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.

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.

There’s an old saw that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Some people are applying that to the Ohio Democratic Party executive committee’s decision a week ago to endorse former governor Ted Strickland over Cincinnati city council member P.G. Sittenfeld in the 2016 Democratic primary for Republican incumbent Rob Portman’s U.S. Senate seat.

Next year's Ohio presidential primary may be pushed back a week to March 15, a move that could give the Ohio Republican delegation more clout at the GOP convention in Cleveland in July.

State Representative Mike Dovilla of Berea, the House majority whip, introduced a bill Monday in the Ohio House to set March 15 as Ohio's presidential primary date. It is currently scheduled for March 8.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson talked this morning with news director Maryanne Zeleznik about Hillary Clinton making her candidacy official on Sunday; and how Rand Paul is trying to recover from a bumpy start to his campaign.

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.

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