The top Democrat in the country, Barack Obama, will be in Ohio Wednesday, but the top Democrat in Ohio, Sherrod Brown, won’t be with him.
Senator Brown's communications director, Meghan Dubyak, said he was already scheduled to be in Columbus when the presidential visit was announced. Mr. Brown will be visiting the Ohio Farm Bureau – "where he’ll discuss his bipartisan bill that could reduce the deficit by $20 billion by making farm safety net programs more responsive to farmers and taxpayers" - and visiting a central Ohio manufacturing facility to announce new jobs created through improvements to veterans health care.
Mr. Brown is in a tough re-election battle with likely Republican nominee Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel and may not want Mr. Obama's unfavorability rubbing off on him. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that President Obama had a 42-52 percent favorability rating and was running slightly behind Mitt Romney in Ohio, but in a statistical tie.
That same poll showed President Obama also slightly trailing Newt Gingrich.
Senator Brown will have plenty of opportunities to appear with President Obama - or avoid him - over the next 10 months.
Mr. Obama makes his first visit Wednesday to battleground Ohio of the 2012 campaign and his 16th since taking office nearly three years ago. The official White House visit will be at Shaker Heights High School near Cleveland.
Here's The Blade's online story about the presidential visit: