How #Dems Keep Losing In The Trump Era: Ohio Edition. Jerry Springer Anyone? | Blog#42
I was scrolling through my timeline when a YouTube video caught my eye. It wasn’t a cat video, documentary, or even a jazz concert. It was a progressive pundit’s segment on… Ohio Democrats urging Jerry Springer to run for governor. Whuuuut?
I thought to myself “this can’t be.” After a bit of research, however, I determined that it is! Here is a sampling of the press this item generated:
“Many said Springer, who sought the Democratic nomination for governor of Ohio in 1982 and remains active in state politics, could be a good fit for the current political climate.
Springer’s proponents have highlighted his ability in the era of President Donald Trump to provide his own funding for a campaign and to connect with working-class voters familiar with his television show and history in Ohio politics.”
“The host of “The Jerry Springer Show” told an Ohio newspaper in February that calls for him to run have gained new traction following the victory of President Trump, who was known before entering politics for his business ventures and later as a host of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
“What’s probably giving it more juice this time is the Trump victory,” Springer told The Cincinnati Enquirer. “People are thinking that somebody outside the traditional political establishment can win. His constituency is basically mine. These are fans of the show. I could be Trump without the racism.””
“Ted Strickland, former Ohio governor, told Business Insider that he discussed a possible run with Springer, and said that he “certainly would start out with wide name recognition,” and that he “has a very strong ability to communicate what I think is the heart of the Democratic message.” Oddly enough, Strickland didn’t mention how Springer got caught patronizing a lady of the night by using a personal check to pay for her services while serving on Cincinnati’s city council.”
“When I reached out to Springer, he didn’t sound especially keen on the idea. “The issue of me running for political office frequently comes up because I am constantly touring around, giving speeches and raising money for the party,” he responded via email. “Truthfully, I’ve been doing that for at least the last 30 years as a private citizen because I believe joining the conversation is part of being a good citizen. If I do ever decide to throw my hat in the ring … I will let people know. At this point … I don’t even have a hat.”
In politicalspeak, this is a solid “maybe.””
The New York Times didn’t deem this tidbit fit to print. The last time Springer’s name came up in an NYT piece was July of 2016. The Washington Post also didn’t bother with the story. The last time Springer popped up on their radar for politics was in 2007.
To be fair to Jerry Springer, one must account for the man’s accomplishments over decades. Springer is an attorney. He practiced law, before he went on to become a state legislator and then mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a very capable mayor. His career in media was as a TV anchor at a local Ohio station. From there, Springer went on to hosting a national show, culminating in the last 25 years of… “Jerry, Jerry!” trash he is best-known for. Pound for pound, when compared to Donald Trump, though, Springer’s experience and intellect put him light years ahead of our president. Does that make him more qualified than Donald Trump to hold high public office? The answer, clearly, has to be yes.
Springer is not a progressive, though he has demonstrated far more sensitivity to class issues than many prominent Democrats. He lays out his philosophy in this Young Turks interview done during the 2016 DNC convention.
Springer’s political credo aside, the real question, given all we are experiencing right now, is whether Jerry Springer is who we want and need for Ohio when we have another trained attorney, law professor, former legislator, and rousing, inspiring leader in former state senator, Nina Turner? In the age of Trump, after the 2016 election and all of the issues it kicked up, from class, to gender, to race, that answer has got to be a resounding no.
This is where the DNC, specifically DNC Chair Tom Perez, should put his foot down and discourage such a candidacy. It is also where Perez and the rest of the DNC should take stock of the prevailing view among state Democratic party operatives around the nation that candidates with money bring any kind of advantage to the table. Neoliberal Democrats STILL haven’t gotten clued into why Bernie Sanders’ campaign was such a game-changing phenomenon: not only are voters willing to fund candidates they are inspired by, they get that we are where we are because of the flow of money in politics. At the end of the day, that realization is what is behind millions of voters’ refusal to vote for Hillary Clinton.
Ah, but when money did flow, it went to the candidate who earned the voters’ trust! Those voters were Clinton’s to inspire once she won the nomination. After losing 1,000 legislative seats over 5 electoral cycles, and suffering one of the most humiliating presidential election defeats, if Donald Trump isn’t what causes the Democrats to get religion, is there anything that can?
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