Howard Wilkinson

Senior Political Analyst

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.

In 2012, the Society of Professional Journalists inducted Wilkinson into the Cincinnati Journalism Hall of Fame. 

In 2019, Wilkinson was named Senior Political Analyst for Cincinnati Public Radio as he retired from fulltime employment. He will continue to appear on  Cincinnati Edition, write blogs on politics and his popular Tales from the Trail, all available on wvxu.org.

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Just how all-pervasive is this presidential campaign in Ohio, the swing state of all swing states?

Well, we know that the presidential candidates, President Obama and Mitt Romney, are camping out in the state with regularity – Romney at a rally at Lake Erie College in Painesville Friday; Obama on his way to rallies in Cincinnati and Columbus on Monday – but that is only part of the story.

Both Vice President Biden and the Republican nominee for vice president, Paul Ryan, were in Clermont  County within days of each other last week.

For decades now, Democrats running in Ohio - from president to governor to a host of lesser offices - have turned to one man to help give their campaigns a boost - John H. Glenn Jr., the Mercury astronaut who was the first American to orbit the earth.

Glenn, now 90 years old, left the U.S. Senate in 1999 after representing Ohio in the U.S. Senate for 24 years; and he remains one of the most popular figures in Ohio politics - not only for his service in the Senate but for his status as an icon of the U.S. space program.

As thousands of delegates to the Democratic National Convention celebrated the re-nomination of Barack Obama for a second term as president, Ohio Senate Minority Leader Eric Kearney of North Avondale said the president showed "great courage" in his acceptance speech.

"It took great courage for him to use that line from Abraham Lincoln,'' Kearney said from the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte.

Tina Bayne of Springfield Township thought earlier this year about running for one of the 1st Congressional delegate spots to the Democratic National Convention, but, as she said, she "chickened out."

"You had to go out and get people to vote for you,'' she said.

Instead she came to Charlotte this week as one of the thousands of volunteers who have been working in Time Warner Cable Arena, helping guide delegates around the building, checking credentials and making sure people could find their way around a crowded and often chaotic convention hall.

Tina Bayne of Springfield Township thought earlier this year about running for one of the 1st Congressional delegate spots to the Democratic National Convention, but, as she said, she "chickened out."

"You had to go out and get people to vote for you,'' she said.

Instead she came to Charlotte this week as one of the thousands of volunteers who have been working in Time Warner Cable Arena, helping guide delegates around the building, checking credentials and making sure people could find their way around a crowded and often chaotic convention hall.

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Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson - man who has ran for the presidency twice - told Ohio delegates  they have to beware of what he calls Republican efforts to keep down the Democratic vote this fall, in Ohio and elsewhere.

"You can win the debate, and lose the election,'' Jackson told Ohio delegates at their final morning breakfast at the Oasis Shriners' Lodge in Charlotte.

Last night, convention managers arranged for the key battleground state of Ohio to cast the ballots that officially gave Barack Obama the nomination, but former governor Ted Strickland said Thursday morning that Ohio Democrats have a more important job to do.

"It was Ohio that cast the votes to make President Obama the nominee of this party,'' Strickland told Ohio Democrats at their daily delegation breakfast in Charlotte. "But now we have a more important job - delivering to President Obama Ohio's electoral votes on Nov. 6."

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

Cincinnati councilman Chris Seelbach and several other Ohio elected officials were locked out of Time Warner Cable Arena shortly after 9 p.m., just as rumors were running rampant that President Obama was going to enter the building for President Clinton's nominating speech.

"They told us the fire marshal said there were too many people in the building,'' Seelbach said.. "But we were hearing about President Obama coming in to the building."

Hundreds were stuck outside the building, unable to get in.

The first bit of discord at the Democratic National Committee came early in Wednesday's session when former Ohio governor Ted Strickland introduced a platform amendment mentioning God and declaring that the party believes Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

Strickland, a Methodist minister and co-chairman of the platform committee, made the motion shortly after the Wednesday session began, saying God and faith "informed the development" of the original platform presented to the convention.

The seating arrangements on the floor of the Time Warner Cable Arena tell it all when it comes to Kentucky's role in this presidential election.

The Bluegrass State's 73 delegates are about halfway back in the arena, up against the far wall, to the left of the speaker's podium - not the prime position that goes to key battleground states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia.

Ohio's senior U.S. senator, Sherrod Brown, told the Ohio delegation at its breakfast Wednesday morning that no Democratic senator in the country is facing the kind of torrent of spending on negative advertising from conservative Super PACs that he is.

"In spite of the $16 million they are spending against me, they are wasting their money,'' Brown said to the delegates. "And that $16 million does not include the electronic billboards, the direct mail and the radio ads they are running against me."

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