The winnowing continues

A big announcement from a few minutes ago:

Brown (D-OH) is an annual contender for highest Liberal above Replacement Value in terms of the state that he represents. He won fairly easily in Ohio in 2018 when no other Democrat could win statewide in a state that is trending Republican. If he was to be elected President or Vice President, his replacement in the Senate would be a standard issue Republican. That would make achieving any of his policy goals more difficult. Now that he is staying in the Senate through at least 2024, the odds that the marginal Senator is the the left of Senator Collins has increased and that has material policy possibility space expansion.

63 replies
  1. 1
    Peale says:


  2. 2
  3. 3
    artem1s says:

    thank goodness. Sherrod is a workhorse. Besides needing him in the Senate, we need him in Ohio. And I admit I don’t want to see the MSM paint him as a Wall Street, Agribusiness, NeoLiberal sell out just to provide Wilmerites a target to hate on. Sherrod deserves better than he will ever be treated by the national media. I wouldn’t be able to stand some pundit idiot painting him as ‘too prepared’ or a sell out who takes PAC money, blah, blah, blah.

  4. 4
    Ohio Mom says:

    As obvious, I live in Ohio, I am pretty confident I will never have another senator like Brown. I know how important a vote he is there.

    And it’s important for Ohio to see itself reflected in Democratic representation. This state does have some blue roots even if it can’t seem to remember that.

    But part of me really, really liked imagining him and Connie in the White House. They are such good, lovely people, they’d win the rest of the world back with their down-to-earth warmth.

  5. 5
    Robert Bowsher says:

    If you use ‘Value Over Replacement Politician’ you can keep using VORP.

  6. 6
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    Thank god! Ohio has gone off the deep end and I suspect it’s no longer a swing state. Brown evidently understands that keeping his seat in Democratic hands is more important than some vanity run for president.

  7. 7
    Another Scott says:

    Excellent news.

    In other news, Krugman on Twitter:

    Paul Krugman Verified account @paulkrugman

    OK, this is funny: a guy complained about an article that used a picture of him to suggest that all hipsters look alike. Except that it wasn’t him; it was a picture of another, similar-looking hipster

    9:30 AM – 7 Mar 2019

    (Who knew that Krugman read TheRegister?!?)


  8. 8
  9. 9
    Another Scott says:

    @Ohio Mom: Yup, deep blue roots.

    Howard Metzenbaum is holding on line 1.


  10. 10
  11. 11
    tobie says:

    What a sweet tribute–all posters from Ohio chime in first to say how much they love their Senator and are happy that he’s going to continue to represent them and fight for them in the Senate. May Ohio come back to its blue roots soon!

  12. 12
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷 says:

    @Ohio Mom:
    What do you think of DeWine’s proposal to raise the gas tax? I saw in the paper the other day him quoting the Holy Babble. Something along the lines of everything having it’s time and that it’s time help all Ohioans. Was he always this bible-verse quoting Pillar of Moral Rectitude?

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    Good. We need good people in the Senate too.

  14. 14
    mags says:

    Oh thank goodness! It may be selfish, but I want to keep him as Ohio’s senator for quite awhile.

  15. 15
    MomSense says:

    Relieved I am.

  16. 16
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Peale: What you said. Thank you, Senator Brown!! Now talk to Hickenlooper and tell him to run for Senate, not President!

  17. 17
    Mary G says:

    I love Senator Brown and am happy he took the opportunity to do a tour and promote workers, but I am also glad he will remain in the Senate. I imagine the scrum amongst the other contenders for his endorsement will be ferocious.

  18. 18
    Emerald says:

    Just the fact that he made this decision demonstrates that he would have been a fantastic president—he sees clearly and isn’t dominated by his ego. He was always my top choice, but I completely agree that we need him in Ohio and we need him in the Senate.

  19. 19
    Kay says:

    Oh, yay. He’s such a good person. Just solid. Reliably does the right thing.

  20. 20
    Jeffro says:

    ‘Senator Above Replacement Value’ – LOL. Also, true.

