Bernie Moreno, the luxury car dealer, blockchain evangelist and erstwhile member of the MetroHealth Board of Trustees, has formally announced his bid to claim Rob Portman's seat in the United States Senate. Moreno, 54, is a Republican and first-time candidate who intends to run as an outsider and successful businessman in the mold of Donald Trump.
In a campaign video Tuesday, Moreno said that no candidate would fight harder against the rising tide of socialism in the U.S., as personified, in his conception, by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, and universities like Oberlinthat are weaponizing cancel culture to silence conservatives.
Moreno said he won't take money from corporate political action committees and will "crack down" on China to strengthen American companies. In general, he said he wants to preserve the democratic ideals his family sought when they boarded a plane to America from Colombia when he was a boy. Moreno's voiceover in the video is often set to shadowy footage of Confederate monuments being toppled and windows being broken and "SOCIALISM" lurking around every corner. Bernie Sanders and AOC are lineal descendants, evidently, of official bad guys Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.
Moreno's early campaign slogan, "Buckle Up," pays homage to his career in the automotive industry.
Moreno joins a crowded field of Trump-groveling psychos, including Moreno's former pal Josh Mandel, on whose harrowing soullessness Scene lately weighed in. As state treasurer, Mandel helped create a "crypto tax portal" so Ohio businesses could make tax payments via cryptocurrencies. That was a legislative adventure presumably accoutered by Moreno himself, who was one of the portal's only users before it was suspended after less than a year.
Mandel has repeatedly debased himself to curry favor with Donald Trump and recently made headlines for intentionally provoking Twitter into suspending him so he could score points with a version of the same constituency Moreno is targeting with his cancel culture theatrics. Moreno's only appeal to Donald Trump himself, as reported in a Politico story about a Mar-a-Lago backroom meeting among Ohio senate hopefuls, was noting that his daughter worked for Trump's campaign. (It is unknown if Moreno also mentioned that his daughter founded a dating website for Donald Trump supporters, Donald Daters, which leaked its entire database of users on the day it launched.)
Former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken is also running for the senate seat on the Republican side. Businessman Mike Gibbons and Yale-educated eugenicist J.D. Vance wait in the wings.
Moreno will no doubt appeal to the small-government chamber of commerce types, and will try to expand his natural affinities via cancel culture rhetoric. Moreno surely feels like a victim of cancel culture himself. His resignation from the MetroHealth board, which he claimed was so he could weigh his political future, may have been directly or indirectly encouraged by MetroHealth leadership, including his close friend Akram Boutros, after Moreno's much publicized Covid-19 hot takes on social media. Moreno has claimed that he was never a skeptic of Covid itself, but rather a skeptic of government lockdowns in response to the pandemic.
A move into politics is a sharp departure for the Westlake resident and Mercedes-Benz of North Olmsted pater familias, who once claimed to Scene that he could never be a politician because he lacked the proper temperament. A "worrying political climate" has changed his mind.
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Sam Allard is the Senior Writer at Scene, in which capacity he covers politics and power and writes about movies when time permits. He's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and the NEOMFA at Cleveland State. Prior to joining Scene, he was encamped in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on an...