Democrat is so popular in a state that was once considered a Republican bastion.

In the course of his travels Saturday, Strickland discovered that a farm in a heavily Republican area near Cincinnati was celebrating its 200th anniversary as a family-run operation. The governor decided he had to drop by and chat with some folks who probably didn’t vote for him. Strickland is one Democrat who tries to leave no Republicans behind.

At a moment of festering polarization in national politics, Strickland is Mr. Consensus. He doesn’t hide his progressive views—he calls himself “pro-choice, pro-labor and pro-universal healthcare”—and yet just about everyone thinks of this ordained Methodist minister as a moderate because he spends a lot of time in places where Democrats don’t dare venture, offering soothing sentiments you’re unlikely to run into on talk radio or the Internet.

“If you act with respect toward the people who disagree with you,” Strickland said over the telephone when we finally got around to talking, “they’ll give you a break and won’t cut you off.”

Strickland’s political skill only partly explains Ohio’s political transformation. A state that voted narrowly for President Bush in 2000 and 2004 not only elected Strickland as governor in 2006 but also sent Sherrod Brown, an economic populist with a far more liberal public profile, to the United States Senate.

The conversion rate among Ohio voters in just two years was staggering. According to exit polling, 30 percent of Ohioans who voted for Bush in 2004 voted for Strickland in 2006; 20 percent of Bush’s 2004 voters supported Brown.

Why the big change? Scandals involving former Gov. Robert Taft and former Rep. Bob Ney made even loyal Republicans squeamish. Strickland won a fifth of self-identified Republicans and a quarter of conservatives, while holding on to more than 90 percent of liberals and Democrats, and roughly 70 percent of moderates and independents. If national Democrats reached such numbers in 2008, they’d win the presidency decisively.


Author:  will in chicago [ Tue Jul 24, 2007 4:35 pm ]
Post subject: 

I think it is a sign of maturity to treat your opponents and opposing views with respect. Even if a voter disagrees with Strickland on a major issue, it sounds as if he will treat that voter with respect. Not a bad model, and it may help Strickland to build consensus in trying to find ways to clean up after the GOP in Ohio.

Author:  Catherine [ Tue Jul 24, 2007 9:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

I agree, will...and to see some showing of respect for opponents by a politician is quite foreign to most Americans after almost 8 years of Shrub Government.

Author:  will in chicago [ Tue Jul 24, 2007 10:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Catherine wrote:
I agree, will...and to see some showing of respect for opponents by a politician is quite foreign to most Americans after almost 8 years of Shrub Government.


It would be refreshing to see it. Sadly, we have an administration that talks about traditional values, such as respect, and then violates them. (Dick Cheney is anything but a model of etiquette.)

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