Pros and Cons: Ted Strickland as Barack Obama’s Running Mate

May 28 2008 Published by under Featured News

In this edition of Pros and Cons we take a look at one Hillary Clinton supporter who might be a very logical choice to be Barack Obama’s running mate, Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH).

Resume: Ted Strickland is the current governor of Ohio, but prior to being elected in 2006, he served six terms in House of Representatives representing Ohio’s sixth district. Before winning his House seat, Strickland had run for the same seat, and lost in 1976, 1978, and 1980. Strickland won his seat in 1992, but lost in 1994, then regained it in 1996. Strickland has a doctorate in psychology, and a Masters from Asbury Theological Seminary. In the private sector, he has worked as a counseling psychologist, an administrator at a Methodist children’s home, and a psychology professor.

Pros for picking Strickland: He is a very popular governor from a critical swing state. Strickland’s approval numbers have taken a bit of a hit due to the economic downturn in Ohio. He has enjoyed approval ratings as high as 61%, and he currently sits at 54%. His disapproval ratings have been as low as 15% and as high as 39%. A look inside his approval rating for April reveals that he has a 57% approval rating with white voters. He is popular with voters over age 50 (61%) and voters over age 65 (68%). These are both groups that Obama has consistently struggled to court.

When he ran for governor, Strickland was publicly endorsed by 340 Republicans. In April he also had a 61% approval rating with gun owners in his state. Strickland has made bringing jobs to the state’s coal and energy industries, along with education and healthcare the top priorities on his agenda. Strickland is a conservative Democrat who could appeal to the Clinton Democrats, and help not only in Ohio, but in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky too.

Cons to picking Strickland: Strickland has only served as governor for almost a year and a half. His executive experience is extremely limited. The 66 year old Strickland may not be the kind of running mate that signals change to voters. It is uncertain whether or not Strickland even wants to be VP. He may be content to finish up his political career by serving two terms as governor. He probably would not help Obama in the South or West. He would be a choice that was meant to appeal solely to blue collar Democrats.

Odds of Obama selecting Strickland: Out of all of the Hillary Clinton supporters that get mentioned as potential running mates for Barack Obama, Strickland is the only one besides Clinton herself that deserves a long look. He probably would swing Ohio to Obama, and he might provide a nice counterbalance to Obama’s young, urban, liberal, appeal. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t rule out Strickland’s name being on Obama’s short list.

The Choice-O-Meter Says: (1 O = No Chance – 10 Os = A Sure Thing)
OOOOO (5 out of 10 for Ted Strickland)

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