Politics & Policy

Strickland Rally: Enthusiasm Runs High, but Message is Schizophrenic

This afternoon at 4:30 p.m., Ted Strickland’s campaign hosted a rally at the Columbus State House including speeches by Strickland, his running mate Yvette McGee Brown, Rep. Tim Ryan and, as a big name, Obama Campaign manager David Plouffe. Battle ‘10 was also on-hand to watch, and thankfully, your faithful reporter was able to escape without having coffee thrown down his back.

The overwhelming feeling at the rally was a feeling of triumphalism — triumphalism of the mindless brand. As Third Base Politics’ Jon Keeling points out, most of the crowd were either staffers or union volunteers. I was wearing a blue blazer, khakis and a Brooks Brothers shirt and I didn’t stick out one bit — everyone looked like they’d literally just walked out of work (and judging by the statehouse location, they probably did).

Yvette Brown, Ted Strickland’s running mate, should really be the top of the ticket. She was by far the best speaker at the event, and fired the crowd up with a positive, passionate delivery and message. Ted Strickland, meanwhile, might as well have been talking in ALL CAPS; his entire delivery was shouted. It seems Strickland, after a dalliance talking about his own record, is uninterested in doing anything besides bashing John Kasich for his “Wall Street values.” You can smell the envy from here.

I’m not going to try to explain the Democrats’ surge in the polls with Strickland, but it is worth noting that Kasich’s got some popularity issues to work out with his base — his name was barely mentioned at the Tea Party I attended on Sunday, and his general media outreach in northwestern Ohio, his stronghold, has been pretty shoddy.

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