Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Connie Schultz, my new colleague at Creators Syndicate, has just released a book entitled ...And His Lovely Wife. It is a first-person account of Ohio's 2006 U.S. Senate race - the race in which her husband Sherrod Brown defeated a Republican incumbent in arguably the most politically important state in America. While I confess to not having finished the book (because I am on deadline for my own) I can tell you that ...And His Lovely Wife is a warm and altogether engaging look at the race, showing readers what personal challenges come with having a family member in public life.
I highly recommend this book, especially right now. You may have heard that the corporate-funded Democratic Leadership Council is engaging in a full-on assault against progressives these days, most recently taking to the right-wing Wall Street Journal editorial page to preposterously claim that its push to get Democrats to support the Iraq War, support more NAFTA-style trade agreements and generally capitulate to Republicans on core economic issues was what won Democrats the 2006 election. Beyond the well-known factual inaccuracy of these claims (ie. Dems ran against the war, ran against lobbyist-written trade deals, ran against K Street corruption, etc.), the DLC's chairman making these claims is none other than Harold Ford, Jr. - the only major Democratic Senate candidate to lose in 2006. And, more importantly, there is Sherrod Brown - the icon of the 2006 election.
Ohio is the most politically important state on the national electoral map precisely because it is so closely divided between the parties. It is America's "center" - the place where multinational companies pre-test their products and the place where national political candidates must win. In this cauldron, Brown did not win his race by following the DLC's Republican-lite model. On the contrary, this anti-NAFTA populist campaigned on a platform to "show a progressive Democrat can win in a state like Ohio [and] show that in 2008, there's a very different political dynamic in this country," as the Washington Post quoted him saying.
Connie's book takes us into this battle - and it is a timely reminder that well beyond the Washington echo chamber, a new politics is being waged. Go pick up ...And His Lovely Wife today - you won't regret it.