Howard Wilkinson

Kentucky’s junior senator, Rand Paul, has been off and running (officially) for the Republican presidential nomination for nearly a week now.

He has, in fact, been running for several years, but he made it official last week with his “Stand with Rand” tour through early primary and caucus states – Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning on Cincinnati's love affair with the Reds and the tradition of politics and baseball intersecting  on Opening Day. 

Yes, this is a politics column.

That’s why it says “Politically Speaking,” right there in red, white and blue.

But let’s face it – tomorrow is Opening Day in Cincinnati, the beginning of another season of baseball for the game’s oldest professional team; and a holiday for those of us who love the game.

Not a day in this part of the world where your thoughts turn immediately to the ins-and-outs of politics.

Unless, that is, you happen to be running for office.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with Jay Hanselman about the possibility that both Ohio and Kentucky will have contenders for the GOP presidential nomination - Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky's Sen. Rand Paul.

Ohio is a quadrennial battleground in presidential elections; and Kentucky – well, Kentucky is not, but they do love their politics in the Commonwealth. Though not as much as they love their basketball.

But the two states separated by the muddy river may both do something they don’t do very often, at least not in the past century: produce bona fide presidential candidates.

They are, of course, the junior U.S. senator from Bowling Green, Ky., Rand Paul; and the native Pennsylvanian-turned-Buckeye who was re-elected governor last fall in a cakewalk, John Kasich.

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