Friday, January 30, 2015

Can Hillary Clinton and Ted Strickland help Ohio Democrats in Appalachia next year?

There are two schools of thought on Ted Strickland.

The first includes a fair number of Strickland's fellow Democrats who view the former Ohio governor as yesterday's news. Beneath the youthful glow and new fashion frames they see an aging and flawed candidate should he run for U.S. Senate.

The other is composed of Strickland's still-formidable cheering section. These strategists and activists remember him as the state party's last box-office hit and believe he's their best chance at unseating Republican incumbent Rob Portman in 2016.

To this second crowd, Strickland, 73, remains "Ted" – the folksy populist from Appalachia who can win in the red and purple counties that ring the Ohio River. He's the one who, when complemented with Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket, can win back the white working-class voters who flocked to John McCain and Mitt Romney.

So how real is the legend of Ted?

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