AUGUST 17, 2012
It’s Friday, so why not have some fun on the Plank. For a good laugh, check out this clip of Josh Mandel, the Ohio treasurer and Republican challenger to Sen. Sherrod Brown, speaking on Tuesday to several hundred coal miners in Beallsville, in the coal country of Appalachian southeastern Ohio, not far from Wheeling, W.V. Mandel, an exceedingly youthful-looking 34-year-old, grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, which, last I checked, is pretty much up north—on a lake that borders Canada. But I was at this Beallsville event, and noticed that Mandel’s accent was traveling south by about 100 miles a sentence, really kicking in around the 1:50 mark here. Mandel is hardly the first politician to take on adaptive coloring—Hillary Clinton got comically Southern at points in the 2008 primaries, and Barack Obama gets noticeably more vernacular when speaking to African-American audiences, particularly down South. Mandel has now joined this hallowed tradition.
One more note: Mandel was speaking at a mine owned by Murray Energy, the company that also owned the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah where six miners were killed in a 2007 collapse, and three more killed in the rescue effort. Which suggests Mandel might have chosen better figurative language:
“These people who are out of touch with Ohio, Barack Obama and Sherrod Brown, have waged a war on coal . They think coal is a four letter word. I tell you this afternoon, for any of these folks trying to between us and affordable, reliable, dependable energy, we have four words for them: over! our! dead! bodies!”
Also, um, isn’t coal in fact ... a four-letter word? But don’t mock too much. Consider that as green as Mandel seems, he is running not far behind Brown—despite a litany of bad press, including an FBI inquiry into a major campaign donor first reported here. Yes, it’s a marvel what millions in spending by outside groups with undisclosed donors will do for a man. As they say in real Amurka, there’s gold in them thar hills.
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