Howard Wilkinson: Politics and More

Credit Michael Keating

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU news team as the politics reporter and columnist in April 2012 , after 30 years of covering local, state and national politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. On this page, you will find his political blog, his weekly column, Politically Speaking; the Monday morning political chats with news director Maryanne Zeleznik and other news coverage by Wilkinson. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio gubernatorial race since 1974, as well as 14 presidential nominating conventions. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots, the Lucasville prison riot in 1993, the Air Canada plane crash at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983, and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. And, given his passion for baseball, you might even find some stories about the Cincinnati Reds here from time to time.

WVXU politics reporters Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about tomorrow's GOP gubernatorial primary in Kentucky, which appears to be too close to call.

The leadership of the Democratic Party, both here in Ohio and in Washington, really doesn’t know what to make of Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld.

Is this guy just dense?, they must be thinking. Doesn’t he get the picture?

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with news director Maryanne Zeleznik Monday morning about Kentucky's Rand Paul and Ohio's John Kasich - specifically, what the polling in the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire have to say about them.

Can the Republicans win the White House without winning Ohio next year?

Conventional wisdom (not to mention history, which is a better guide) says, no, they can’t. No Republican president – and we’re going back to the very first, Abraham Lincoln – has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.

In fact, the way the electoral college map skews toward Democratic presidential candidates, most political analysts see the Republican nominee coming up short of the 270 electoral votes needed to win without taking both Ohio and Florida.

There are plenty of local tax levies and bond issues to be decided in southwest Ohio in Tuesday's primary election, but contested candidate races are few and far between.

Hamilton County’s polling places could soon replace paper poll books with electronic ones – possibly by November’s election.

The Hamilton County Board of Elections unanimously voted Monday morning to authorize its staff to prepare a contract with Tenax, a Florida company, to place the electronic poll books in all 373 of the county’s polling places.

The late Jim Rhodes, who managed to be elected Ohio governor four times and was about the most pragmatic politician we’ve known in over 40 years of covering politics, had a saying about Ohio voters.

Actually, he had many sayings. But this one rang true back in Rhodes’ day and till holds some power today.

Ohio voters, Rhodes would say, care the most about three things – “jobs, jobs, and jobs.”

To many Ohio workers, the debate over “free trade” and “fair trade” is very real.

Still we wait. Like Vladimir and Estragon in Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot,” waiting for the Kasich presidential candidacy to arrive.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has done everything a presidential candidate should do, except for one – announce his candidacy.

He’s showed up in early primary and caucus states, like South Carolina and New Hampshire.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

After spending time in the key presidential primary state of New Hampshire, Ohio Gov. John Kasich took more questions about his possible presidential campaign on national TV this weekend.

It comes amid increasing signs that he is serious about running.

On NBC’s Meet the Press Sunday - where 16 years ago Kasich announced he’d formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 1999 – Kasich said he still hadn’t decided, but was weighing his options with two main thoughts in mind.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked with news director Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about the forces in the Ohio Democratic Party ganging up on Cincinnati council member P.G. Sittenfeld, as the endorsements for former governor Ted Strickland in the U.S. Senate race pile up.

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