Best Of 2002

Best Political Hope: Eric Fingerhut

Ohio elected a Jewish lawyer from Cleveland to the U.S. Senate once before -- Howard Metzenbaum, 1976 -- so there is precedent for Eric Fingerhut. Of course, back in Howard's day, the state Democratic Party hadn't yet vanished into a wormhole in space. After getting bounced from the U.S. House by the Gingrich Militia after one term, Fingerhut bucked up and won a seat in the Ohio Senate. There, he's done the admirable work of protecting the citizenry from the kooks who are driving the state toward Salina, Kansas, circa 1952. Fingerhut was smart to stay out of the governor's race and let Bob Taft's money bags fall on Tim Hagan. Should George Voinovich retire in 2004, the smart money's on E.F. to step up. And he wouldn't have to change his web address (