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    May 13, 2008

    Speaking of possible running mates…

    Posted by: Chris

    Tedstricklandfrances Among the names being floated as possible VP picks for Barack Obama is Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who offers several potential advantages:

    1. As a fervid Hillary Clinton supporter (he's even still insisting the race isn't over), he could help unite the party.
    2. He could deliver Ohio, among the key general election, swing states. He certainly proved the potency of his political machine in the state's primary.
    3. He's a moderate (even earning an "A" from the National Rifle Association).
    4. As a former congressman and now a governor, he offers some gravitas and experience of the type Dick Cheney provided for George W. Bush; though let's hope the analogy ends there.

    Strickland also has some rather far-fetched gay rumors trailing him. For one, he only married in his 40s, and despite being one of nine children has none of his own. During his campaign in 2006 to unseat Republican Gov. Ken Blackwell, right-wing talk show hosts honed in on a 1998 trip he took to Italy alone with his then-26-year-old campaign manager. It seems his traveling companion had been arrested several years earlier for exposing himself to a child.

    Never mind that there's no link whatsoever between homosexuality and sexual misconduct with children, or that the child in question was a nine-year-old girl. It's all damning evidence of sexual perversity for those who want to believe it.

    I doubt the rumors harm Strickland's chances of being picked by Obama; unlike, say, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist as a possible veep for John McCain. Strickland also kept a generally good record on gay issues as a congressman, though he didn't sign up as a co-sponsor for the Permanent Partners Immigration Act -- the pre-cursor to the Uniting American Families Act. Then again, neither has Obama, though he's on record supporting its passage.

    As governor, he signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, though he disappointed activists by exempting insurance and other benefits. He also appointed the state's first out lesbian judge.

    Even so, Strickland doesn't offer much in the way of foreign policy experience, something Obama could use on his ticket. I still say New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson would be far and away the best choice.

    (Photo of Frances and Ted Strickland via AP)



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    1. Tim C on May 13, 2008 12:28:01 PM:

      No. No no no. He's the best governor Ohio has had in a very long time and he needs to stay just where he is. Him running for Vice President would probably be enough for my parents to vote against whomever was heading the ticket. My husband and I met him when he was still my parents' Congressman and I was very impressed. But he needs to stay governor.

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