Redfern and DeWine cruise on The Love Boat
It sounded like it might be a steel-cage death match. It turned out to be a campfire sing-along.
Chris Redfern, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, and Kevin DeWine, deputy chairman of the Ohio GOP (and soon to be chairman) had a joint appearance Friday at a luncheon in Eastgate sponsored by the Clermont County Chamber of Commerce. It was billed as a discussion fo Ohio's role in the 2008 presidential campaign, but the two party leaders - before a very Republican crowd of about 200 Clermont Count business people - spent most of their time talking about everything but the 2008 presidential race, with a lot of questions from the audience that were serious, issue-oriented inquiries that had little to do with horse-race politics.
Redfern and DeWine - both state representatives - agreed on a lot of things:
Yes, Ohio's March 4 primary might be a competitive affair, with the issue of who the party presidential nominees still up in the air.
Yes, Ohio will be a key state in the fall campaign.
Yes, there will be a big donnybrook in Ohio in 2010, when the parties will be fighting for control of the State Apportionment board, which will re-draw legislative district lines after the 2010 U.S. Census.
The most curious thing about the Clermont Chamber event had nothing to do with either Redfern or DeWine. It had to do with the Democratic primary in the 2nd Congressional District.
The two major candidates, Victoria Wulsin and Steve Black, were both on hand, despite the fact that you could count all the Democrats in the room on both hands. There were about 20 tables in the banquet room; the Democrats all crowded around one of them.
Nonetheless, there was Wulsin, planting herself at the front door, shaking every hand that came by. Black was inside, working the room.
At least 90 percent of the people they met Friday have no more chance of voting in the Democratic primary March 4 than they do of someday playing golf on the moon.