  21. 21
    Kay says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷:

    I think it’s an oddly positive sign that DeWine’s state of the state was so bipartisan. Mike DeWine doesn’t believe Republicans have a lock on Ohio, or he wouldn’t be reaching out so much. That was NOT a Kasich speech, and it certainly wasn’t a Trump speech. That was a Republican-of-30-years ago speech. He’s courting Democrats and I’m surprised. It’s fascinating, really. They’re not going with Trumpism, which probably isn’t good for Donald Trump.

    Also, compare the wingnutty DC Ohio Republicans with the new kumbaya at the state level. Something’s up with that. They think they’re weaker than they’re letting on.

  22. 22
    Betty Cracker says:

    He knows it’s not all about him, so he made the right decision. I’m also relieved on behalf of Connie Schultz that she doesn’t have to go through a grueling primary.

    Speaking of people who should not run, CNN unearthed the following:

    Joe Biden in a 1993 speech warned of “predators on our streets” who were “beyond the pale” and said they must be cordoned off from the rest of society because the justice system did not know how to rehabilitate them.

    Nice of CNN to serve that up so it can become the new “super-predator” should Biden run.

  23. 23
    Ohio Mom says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: I find it amusing that DeWine has all these plans to improve Ohio because the only implication I can draw is that he’s admitting that the last Republican didn’t do a very good job. Which he didn’t. Which still didn’t wake our fellow Buckeyes wake up enough to not keep voting in Rethugs.

    I think raising the gas tax is fine in that it may discourage people from buying gas guzzlers. But of course it makes life much more difficult for low-income Ohioans. Why, it’s almost as if we need an over-arching plan to turn our ways of doing things green.

    I didn’t loads of attention to DeWine before so I can’t speak to his religiousity. Kasich also liked reminding us how pious he was deep down.

  24. 24
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Ohio Mom: ETA: No surprise, I think Kay’s take on DeWine’s speech is much more on target than mine.

    And while you’re here Kay, and this is wildly off-topic, your comment a while back on Amy Kobluchar’s hairdo — that it is the official midwestern lady’s cut — explained to me my never-ending negotiations with my hair dresser. Whatever I describe my ideal haircut to be, I always walk out with something not quite what I wanted. I now see that she is trying to give me a cut as close to THAT style as she can, within the parameters I’ve set. I suspect she can’t help herself, another force is directing the scissors.

  25. 25
    Jacel says:

    Glad that Brown is staying in the Senate. Any word on whether Connie is going to run? Not that we need a greater quantity of candidates, but she’d be a great occupant of the White House in either role.

  26. 26
    SFAW says:


    We need good people in the Senate too.

    I’ve heard that there already are “good people on both sides.”

  27. 27
    SFAW says:


    Any word on whether Connie is going to run?

    I think she’s worried about her longstanding, ongoing “affair” with some guy name Sherwood Something-or-other. Which in itself wouldn’t be TOO too bad — except he’s a politician and she’s a journalist. Fake news, anyone?

    ETA: In case it wasn’t blindingly obvious: I was riffing on some shrieking a few years ago by a number of morons/Rethugs who were talking about Connie’s “affair” with Brown.

  28. 28
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    Why, it’s almost as if we need an over-arching plan to turn our ways of doing things green.

    It should have a pithy name too, perhaps one that harkens back to someone like Roosevelt who would use the power of the government to promote sustainable development and fair treatment for workers.

    I got it! Green Square Deal.

  29. 29
    SFAW says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Green Square Deal

    Isn’t that one of the vegetarian specials at Denny’s or somewhere like that?

  30. 30
    Sab says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳🌷: Back in 2008 gas in Ohio was 5 bucks a gallon. Now it’s less than $2.50. So basically we pay half as much in gas tax and yet expect the same infrastructure maintenance.

    I have replaced 2 tires this year that were blown out by potholes. I would much rather pay a little bit more every week when I fill my car than $150-200 a pop to replace tires.

    Or drive miles out of the way because they have had to close another failing bridge.

  31. 31
    Immanentize says:

    @Betty Cracker: The late 80s/early 90s were just horrible times for those kinds of ideas. From the Mariel Boatlift (1980), through the Hatian refugee crisis during the Reagan years, crack cocaine, and of course, AIDS. Everyone other was vilified. Language went way out on a limb. That is Trump and Sessions formative moment….

