Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R-Ohio) can dodge a question, alright. Doing so gracefully is another matter.
A video posted to YouTube on Friday by the Ohio Democratic Party -- "clipped, but not really edited," according to Slate's Dave Weigel -- shows the Tea Party-backed Republican evading questions from WDTN's Pam Elliott about whether or not he would have supported the GM bailout.
(The pertinent excerpt begins around :50 in the video above.)
Elliott: Josh Mandel, I appreciate what you're saying, but would you have supported the GM bailout?
Mandel: Again, I will do everything I can as a United States Senator to protect auto jobs—
Elliott: You're not going to answer the question are you?
Mandel: And grow auto jobs. We've talked quite a bit throughout the state of Ohio about all the great plans we have for protecting auto jobs here.
Elliott: You're not going to answer it are you?
Mandel: Great seeing you.
Mandel, though an outspoken critic of the Wall Street bailout, has repeatedly refused to take a hard position on the government's rescue of the auto industry, which more directly impacts Ohio's working class voters.
Prevarications aside, the 34-year-old politician has managed to turn what should have been a rout for Democrat Sherrod Brown, serving his first term in the Senate after a commanding victory in 2006, into an increasingly competitive contest. The trick? A score of big money benefactors, many from out of state.
"All told," writes Newsweek's Andrew Romano, "Mandel’s third-party allies have outspent and outreserved Brown’s 6 to 1, and nearly twice as much money has been spent and set aside by or for Mandel than Brown. No other competitive Senate race is this lopsided."
Mandel and his allies (among then, Karl Rove's Crossroads GPS) have hammered away at Brown over his liberal voting record in the Senate, and specifically his vote to authorize the Affordable Care Act. The race, in the process, is on pace to become the most expensive in Ohio history.
Brown's lead over Mandel, Romano notes, has shrunk by nearly half since January.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article erroneously referred to WDTN's Pam Elliott as Kim Elliott.
Also on HuffPost:
'2nd Amendment Remedies'
During Nevada's 2010 Senate election, an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/06/16/sharron-angle-floated-2nd_n_614003.html" target="_hplink">audio clip</a> surfaced of Sharron Angle <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/06/sharron_angle_floated_possibil.html" target="_hplink">raising</a> "Second Amendment remedies" as a viable solution to take when "government becomes out of control." The Tea Party-backed hopeful ultimately proved unsuccessful in her campaign to unseat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
'I Do Not Wear High Heels'
Ken Buck, a Tea Party-backed contender who ultimately fell short in his bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet in Colorado, made headlines in 2010 when he <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/21/ken-buck-vote-for-me-beca_n_654990.html" target="_hplink">quipped</a> that people should vote for him "because I do not wear high heels."
'I Am Not A Witch'
Christine O'Donnell <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/04/christine-odonnell-witch-ad_n_750140.html" target="_hplink">captured headlines</a> in 2010 with a now-infamous campaign ad in which she tells voters, "I'm not a witch." She says, "I'm nothing you've heard. I'm you." O'Donnell was defeated in her campaign for Senate in Delaware by Democratic Sen. Chris Coons.
Scientists For Creationism?
Rep. Michele Bachmann <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Damah0KH-Co&feature=player_embedded" target="_hplink">said</a> in October of 2006, "There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design."
Democrats = Communists?
HuffPost's Jen Bendery <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/11/allen-west-democrats-communist-party_n_1417279.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in April of this year: <blockquote>As many as 80 House Democrats are communists, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). West warned constituents at a Tuesday town hall event that he's "heard" that dozens of his Democratic colleagues in the House are members of the Communist Party, the <em>Palm Beach Post</em> <a href=" http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/state/allen-west-hears-cheers-jeers-at-town-hall-2295766.html?cxtype=rss_news" target="_hplink">reported</a>. There are currently 190 House Democrats. West spokeswoman Angela Melvin later defended West's comments -- and clarified to whom West was referring. "The Congressman was referring to the 76 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The Communist Party has publicly referred to the Progressive Caucus as its allies. The Progressive Caucus speaks for itself. These individuals certainly aren't proponents of free markets or individual economic freedom," Melvin said in a statement to The Huffington Post.
Welfare Prison Dorms?
The AP <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/22/carl-paladino-backs-welfa_n_690284.html" target="_hplink">reported</a> in August of 2010 on then-New York gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino: <blockquote>Throughout his campaign, Paladino has criticized New York's rich menu of social service benefits, which he says encourages [undocumented] immigrants and needy people to live in the state. He has promised a 20 percent reduction in the state budget and a 10 percent income tax cut if elected. Asked at the meeting how he would achieve those savings, Paladino laid out several plans that included converting underused state prisons into centers that would house welfare recipients. There, they would do work for the state - "military service, in some cases park service, in other cases public works service," he said - while prison guards would be retrained to work as counselors. "Instead of handing out the welfare checks, we'll teach people how to earn their check. We'll teach them personal hygiene ... the personal things they don't get when they come from dysfunctional homes," Paladino said. ... Paladino told The Associated Press the dormitory living would be voluntary, not mandatory, and would give welfare recipients an opportunity to take public, state-sponsored jobs far from home. "These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities," Paladino he said. He also defended his hygiene remarks, saying he had trained inner-city troops in the Army and knows their needs. "You have to teach them basic things - taking care of themselves, physical fitness. In their dysfunctional environment, they never learned these things," he said.</blockquote>