Sunday, Aug 19, 2018
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Bill O'Neill is too tone deaf to be governor


Ohio Supreme Court Justice William M. O'Neill

Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch Enlarge

If there was still a question — and there should not have been from Day 1 of his candidacy — as to whether Bill O’Neill ought to continue serving on the Ohio Supreme Court while running for governor, he supplied a definitive answer last week.

BEHIND THE EDITORIAL: Sexual misconduct cases continue to plague politics

He did so with an embarrassing Facebook post on Friday that showed a lack of judgment, a lack of sensitivity to women, and a lack of appreciation for this moment in history.

Initially, he wan’t astute enough to be embarrassed. (He said we ought to “lighten up.”) Everyone else in Ohio had to be embarrassed for him. 

In the post, Mr. O’Neill boasted of having been sexually intimate in the last 50 years with “50 very attractive females.” He claimed to be a poster boy for heterosexual males. He said he was getting out front on the sexual harassment story to save his enemies research time. He ended his post by saying he was “so disappointed by this national feeding frenzy about sexual indiscretions from decades ago.”

This guy is a jurist on the state’s highest court? And he wants to run the state government?

Assault, Mr. O’Neill, is not an indiscretion.

Eventually, the justice apologized — twice. Mr. O’Neill said his original intention was to speak out against the rising chorus of people calling  for the resignation of Sen. Al Franken (D., Minn.), who  is accused of forcibly kissing and groping a radio news anchor in 2006. But by trivializing Mr. Franken’s actions, Mr. O’Neill denigrated Mr. Franken’s accuser and dozens of other women who have spoken out about past sexual harassment in recent days.

It is astounding that the only Democratic state office holder could be so oblivious. It is incredible that he would respond to the events, revelations, and discussions of recent days with an announcement of the number of notches he has on his belt of sexual conquests. 

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Who would do that? 

Only a doofus, who is miscast as a jurist of a high court and would clearly be miscast as a governor. For both jobs you need sound judgment. William O’Neill has shown he hasn’t got that. He’s a poster boy, all right, but a poster boy  for someone who “just doesn’t get it.”

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