Adam Nagurney & Ian Urbina write a front-page New York Times piece on politics in Ohio, "the most contested political battleground in the nation." This is worth reading because while it wants to show the optimism (or hope) for the Dems, it ends up pointing to the unlikelyhood of any Democratic gains. Ohio is supposed to present the Dems with "their best opportunity this year," but then they have Sherrod Brown running against Sen. DeWine. The problem is that Brown is very liberal and he will define all the Dems in the state for November (even Strickland, who is slightly less liberal, will be defined by Brown). Note Brown’s comments near the end of the article where he is foreshadowing his campaign themes: gas prices, oil and pharmaceutical companies set policy under GOP rule, and then there is the loss of manufacturing jobs, not enough people have health care insurance, etc. Quite predictable stuff, and without rhetorical effect. This will not do. What the Dems are really counting on is that Blackwell will self-destruct; but he will not, and they will lose because they cannot understand Blackwell’s appeal. I look forward to Nagurney’s front page article in November trying to explain why the Dems lost. A Washington Post article notes that the Dems are "confident" of winning back the U.S. House, and are making plans, both on policy (first thing they would do is raise the minimum wage!) and investigations of the White House. I do hope Pelosi, et al, continue to emphasize the latter possibility (the "power to investigate," as Pelosi notes it) because that is in the GOP’s interest.