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Strickland Bad Choice for Party

Source: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

It should come as no surprise that Ohio's Democrat Party leaders have endorsed former Gov. Ted Strickland as nominee for a U.S. Senate seat - without bothering to consider whether that may be the choice of Democrat voters.

But what is surprising is that the party machine believes Buckeye State residents have forgotten the mess Strickland created while governor.

On Saturday, party leaders endorsed Strickland in the Senate race next year against incumbent Republican Rob Portman. The endorsement came despite the fact the primary election is months away.

Another Democrat, Cincinnati city Councilman P.G. Sittenfield, already has announced he is running for the Senate. During the coming months, other Democrats may decide voters ought to have options other than Strickland.

But party leaders have made up their minds. Clearly, they would rather any other Democrat candidates just go away so they can get on with promoting Strickland for the Senate.

That will not be an easy task in a race against Portman, who has served Ohioans and the nation well in the Senate.

Any attempt to make Strickland appealing will have to rest on the hope that Ohio voters have short memories.

But many recall he left office having helped create an $8 billion state budget gap - after insisting Ohio had no fiscal worries.

Too many also recall Strickland's unequivocal support for President Barack Obama's policies, including those aimed at destroying the coal industry and with it, the reasonably priced electricity on which so many Ohioans rely.

Last fall, voters throughout the country turned their backs on members of Congress who had the attitude that their party's president came first, with their constituents a distant second. Democrat leaders in Ohio do not seem to have gotten the memo on that.

Most voters understand Portman has served them well. Strickland did not.