If you were to visit all 19,679 homes in an Ohio congressional district how many shoes do you think you would wear out? For Josh Mandel, it was three pairs. In 2006 when he ran and won a seat in the state legislature, he did just that.
Mandel is no stranger to completing a mission. In 2000 he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and graduated first in his class from boot camp. He served for eight years, including two tours in Iraq.
Following his two terms in the Ohio state legislature, Mandel ran for U.S. Treasurer and won. As Treasurer, the state got the highest ranking from Standard & Poor’s thanks to his management of the state’s investments.
After winning 63% of the vote in a Republican primary with five candidates, Mandel is now facing incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in the general election. According to the National Journal’s rankings, Sen. Brown is tied with eight others for the title of “most liberal Senator.” In March, Mandel said, "I am running for the United States Senate because no longer can I stomach the gridlock and partisanship in Washington that has bankrupted Social Security, bankrupted Medicare and caused one-half million jobs to leave Ohio in the past decade."
Mandel has been endorsed by Republican leaders across the country, including Gov. Chris Christie, Sen. Marco Rubio, and Sen. Rob Portman. Mandel’s leadership skills and commitment to free market principles are needed in U.S. Senate. November can’t come soon enough!
1. If there were a television channel that showed only one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
Full Metal Jacket. There was something special about those Marines who served in Vietnam. I appreciate them paving the way for young guys like myself.
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
That’s a tough one – I like a lot of movie quotes, especially inspirational ones. How about one from the locker room scene in Rudy – quoting George Gipp talking to Knute Rockne – saying “…some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper.”
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he was "cured." If you could give President Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make them watch?
Lots of good choices here, but one that comes to mind is the beginning of Full Metal Jacket. I know that I learned a lot about discipline in Marine Corps boot camp. I also know that most everyone in Washington lacks the discipline it takes to fix the country. Maybe some of R. Lee Ermey’s instruction would rub off on them!
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
I have a photo of me with Bernie Kosar when I was pee-wee football age. Bernie is a working class guy from a town called Boardman, near Youngstown. He worked his way up and became a hometown hero. I idolized him when I was young, and luck would have it that I would becomefriends with him as an adult.
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
My wife is a big fan of Mad Men. I admit that if I’m grazing by the TV and she’s watching it, I’ll stop and see what Don Draper is up to.
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
When I was a young kid my uncle bought me a Star Wars lightsaber and with him speeding down the freeway I’d wave the lightsaber in the air Luke Skywalker style.
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
When I was a kid my parents took me to Sha Na Na…
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
Yes, I’ve taken as much of their good advice as I had the good sense to do. One piece of good advice they told was as a kid was to always take the high road, because there is less traffic up there.
9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2012 what would they be?
For the Democrats, I’d say it would be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day. I’ve got a good song for the Republicans as well, but hardly anyone has probably heard of it unless you grew up in Cleveland. It’s called “This is My Town” by the Michael Stanley Band. It reminds me so much about the blue-collar hometown pride that we feel in Northeast Ohio. Some of the lyrics are “this town is my town…love or hate it, it don’t matter, ‘cause this is my town.”
10. What books are on your summer reading list?
I don’t get as much time to read for pleasure as I’d like, but I would like to read Sen. Jim DeMint’s book titled “Saving Freedom” and “Lone Survivor” by Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
11. You visited all 19,679 homes in your district when running for the state legislature in 2006. What's the oddest thing you encountered during that campaign?
You’re right – you see quite a bit in visiting that many homes. I represent a lot of ethnic communities around Cleveland, and I’ll never forget meeting a first-generation Italian lady in her garage, stirring the biggest pot of spaghetti sauce I have ever seen in my life. It was about the size of a 55 gallon drum, and she was stirring it with one of those big paddles you’d use on a rowboat. She looked like she was getting ready to feed a whole barracks of Marines. Unbelievable!
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
I was inspired to public service by my grandparents, and the moment I decided to run for office was in 2003 in Lyndhurst, Ohio. I listened to the people of my community talk about how they were tired of high taxes – that high property taxes were making it difficult for them to stay in their homes – and that they didn’t think their representatives were listening to them. It became very clear to me that the people we elect matter. Active representation makes a difference. I thought I could do that better than the folks who were in there, so I laced up my shoes and went to work and started knocking on doors.