Top Democrats ponder DNC chief

March 16, 2011 at 5:27 PM
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ARLINGTON, Va., March 16 (UPI) -- Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland is a top prospect to head the Democratic National Committee should the current chief step down, party leaders say.

Two unnamed but prominent Democrats said Strickland is being eyed as a strong contender to replace former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as DNC chairman, should Kaine run for the Senate seat now held by Jim Webb, D-Va., who has said he won't seek re-election in 2012, Politico reported.

"He definitely wants to stay involved," said one Democrat familiar with his thinking. "The fight is still in him."

Strickland is viewed as a strong candidate for the job because of the variety of attributes that would be important to President Barack Obama's re-election efforts, Politico said Tuesday.

He comes from a hugely important swing state, has raised millions during two gubernatorial runs and 12 years in Congress, and appears comfortable in front of the camera.

Strickland, one of nine children born to a steelworker father, is a pro-gun, pro-abortion-rights psychologist with a master of divinity degree. Top Democrats view him as somebody who could stump in any region of the country, with particular strength in the Midwest and parts of the South because of his roots in Appalachian Ohio, Politico said.

"I didn't learn my values from Wall Street," Strickland said during the campaign about a rival who once worked for Lehman Brothers. "I didn't learn my values from a bankrupt investment bank. I didn't learn my values from modern-day robber barons. I learned my values on a little dirt road in southern Ohio called Duck Run."

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