Politically Speaking

john boehner jim jordan
Jacquelyn Martin / AP

It was only a matter of time before the former House Speaker John Boehner, raised in blue-collar Reading and now living in a gated community in West Chester Township, would simply just blow his top.

jane timken josh mandel
Julie Carr Smyth, Phil Long / AP

The two early favorites for the 2022 GOP nomination for U.S. Senate – former Ohio Republican Party chair Jane Timken and former state treasurer Josh Mandel – have been trying to one-up each other lately to prove who has the most undying loyalty to former President Donald Trump.

ohio clock
Jose Luis Magana / AP

There are two things the voters of Ohio have never done – elect an African American or a woman to the United States Senate.

You can't blame the voters of the Buckeye State for this. No African American has been the nominee of either major political party for a Senate seat; and only one woman – a white woman – has run. And she lost the general election.

biden inauguration
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

The overwhelming majority of us are hoping that today's inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris goes smoothly, without violence and without the need for most of the 25,000 National Guard troops who are in place to keep the peace.

capitol riots aftermath
Patrick Semansky / AP

A week ago, in the aftermath of a violent, destructive and deadly rampage of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters – a rampage that could have been much worse – we were inundated by tweets and press releases from Republicans in the Ohio congressional delegation decrying what had happened in their workplace, the very center of American democracy.

But barely a word about who inspired a frenzied mob of thugs to scale the walls and cause chaos in the halls of Congress – the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.

david pepper
John Minchillo / AP

Rarely is there anything that happens in the Ohio Democratic Party that takes place as smooth as silk.

Take the choice of a new state party chair, which is scheduled to take place when the party's executive committee meets in Columbus on Jan. 14.

david pepper
Aaron Doster / AP

I don't know if David Pepper, who will leave his six-year stint as Ohio Democratic Party chairman at the end of the month, will run for Cincinnati mayor in 2021.

I do know that he is thinking about it, because he told me he is. But he is nowhere near committing to a race.


mitch mcconnell
Susan Walsh / AP

Fans of irony should take note of the U.S. Senate race in Kentucky.

The contest between six-term incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger, former Marine pilot Amy McGrath, could well produce the greatest election irony in many a year.

rob portman
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In February 2016, nine months before the presidential election that produced the Trump presidency, President Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland, a respected federal appeals court judge, to replace a conservative justice of the Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia, who died suddenly that month.

steve chabot kate schroder
John Minchillo, Gary Landers / AP

With seven weeks minus one day to go, Democratic first-time candidate Kate Schroder seems poised to climb to the summit of one of the steepest hills in Southwest Ohio politics – taking down long-time GOP congressman Steve Chabot.

post office truck
Morry Gash / AP

You'd have to have your MAGA hat screwed on too tight to believe that Donald Trump, by appointing Louis DeJoy, a political crony who has told a congressional committee that "I know very little about postage stamps," didn't start out with the intent of wrecking the U.S. Postal Service for political purposes.

rand paul
Carolyn Kaster / AP

You really have to wonder what, for crying out loud, was Sen. Rand Paul, the Republican from Kentucky, thinking?

steve chabot
Gary Landers / AP

I've got good news and bad news for Steve Chabot, the Westwood Republican who presumably is running for a 12th two-year term in the U.S. House next year.

hillary clinton
Andrew Harnik / AP

For the time being, an Ohio group has pulled out of a ballot issue this year to have the state join a nationwide movement to bypass the Electoral College and elect the president by popular vote.

sherrod brown
John Minchillo / AP

Starting out a possible run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination is an ambitious project in the best of circumstances. But starting out with a well-respected national poll showing that 77 percent of American voters say they don't know enough about you to form an opinion about you – good or bad – might make you think you are running in quicksand.

brett kavanaugh donald trump
Susan Walsh / AP

So who, besides Brett Kavanaugh and Donald Trump, won this nasty, bitter, ugly mud-wrestling match that was Kavanaugh's narrow confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Courtesy Jill Schiller

Democrat Jill Schiller is out campaigning hard in Ohio's Second Congressional District, harder than anyone else has since incumbent Republican Brad Wenstrup first won the seat in 2012.

Dennis Kucinich
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Editor's note: Faithful readers of Howard Wilkinson's weekly "Politically Speaking" column will want to know that this feature will be published on Wednesdays beginning May 1. 

OK, Ohio gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich, you may have your hands full explaining this to Democratic primary voters.

You've reported receiving $20,000 for a speech last year from the Association for Investment in Popular Action Committees.

That would be a group which clearly is sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, as it is the parent organization of the pro-Assad Syrian Solidarity Movement.

Howard Wilkinson has been on vacation so there's no Politically Speaking column Sunday.

Not to worry though, his column returns next week.