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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Rob Portman Camp Unveils New Nickname for Fisher: It's Not 'Landslide Lee'

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The sobriquet for Ohio's lieutenant governor appeared today in a Portman for Senate press release. Lee Fisher was branded "Ohio Job Czar." It's a disparaging description dripping in sarcasm and rooted in truth about Fisher's abdication as state development director during a recession. It's shorthand meant to convey the state's workforce has cratered and the unemployment rolls have soared while Fisher headed the Ohio Department of Economic Development. Portman would not be able to make that case against Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's current secretary of state and Fisher's foe in the May Democratic primary. But from this day forward, Portman will be hammering Fisher on this anvil: the "Ohio Job Czar" quit as economic development director during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Portman is targeting Fisher's greatest flaw as a candidate in 2008, the fact that Fisher bailed out when the times turned toughest for Ohioans. Portman is saying Fisher abandoned his post to look for another job, a seat in the U.S. Senate. It's a narrative perfect for 30-second attack commercials.

Matt Hurley at Weapons of Mass Destruction posted the Portman press release on his blog. Hurley chose not to write any commentary, nor did he mention the "Ohio Job Czar" taunt. He ran the straight news that Portman's campaign spokesperson Jessica Towhey said the Republican will report stronger 4th quarter fundraising numbers than Fisher. Portman, of course, has his own spots for pot shots. Portman was the trade representative under George W. Bush, when thousands of American manufacturing jobs vanished into China. Portman ran the budget office for Bush when federal deficits began exploding. Brunner could make those arguments without being tarred as the "Ohio Job Czar" who was supposed to lead the state's economic recovery efforts. In an election year when the economy is going to be the dominant issue, Fisher is running as the job czar who abdicated.

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