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Clinton Campaigns with Ohio Governor

The Ohio governor steps forward for Clinton. (Getty Images).

By Peter Baker
CLINTON, Iowa -- Any presidential candidate likes to campaign with the governor by her side. But the governor at Hillary Rodham Clinton's side today was not Iowa's. It was Ohio's.

Subtle? Not even close. The message: Nominate me and I'll win next fall in Ohio, the state that cost Democrats the 2004 election. "Iowa may be the most important first state," Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland said here before introducing Clinton. "And Ohio may be the most important general election state."

Strickland's presence is Clinton's electability argument for the day as Iowa voters ponder whether she would be the Democrat best able to win a general election despite her high negative ratings in the polls. Strickland told the crowds in Iowa today that Clinton is leading Ohio polls. "I would not have endorsed her, in spite of all the respect I have for her, were it not for the fact that I am convinced she is the candidate who can win in November 2008," he said.

Taking questions from reporters at an earlier stop in Eldridge, Clinton said the support of so many elected Democrats across the country bolstered her argument. "They are not on a political suicide mission," she said. "They are professionals. They are assessing each and every one of us. And they are concluding, number one, I would be the best president and two, I am the Democrat most likely to be elected."

Here in a town with at least a friendly name, Clinton dismissed -- without naming them -- her main rivals, Sen. Barack Obama and former senator John Edwards, both of whom came through yesterday. She portrayed them both as people who had never really accomplished anything. "What really matters is: What have you done?" she said. "What have you done that has made a difference in people's lives other than your own?" she asked. "I'm not asking you to take me on faith. I'm not asking you to take a leap of faith."

She seemed to be mocking Obama in particular here when she sarcastically talked about how nice it would be to offer gauzy dreams and promise to bring everyone together and "feel so happy." She added, "I guess I've lived long enough and read enough of history, read the Bible, to know that's not the way things happen."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 29, 2007; 4:29 PM ET
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Here she goes again. Hillary is now distancing herself from the very man she brought up on stage to support her. Hillary is now saying that she disagrees with Strickland.

This is not the first time. Remember Bob Kerrey brought up on stage to slander Obama. Remember her campaign chair in South Carolina whom she fired. What gives. Given her track record with all these goofballs she should be happy that she has atleast 90-100 people showing up at her campaign stops.

Hillary lacks judgement when it comes to associating herself with others. She has too many sleezy guys associated with her who are all going to be given some cabinet job if sh gets elected. Her administration will go down in history as the most corrupt. Only if she ets elected.

Say No to Hillary.

Posted by: SteveBarker | December 31, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

So billetdoux, since I am not voting for Hilary and therefore a chauvinist, by your own logic you are a racist for not supporting Obama. Pretty wild leap you've taken there...

Hilary's proclamations of experience by proxy trouble me. Since when do we count our spouse's work experience as our own? Perhaps I should be putting my father's work as an electonics engineer on my resume since I was in the general vicinity during my formative years?

If Hilary somehow manages to win the nomination, she will do nothing more than polarize the opposition and turn the Democratic Hilary haters into one-time Republicans for the general election. When that happens, say hello to President Huckabee.

You're all better off supporting Obama or Edwards who will at least have a fighting chance against the Republicans next November.

Posted by: tommyeber | December 30, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is smart, capable, and qualified. She also starts out with very high negatives, deserved or not, and she has little chance to turn that around. This means that she is not the most electable Democrat. Remember: it is a state-by-state election.

I believe that the best indicator of how she will govern is how she (and her surrogates) campaign. Her campaign was first rate (her refusal to own her Iraq vote and the Kyl-Lieberman vote excepted) until the debate in Philadelphia.

Since then, her campaign FEELS more and more like Bush. Attack, attack, deflect, deny, obfuscate, attack, chuckle.

The Democratic field offers several better choices.

Posted by: besseta | December 30, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Clinton is by far qualified to serve but is America ready and willing to elect a woman as President? Is America ready and willing to elect a black man as President/Vice President? Or is America so full of anger, fear, and despair that making these decisions has become additional work. They are weary.

Posted by: lindafranke1952 | December 30, 2007 4:40 PM | Report abuse

P.P.S. The quote in the last paragraph is bizarre. ("I guess I've lived long enough and read enough of history, read the Bible, to know that's not the way things happen.") What exactly this has to do with the bible, I have no idea. Also, what are these great achievements that Hillary is always claiming? I mean, maybe she has some positive political achievements, but I've been following this campaign for awhile, and I still have only a vague sense of what these achievements actually are. I guess that she can take partial credit for lots of things that happened during her husband's administration, but it's not clear to me that such credit is well-deserved.

Posted by: jarmyta | December 30, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Obama has been an elected official for longer than Clinton has, by three years, so let's please not run the "experience" argument into the ground. For my money, being first lady is not a good qualification for being president, even though Hillary was a relatively proactive first lady. That leaves about seven years in the US Senate, which is really not all that impressive.

