Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
On Friday, the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza listed Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland as the leading candidate in the Barack Obama veepstakes. Here's what he wrote:
Obama may not want to put Clinton on the ticket (see above), but he and his campaign know that the best way to unify the party behind him is to offer an obvious olive branch to her supporters. Strickland, who was elected governor of Ohio in 2006, accomplishes that task, as he was one of Clinton's most prominent backers during the primary season. Strickland is also extremely popular in his home state, hails from the conservative southeastern reaches of Ohio and has a deep religious background -- he was a Methodist minister -- that would help Democrats close the "God gap".
I was about to give you a third iteration of my "Strickland has the breadth of support but not the depth of support to bring Ohio" lecture, although I suspect that the horse I'm beating isn't moving and it isn't sleeping either.
But then something interesting happened. Here's what Strickland said on NPR, as reported by ABC News:
Asked on NPR's "All Things Considered" if he is auditioning to be Obama's running mate, Strickland said, "Absolutely not. If drafted I will not run, nominated I will not accept and if elected I will not serve.
So, I don't know how more crystal clear I can be."
So should we stop talking about Strickland as a potential running mate? Marc Ambinder seems to think so.
I'm not so sure. Does Strickland really know for sure how he would react if Obama put the question to him? Isn't it possible Strickland is simply sick of hearing the question or worried that the folks back home in Ohio are starting to think he's more interested in national politics than governing their state? Wouldn't this be a really easy pledge to break, without negative consequences?
If you hear a noise right now, it's probably an exasperated sigh from Ted Strickland.
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