It’s not often that you see a political expert giving a point on television.
That rare occurrence happened Monday night on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show when he admitted that Cincinnati is a Democrat-enhanced city.
Carlson debated former State Department official, attorney and Democrat David Tafuri on President Joe Biden’s policies in the Middle East. The argument led to criticism of warring American cities.
Carlson asked Tafuri to name a city where Democrats in the United States have improved. Tafuri did not hesitate.
“My hometown of Cincinnati. It is run by Democrats,” Tafuri offered.
Carlson’s voice grew lighter.
“Huh, it’s a pretty nice city I have to say,” he said. “OK. I’ll give you Cincinnati. I can’t think of any other, I have to be honest. No, you’re absolutely right, it’s a beautiful city.”
But Carlson didn’t give the Democrats credit by adding, “It’s not a very left-wing town.”
Mayor John Cranley praised the “Cincinnati Miracle” in his State of the City address of 2019. The population has fallen to over 300,000, according to estimates from the census.
“Cincinnati is on the rise and doing better than ever in my life,” Cranley said in 2019. “Instead of bleeding jobs and people, we’re adding more jobs and people.”
Cincinnati’s city elections are officially impartial. But the three mayors elected since the direct mayor elections began in 2001 have all been Democrats: Charlie Luken, Mark Mallory, and Cranley.
Tafuri, 51, a 1988 graduate of Sycamore High School, said he was initially surprised that Carlson agreed with him. A frequent guest on Carlson’s show, Tafuri told The Enquirer that this doesn’t happen often.
“He didn’t argue with me about it and he argued with me about every other point on his show,” said Tafuri.
On the other hand, Tafuri said he met people around the world who consider Cincinnati a gem. Tafuri has worked as a lawyer around the world and is currently focused on legal work in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Latin America, according to his LinkedIn page.
From 2006 to 2007 he worked in the US Embassy in Baghdad for the State Department.
His hometown has only gotten better since growing up in Montgomery as a teenager, he said.
“When I grew up in Cincinnati, downtown Cincinnati was a 9-5 city,” Tafuri said. “There wasn’t much going on in the city center. Not many people lived there. Now it’s a much busier and livelier city.”
One of Tafuri’s longtime friends, former Ohio Democratic chairman and former Cincinnati councilor David Pepper, said he wasn’t surprised by Tafuri’s pride in Queen City.
“He’s gone all over the world and done amazing things,” Pepper said of Tafuri. “Like many Cincinnati people, he has a Cincinnati native up his sleeve.”
He was surprised that Carlson agreed.
“If we can get people together, good work Cincinnati,” Pepper said.
Hamilton County’s GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou laughed when he saw the Tafuri-Carlson exchange on Monday. He’s proud of Cincinnati, but it’s not because of what the Democrats did.
“As a fan of Cincinnati, I’m delighted that the city is getting good press,” said Triantafilou. “But I think we could do better. A third of the council has been charged. We have expenses that are out of control.”