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Politics
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.

Sherrod Brown Says He Has No Regrets About Being Passed Over For Vice President

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Howard Wilkinson
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WVXU

PHILADELPHIA – Ohio's senior senator, Sherrod Brown, said Wednesday morning he was among those vetted by the Hillary Clinton campaign to become her running mate, but he says he's not disappointed at being passed over.

"Look, (Virginia Senator) Tim Kaine is a good friend of mine; he is an excellent choice," Brown told reporters in a hallway outside the Ohio delegation breakfast where he had just delivered a speech.

He did, however, describe some of what it was like being considered for the vice presidential slot.

"It went on for 32 days," Brown said. "It was a very arduous process. I was in a long meeting with six lawyers. Later, I had a 90 minute meeting with Secretary Clinton herself.

"I started out having no interest in it, but once you are in the vetting process, it's hard not to get interested," said Brown, who is up for re-election in 2018.

He said he was called personally by Clinton to let him know that he was not the choice; and later received a call from Kaine.

Possibly the major strike against Brown was that, if he were the vice presidential candidate and was elected this fall, a Republican governor  - John Kasich – would replace him.

The last thing the Democratic leadership in the Senate wants is to give away a Senate seat in a year when they are trying to wrest control from the Republicans, who now hold a four-seat majority.

Brown is expected to speak at the convention before the headliners of Wednesday's session – Vice President Joe Biden and President Obama.

What will he talk about?

"I'm going to deliver an economic contrast message, the differences between the Republican nominee and Hillary Clinton," Brown said.

Earlier, inside the ballroom where the Ohio delegation breakfasts are held, Brown told the Ohioans that the Trump message, as he sees it, is off-base.

"For Donald Trump to think he can get elected saying our country is weak, that it is in decline – that's just plain wrong," Brown said.

The American people could see the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats in the many televised debates that were held during the primary season, Brown said.

The Republicans held raucous, name-calling shouting matches, according to Brown.

"On the other hand, the debates between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were respectful and centered around issues," Brown said.

Some people in the back of the room were having a hard time hearing Brown. His wife, the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Connie Schultz, hollered at him from the back of the room.

"Sherrod, use the mic," Schultz said. "Louder."

Brown also had a message for the 62 Ohio delegates who cast their ballots for Sanders Tuesday night. He spoke of his great respect for and friendship with the Vermont senator and said that all Democrats should be proud of the way he conducted his campaign.

"He has in so many ways moved this debate forward," Brown said. "He has had an enormous influence on this party. And this nation is so much better because of his presence."

Brown talked about Trump's campaign visit to Toledo Wednesday – an Ohio city that is heavily involved in the auto industry.

"I remember the Republicans who fought us tooth-and-nail on the rescue of the auto industry," Brown said. "There are 82 of 88 counties in Ohio that are involved in the auto industry in one way or another.

"I don't know what Donald Trump will say in Toledo about the auto industry rescue, but I know he never spoke a word about it at the time," Brown said.

He also talked about the historic nature of Clinton becoming the first woman nominated by a major political party and the possibility of her becoming the first president.

"I remember as a kid in school, we had a calendar on the wall with pictures of the presidents on it," Brown said. "They were all kind of old guys. Some had wigs and beards. They all kind of looked the same."

He said he is looking forward to when his young grandchildren can look at a calendar of the presidents in their school "and it will start looking more like this country looks."