  32. 32
    Kraux Pas says:

    @SFAW: LOL. Delicious with a side of waffles, by the way.

    I’m partial to the real teal seal meal deal, myself.

  33. 33
    Immanentize says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    Green Square Deal.

    The city where I grew up was called “the home of the square deal.” I always liked that very much.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    And while you’re here Kay, and this is wildly off-topic, your comment a while back on Amy Kobluchar’s hairdo — that it is the official midwestern lady’s cut — explained to me my never-ending negotiations with my hair dresser. Whatever I describe my ideal haircut to be, I always walk out with something not quite what I wanted. I now see that she is trying to give me a cut as close to THAT style as she can, within the parameters I’ve set. I suspect she can’t help herself, another force is directing the scissors.

    So funny. My husband came through the living room once when book club was there and he said “you all have the same haircut now”
    I laughed so hard at the “now”- like we were evolving into some scary borg. My daughter fights it but she should give up. She just has the younger version. She’ll be where we are.

  35. 35
    BC in Illinois says:

    From Stacey Abrams:

    Stacey Abrams
    ‏Verified account

    Many people don’t know that before serving as a U.S. Senator, @SherrodBrown was an Ohio Secretary of State who fought for the fundamental right to vote.

    @SherrodBrown and @ConnieSchultz have worked for years to combat voter suppression, and we need more advocates like them.

  36. 36
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Immanentize: True. And crime rates really were spiking at the time, and people were demanding that politicians “get tough.” I understand the context, but it’s tough for politicians who were around then to explain their actions to voters who weren’t. And Biden really was in the thick of it. He co-wrote the crime bill, including the crack vs. powder cocaine disparity. The way he handled Anita Hill’s testimony was godawful. I like Biden, but he is the wrong man for 2020. I hope to hell he doesn’t run.

  37. 37
    cokane says:

    From Ohio too. Somewhat disappointed as he woulda been my top choice. Also, I think he’s the one with the strongest empirical case for beating Trump (and perhaps even a landslide victory). I wouldn’t be so quick to commend him for “staying in the Senate” just yet. He will definitely draw consideration as a VP choice.

  38. 38
    Gravenstone says:

    Well I’ll be damned. For once a “listening tour” proved to be just that. Congrats Sen. Brown!

  39. 39
    Gravenstone says:

    @Another Scott: Heh, should have figured someone would get to Metzenbaum before me.

  40. 40
    Plato says:

    Hope our Kay parties moderately.

  41. 41
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Immanentize: Good to know, and I had never heard of this George F. Johnson. I always associated that phrase with Theodore Roosevelt.

  42. 42
    SFAW says:

    @Kraux Pas:

    I’m partial to the real teal seal meal deal, myself.

    The Magliozzi brothers could have used you to write copy for their “outro.”

  43. 43
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Gravenstone: @BC in Illinois: One of Brown’s efforts as Secretary of State was to get voter registration forms printed on the paper liner on McDonald’s trays. He boasts that completed mustard and ketchup stained forms are still on file in county boards of elections.

    It’s a cute story — more importantly it shows Brown is creative and determined to meet the voters where they are.

    Now I’m back to being ambivalent about him not running.

  44. 44
    Kraux Pas says:

    @SFAW: I have to admit, I stole that from someone who anonymously wrote that on my partied-out, sleeping person about a decade ago.

  45. 45
    catclub says:

    @Another Scott: That was also at LGM – maybe Krugman reads that.

  46. 46
    Chyron HR says:

    If such a thing as “dignity of work” exists I’m pretty sure it doesn’t involve incoherent buzzwords like “dignity of work”.

  47. 47
    Kraux Pas says:

    @Chyron HR: It’s hard to find dignified work these days. I’d love a little dignity.

  48. 48
    satby says:

    @Chyron HR: Not necessarily “incoherent buzzwords” to hourly low wage workers who would like to be treated as if their work and persons matter as much as mil-yunaires and bil-yunaires. Many of whom are not white and are often treated without acknowledging their inherent dignity as a member of the human race.

  49. 49
    FelonyGovt says:

    @Betty Cracker: This is a really good point. We want candidates with experience, but that opens them up to scrutiny of their actions while in office. Times have changed a lot since the ‘80’s, but younger voters don’t have that context.

    ETA another reason we need younger candidates.

  50. 50
    Chyron HR says:


    Hey, that’s super, higher wages, lower hours, and worker’s rights sound like great ideas. “We must dignify work!” very much goes out of it’s way to not actually say any of that.

  51. 51
    rikyrah says:

    Glad he didn’t run.

  52. 52
    JanieM says:

    I grew up in Connie Schultz’s home town and still visit family there regularly. My feelings about this are mixed in the same way as other people’s — glad Sherrod is not running for POTUS, but a little sad, too, since it was fun to imagine having such decent people back in the White House.

    I remember my dad, a member of the Teamsters Union, grumbling in a particular growly way that he and his brothers had, saying, “This god-damned state is the most southern state in the north.” And we lived in a town on the shores of Lake Erie, it’s not like we were next door to Kentucky. Those “blue roots” are rather mixed, really, but it sure would be nice to see the state swing more toward the blue again.

  53. 53
    satby says:

    @Chyron HR: the phrase is a call back to religious teachings, not specifically of the Catholic Church though that was the easiest one to link here:

    Catholic Social Teaching holds that work is dignified and an intrinsic good, and workers must always be respected and valued

    It’s also a teaching in Islam and Buddhism.

  54. 54
    JanieM says:

    @JanieM: [Can’t edit my own comment today…]

    Meant to say that my dad would have been doing his grumbling in the 1950-60s.

  55. 55
    OGLiberal says:

    @Immanentize: We’re in NEPA just a few miles from the Souther Tier. We go to the Aldi in Johnson City – nearest one to us. Read up on the history about a year ago – interesting stuff. (We haven’t been here long) Apparently there were never unions formed because the Johnsons made it so they weren’t needed…at least, that’s what I read.

    Also interesting and kind of creepy – the old IBM campus in nearby Endicott.

  56. 56
    satby says:

    @satby: can’t edit my comment either, but the dignity of labor also is cited frequently in the Torah and Talmud.
    There is a history attached to that specific phrase.

  57. 57
    evodevo says:

    @Ohio Mom: LOL … may the Force be with … you? her?? oh, well. It took me years to find a hairdresser who would cut my short hair the right way. When I was a teenager and didn’t have a choice, the beauticians were like yours – I finally, later in life, found one who does it right. Turns out she worked in a barbershop before opening her own place, so that might have something to do with it.

  58. 58
    Betty Cracker says:

    @satby: I read in a profile piece on Connie Schultz that Sherrod Brown picked up the phrase “Dignity of Work” from an MLK speech. I love Brown and am confident I’d support the policies he advocates under that banner, but I share Chyron’s distaste for the phrase. It just sounds phony to me, and I doubt most folks know its origins.

  59. 59
    hilts says:

    Sherrod Brown is a great senator and I hope he wins re-election.

    Joe Biden generally has worked alongside African American leaders and earned their support, but his opposition to desegregation plans in his home state would probably be viewed through a new lens in a Democratic Party that has moved to the left and grown more ethnically diverse.

    h/t Washington Post, I used up my quota of free articles

    # Fuck Biden

  60. 60
    Ohio Mom says:

    @hilts: Sherrod was just re-elected so he has several years of breathing space.

    @evodevo: Hmmm…maybe I should try a barber shop. All I want is my hair cut straight into a bob but when I leave, it’s always curving into a pageboy.

    How’s the mail route going?

  61. 61
    drdavechemist says:

    An amusing Sherrod Brown story from this past weekend. Sheldon Whitehouse, the D senator from Rhode Island, goes to my church and is happy to chat with parishioners before or after the service. Sheldon was talking with a few of us about Sen. Brown and his presidential prospects since the two of them arrived in the Senate at the same time and have become good friends. The amusing story is that Sheldon and Sherrod observed when they were rookies that some of the “dotard” senators (Sheldon’s word) had trouble distinguishing between the two of them, so they created a pastiche of their names (Sherwood Brownhouse?) on whom to blame anything displeasing to the old guard.

  62. 62

    Good for Brown. @Another Scott: That is funny!
    Why do hipsters have facial hair.

  63. 63
    BroD says:

    Good for him and props to Ohio for electing him!

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