Columbus, OH — This past year, we’ve witnessed plenty of clownery from the Republican U.S. Senate candidates as their primary has “descended into meanness and pettiness and just plain craziness unlike anything ever seen in Ohio Republican politics.” We wanted to take a moment to commemorate how the event has become a “reputation-ruining event for the ages” with awards these out-of-touch millionaires deserve.
The Republican primary for U.S. Senate has been called Ohio’s ugliest primary ever, the “clown olympics,” and “crazy pants.” As the candidates find new ways to sink lower and lower, we want to relive the moments this past year that remind us just how nasty, chaotic, and expensive the Ohio GOP Senate primary has become.
Taylor Swift says, “you play stupid games, you win stupid prizes” and we’re here today to hand out stupid prizes to commemorate just how much of a dumpster fire the GOP Senate primary has been this past year. Without any further ado *drumroll commences*, the Ohio Democratic Party Clown Awards go to…
Most Cringe: Jane Timken saying, “It’s Timken Time!”
Timken really thought she was doing something with this alliteration. At the latest traveling clown show debate, Timken said (at the 21-minute mark), “It’s time to stand up and fight back… it’s Timken Time.” And based on the poll her campaign released this month, showing she had lost ground from the internal poll her campaign released in June, where did Timken Time go? Like most Timken things, our best guess is overseas to China.
Most Ambition: Josh Mandel
Do we really need to explain this one?
Most Embarrassing: Everyone’s Twitter Account
In an effort to be the most Trumpian, the out-of-touch millionaires have taken to saying the most outrageous things on every social media platform in order to please a Florida man. It’s not actually who any of them are, it’s all an act. It’s embarrassing that instead of focusing on Ohio, all of the candidates are pleading through soundbites online for the approval of a Florida man. This award was really a team effort, congratulations to all the clowns!
Biggest Coward: Jane Timken
Jane Timken called Anthony Gonzalez’s decision to impeach Trump “rational” after he incited a riot that tried to overturn the results of the election. Through a spokesperson, Timken refused to say if she still supported President Trump. But my, how times change when your political ambition is top of mind. Timken completely abandoned this position in order to be competitive in this primary and has morphed her political persona to saying “America First” as many times as possible in her stump speech. The Biggest Coward Award is well-deserved, Jane Timken.
Biggest Flip-Flop: J.D. Vance
J.D. Vance went from calling Trump “reprehensible” and an “idiot” to now sucking up to the former president. The other GOP Senate candidates haven’t let him forget it, with Mandel allies and Gibbons’ campaign running ads totaling millions of dollars reminding Ohioans of Vance’s anti-Trump past. Vance has bragged about his 180, even calling himself a “flip-flop flipper.” By Vance’s own admission, he really earned this award.
Biggest Consulting Windfall: Mike Gibbons
Huge congratulations are in order for all of the TV consultants who work for Mike Gibbons, they’ve had a heckuva year. They convinced a multi-millionaire to pledge to launch a $10 million ad campaign that has gotten him to 11.9 percent in this primary. No one is merrier this holiday season than the consultants who have stuffed their pockets with Mike Gibbons’ money. Congratulations on winning Biggest Consulting Windfall, you deserve it!
Peter Thiel Puppet Award: J.D. Vance
Thiel donated $10 million to a super PAC supporting his campaign and then Vance parroted Peter Thiel’s attacks against one of Peter Thiel’s competitors in Silicon Valley. It’s pathetic to watch Vance jump however high an out-of-state Big Tech billionaire tells him to, but much like his Trump about-face, it’s clear Vance will grovel to out-of-staters in order to advance his political career. Ohioans don’t need a Peter Thiel puppet in the Senate, but Silicon Valley Vance is sure trying to keep his and Peter Thiel’s dream alive.
Biggest Grifter: J.D. Vance’s Sham Opioid Non-Profit
Writing a New York Times op-ed about how you plan to do good for your home state and then spending most of the money meant to help Ohioans struggling with opioid addiction on your political cronies is a big grift. But for Vance, it’s behavior he learned from the best during his time in D.C. and San Francisco! It should be clear to everyone now that Vance was using this opioid non-profit to build goodwill while padding his political cronies’ pockets in order to set himself up for a future run for public office. It’s inspiring to watch Silicon Valley Vance use whatever cause he thinks will benefit his ambition and for that, Biggest Grift has Vance’s name all over it.
Most Extreme: Josh Mandel
No candidate has gone further in perpetuating the Big Lie than Josh Mandel, going so far as to meet with January 6 rallygoers and lie about the 2020 presidential election being stolen. It’s a dangerous game Josh Mandel is willing to play in order to advance his political career. Josh Mandel is the Most Extreme in this primary, and we take no pleasure in giving him this distinction.
Biggest Fraud: It’s A Tie!
Every single one of the out-of-touch millionaires has had to create a new political persona in order to chase Trump’s endorsement and be competitive in this out-of-control primary. This crowded primary is a bunch of phonies calling each other phonies for being phony. Everyone’s a fraud for participating in this primary, congratulations!
Biggest Who?: Bernardo Moreno
Biggest Why?: Matt Dolan
Why get in this field of clowns in the first place?
Creepiest Everyman Attempt: Josh Mandel
Josh Mandel’s bit of greeting restaurant workers, which became a regular occurrence after his tweet thanking a server showing up to work sick during a global pandemic, features Mandel trying to appear like a human being. It’s awkward to watch Josh Mandel try and relate to people who actually show up to work, but he’ll do or say anything to remind people he’s not a robot. Congratulations Josh, you’ve really had to work hard for this.
People’s Choice: Mark Pukita
Mark Pukita has gone above and beyond to pander to the worst elements of this primary. He’s bragged about being unvaccinated to loud applause at forums. It’s clear he’s the People’s Choice in another example of just how crazy this primary has become.
Class Clown: Josh Mandel
Clumsily burning a mask, fighting over civil rights with Martin Luther King Jr.’s family, and feuding with the Anti-Defamation League all for attention. Josh Mandel brings his clown face paint to every fight he gets into and has certainly earned this distinction.
Messiest Senate Primary: The GOP Ohio Senate Primary
Need we say more?
Now that we have named our winners and taken a look back, do not congratulate all of the winners of this year’s Ohio Democratic Party Clown Awards if you see them. It’s clear that no matter who wins this primary, Ohioans will be the biggest loser if any of these clowns make it to the U.S. Senate.