January 12, 2016

Ted Strickland, The Not-So-Friendly “Ghost”

As Ted Strickland fesses up to another disappointing fundraising quarter, his anemic cash flow is far from the only problem facing his senate candidacy.

A scathing column by The Toledo Blade’s Keith C. Burris is the latest drumbeat in what has become relentless criticism of Strickland’s refusal to debate – or even campaign. Burris, who once had a positive take on Strickland from during a past meeting, writes:

But since that meeting Mr. Strickland has been disappointing, to put it mildly. He has put on hardly any campaign at all. He has been largely invisible, both personally and on the issues.

The column concludes with this brutal summary of Strickland’s campaign strategy:

But this is a small-ball strategy. And it has hurt Mr. Strickland’s image AND his fund-raising. Again, a good fight makes you stronger. Hiding makes you look like a wimp.

If that sounds familiar to Ohio politicos, it should. Former Ohio House Majority Leader and longtime top legislative Democrat Tracy Maxwell Heard expressed nearly identical sentiments on WBNS’s “Face The State” program on Sunday, calling Strickland “a ghost” dodging debates and key issues:

MAXWELL HEARD: The conversation that we’re not having – there’s so much focus on Ted Strickland because he’s the former governor, but I’m not convinced that Ted Strickland will be the one who comes through the primary on the Democratic side, absolutely not. He’s been a ghost, he’s not been speaking to any of the issues, he’s refusing to debate. P.G. Sittenfeld is just blazing through the state and creating a great groundswell of support so I’m not certain that Ted Strickland will be the Democratic nominee.

Maxwell Heard went on to say she’d even consider endorsing Sittenfeld, citing Strickland’s poor performance as a candidate.

The headaches for Strickland aren’t all process-related, he’s also vulnerable on policy. As Hillary Clinton makes Bernie Sanders’ vote against the Brady Bill – a record he shares with Strickland – a top campaign issue, reporters are noting the implications for Strickland: