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0000017a-3b40-d913-abfe-bf44a4f90000Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with News Director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 16 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

John Glenn touts Obama in an Ohio-only TV ad


For decades now, Democratic candidates running in Ohio - from president to mayor - have turned to one man for help, the one man who is probably the most popular Democrat in the Buckeye State - former senator and astronaut John Glenn.

This week, the Obama campaign will begin airing a 30-second TV spot in Ohio featuring the 90-year-old Glenn, who served in the Senate from 1974 through 1998. He was a popular senator, but what makes Glenn an icon in Ohio is that Glenn - who grew up in the tiny eastern Ohio village of New Concord - was one of the original Mercury astronauts and the first American to orbit the earth.

In the ad, Glenn draws on his Ohio roots to make the case for Obama.

"Growing up in Ohio, you learn to size up a person by his character; and that's why I am supporting Barack Obama,'' Glenn said. Obama, Glenn says in the ad, "means what he says; and that's the Ohio way."

Earlier, Glenn had done a radio ad for Obama that ran mostly on radio stations in small rural counties in Ohio.

You can see the Glenn TV ad here.