Not long into Jennifer Brady's
campaign for the Ohio House, as she struggled connecting with some West Side laborers, someone pointed out that could be at home watching Oprah
. If life were an Aaron Sorkin drama, Brady would launched into a soliloquy about our great land's democracy. Instead, she thought to herself, Yeah, I could be sitting at home watching Oprah!
Deep down, Brady, a professional mother of three boys in Rocky River, had to think that she soon would be at home with Oprah, or at least shuttling one of the kids to practice. After all, she's a Southern-born, Jon Stewart-quoting Democrat in a district that includes Rocky River, Westlake, and North Olmsted, which has voted Republican for 30 years. Plus, Secretary of State Uncle Tom Blackwell, in one of his final acts before he returns to a life of anonymous gay-bashing, was trying desperately to keep Brady off the ballot. "I was a long shot," she says. "I was the underdog."
But she pulled off the upset. Brady's lawyers battled Blackwell's until Election Day, keeping her name on the ballot. Meanwhile, voters in her district were either really tired of Repulicans, or really, really drunk. Now Brady's leaving the kids at home and heading to Columbus to hang out with guys with bad hair. Apparently she, too, is really, really drunk.
"It's payback," says Brady, who credits good government — Social Security and government student loans -- with helping her escape the poverty of her native Tennesee. "I have a nice life now, but I didn't earlier."
Personally, we would've stuck with Oprah. — Joe P. Tone