My article on Josh Mandel, a Republican who is running for the Senate in Ohio, is in the new issue of National Review. Read it hereabouts.
Mandel is 34 — and as state treasurer, he is one of Ohio’s senior Republican officeholders. He just doesn’t look it. About an hour earlier, as he canvassed a neighborhood in the Cleveland suburb of Rocky River, he introduced himself to Crista Moeller as she watched kids run around her backyard. “Do you get carded all the time?” she asked, with a smile. Mandel, experienced at this kind of banter, gave one of his stock replies: “By the time I’m 35, I hope to be shaving.”
He also hopes to be a U.S. senator. Mandel is running against first-term Democrat Sherrod Brown in what promises to be one of the most watched Senate races of 2012 — a contest that may determine which party controls the chamber. …
When Mandel talks about why he’s running, he speaks of his campaign as an obligation: “I’ve never been one to say no to answering the call, whether it was to serve my community as a city councilman, serve my state as a legislator, or serve my country as a Marine.” He’s going to find himself using this line a lot. Despite his boyish appearance, Mandel has engaged in the manliest of activities: military service. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve right out of college. Then came two tours in Iraq, first along the border with Syria in 2004 and three years later as a part of the surge.