I almost missed this one: Last week, Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel appeared with Mitt Romney in Ohio’s coal country. In brief remarks before an audience of coal miners, the Ohio state treasurer and Jewish Iraq War vet accused President Obama and his Democratic opponent, Sen. Sherrod Brown, of waging a “war on coal.”
Mandel portrayed the coal industry as vital to America’s national security and the source of good jobs and affordable energy. He also struck a populist note, taking a swipe at New York and Hollywood.
“There’s a lot of radical organizations throughout this country funded from places like Hollywood and New York City, people who have never stepped foot in Appalachian Ohio," Mandel told the crowd. "They’re trying to convince the American people that coal is a liability. We understand that coal is an asset. Gov Romney understands that coal is an asset.”
Mandel also said: “For any of these folks trying to stand between us and affordable, reliable, dependable energy, we have four words for them: ‘Over our dead bodies.’"
Some observers suggested that Mandel affected a previously unheard Southern accent in the speech. (I couldn’t hear much of an accent except maybe at the very beginning of the speech, but I’m not so familiar with how Mandel usually sounds.)
Writing in The Huffington Post earlier this month, Democratic activist Mik Moore warned that rhetorical attacks from the right on Hollywood and New York alienate Jewish voters from the Republican Party. He wrote:
Attacks on "coastal elites" or "Hollywood and New York" are heard by many Jews as attacks on us. Most Jews live in these cities and on the coasts, and many of us work in the professions (or support the organizations) so casually demonized by Tea Partiers.
Of course, in this case, Moore’s thesis is complicated by the fact that the attack was launched by a Jewish candidate.