Back in the Sixties and the Seventies there was a four term Ohio governor named Jim Rhodes who campaigned on the platform of "Jobs and Progress". Although he had been mayor of Columbus and State Auditor before becoming Governor, he grew up in Southeastern Ohio. One of the ideas that he promoted was that there should be a college or university within 30 miles of every person in Ohio.
Now, 26 years after Rhodes left office, Governor Ted Strickland is advocating similar ideas. During his State of the State address, Governor Strickland called for using a bond package to try and revitalize Ohio's economy. State Representative Bill Batchelder, (R-Medina County), told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he heard more Jim Rhodes from Strickland during the State of the State address than he had since Rhodes died.
Batchelder told the PD reporter that he thought the similarities came from both men growing up poor and both men coming from Southeast Ohio. This is how Batchelder put it to the PD:
"I think he knows more down here," said the veteran lawmaker of Strickland, motioning to his gut. "I think he has a real sense of the public just like Jim did. What they feel and what their aspirations are. I think it comes from growing up without much and coming from down there."
Those of us who are Ohio Democrats and remember the fact that Rhodes beat us in four elections find the comparasion interesting. Ohio Dems could do far worse, and have, than nominating and electing a Democratic version of Jim Rhodes.