Posted by: jarmyta | December 30, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I lived in Ohio for about 5 years, and I've got to say that Hillary Clinton seems like a tough sell to me there. I don't know what poll it is that shows Hillary leading, and whom she's leading against, but I wouldn't put too much stock in it, with the general election still about 11 months away, and with people like Obama being relatively unknown there. Ohio is one of those states where a big chunk of the population became really hardened anti-democrats during or before the 1990's; thus I'll bet that Hillary has some impressively high disapproval ratings there. I wish I had that kind of poll at my fingertips right now, but without seeing one I'd guess that her "have a negative perception of" ratings in Ohio are in the high 40's range. Anyone got a link? I think that Obama's right when he says that he has a better chance of getting people to take a second look at the Democratic party, and I think that kind of second look is going to be necessary to carry a state like Ohio.

Posted by: jarmyta | December 30, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I am damn tired of Clinton-haters slandering Hillary for no justifiable reasons. What Clinton dynasty you are talking about? This is a democratic country for heaven's sake! Who cares if this is another Bush or Clinton as long as the one we elected is capable and able to lead this country to prosperity and dignity! I certainly have no trouble pointing out that the Bush Americans elected twice has been a disaster (gladly I did not vote for him in both times) and we can't afford to make the same mistake by choosing someone who has never been tested in times of crises and exposed to the complicated deal-makings in Washington politics. Let's not be naive as to believe a fresh-face candidate trumpeting the word "change" is going to bring real change to a world of intrigues and special interests. I strongly believe of all the candidates from both parties, only Hillary Clinton is in possession of the leadership, the experience, the integrity, the finesse and capability to lead this country from being a laughing butt to being respected again. The last 7 years have been a total failure both economically (the subprime mess,the Katrina debacle) and politically ( trampling on our Constitution in the name of national security, the politicizing of the Justice Department, inciting religious division among Americans just to name a few). Enough is enough. Hillary has my faith to fix all these and restore our trust in our government again.
Stop all your baseless and senseless attacks and focus on the real challenges this country faces!

Posted by: paintsnprints | December 30, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

NO more Clinton dynasty, McCain's Politics of Fear, Edward's Phony tactics and corrupted Health Industry.


Also its time to end 20 years of Clinton/Bush political


Hillary Clinton Voted for War on Iraq.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.

Hillary Clinton recently labelled Iran as a terrorist country.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.

Hillary Clinton supported Bush on aid to Pakistan for wrong reasons.
Barack Obama opposed this and he was right.



Posted by: jkojs | December 30, 2007 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Yes Hillary has strong points ... and with BILL by her side.. I can surely count on them taking good decisions for the country as they did in 90's ... as for Obama and Edwards... they need to do little hard work before we make them the Presidents... Obama you need to stop giving those "present" votes and start voting Yes or No on important issues so we can know more of you... you still have time to become president.. It Is HILLARY'S TIME.. she has worked so hard for this... give the women some credit and stop discrediting her..

Posted by: vimpy | December 30, 2007 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Does the Ohio governor has anything bad to say about Obama? Otherwise why is Hillary on the same stage with the governor? Hillary is very calculative. She might have given Strickland a page from Hillary's book titled "It takes a village to belittle Obama". We saw how Bob Kerrey read the page handed to him. Now it is Strickland's turn. Clinton is not electable, period. Regardless of which governor endorses her, Hillary does not have what it takes to be likable. She is the most disliked candidate running for the presidency in the history of this country. Does she expect us to endure another 4 (or 8) years of skirt chasing Bubba roaming the corridors of the white house? The Clintons are not presidential material anymore. They are also old news who will take this country back to the 90s.

Posted by: NancyBarker | December 30, 2007 12:23 AM | Report abuse

Many men don't like Hillary because they feel threatened by her and she causes them to question their own shortcomings. She's damned if she does, damned if she doesn't. But when all is said and done she's going to make history. I'm ashamed of my gender for being such chauvinist,jock strap Victorian-minded creeps. Not this mister, mister. She gets my vote!

Posted by: billetdoux | December 29, 2007 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I'm an Ohio resident, a registered Democrat and voted for Gov. Strickland...unfortunately. I've found that he is another typical, do-nothing politician.

His "recommendation" of a fellow do-nothing politician carries no weight with me and I sincerely hope it carries no weight with voters in Iowa and Ohio and the rest of the country.

We need someone in the White House and in any elected office who will set aside their own agenda and self-interests and work for The People...the ones who elected them in the first place. Now all we have to do is find that individual who's as rare as a unicorn but I don't hold out much hope that will happen in my lifetime.

Posted by: geneb19 | December 29, 2007 11:16 PM | Report abuse

When detractors use terms displaying not only enmity but ignorance (eg "Putanesque" [sic]) it suggests that only the misinformed and deliberately closedminded extremists are geared up to go after Clinton.

Posted by: xub40-40 | December 29, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Baker, thank you for a well-written objective article.

Posted by: ichief | December 29, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

If the Putanesque Clintons are returned to the white house and bill becomes an important member within the administration, will he once again have interns on his executive staff?

Posted by: rahaha | December 29, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

As a Ohioan, I can say Gov. Strickland's popularity is a great asset to Sen. Clinton's bid for the presidency. I took a chance on Gov. Strickland in 2006, and I'm really liking what I see from him. I trust his judgement - which is one of the reasons why I'm backing Sen. Clinton to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. Go Hillary!!

Posted by: jjc0213 | December 29, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

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