In a conference call that just ended, Hillary Clinton announced the endorsement of Ohio Governor Ted Strickland.
“The road to the White House goes through Ohio,” she said. “I am going to be very proud and grateful to have Governor Strickland travel it with me.”
In the call, Strickland said he had decided to endorse Clinton for three main reasons, which seemed partly designed to preempt some of the usual questions about Clinton’s presumed weaknesses.
“I consider her experienced, a strong leader,” he began, who can bring about the “change we so desperately need.”
He addressed the concerns about Clinton’s electability by saying “I believe she is the strongest candidate our party can put forth” and that she is “the person who can win the presidency. I know Ohio very well,” he added. “I think Sen. Clinton has a message that resonates, that will resonate with the people of our state.” The third reason for endorsing her, he said, was that “Senator Clinton, in the face of attacks, has remained resolute in putting forth a positive message, and I believe that is the kind of campaign that will have greatest appeal to Ohioans.”
When asked in a question-and-answer period about the criticism that Clinton’s name at the top of the ticket might hurt other Democrats running in state races, Strickland said “I would not be making this endorsement if I did not feel she was the strongest and best candidate to win.”
Clinton herself addressed the question of her electablility by saying that Democrats needed someone “who can win, who can run an effective and victorious campaign. To implement the policies that I care about and that Ted Strickland cares about, we have to take back the White House.”
Also, it may be worth noting that the Ohio reporters on the call asked repeatedly about the possibility that Strickland was angling to be Clinton’s vice presidential pick. Strickland, needless to say, denied it.