[UPDATE: 3:27 PM. -- Strickland wants the Iowa caucus scrapped. Ohio's governor tells the Columbus Dispatch that he's no fan of the Iowa caucus, nor the New Hampshire primary, either. He can't see why such important events on the road to the White House take place in those states -- both rural and really atypical of the national as a whole. "I'd like to see both parties say, 'We're going to bring this to an end.'" If word gets back to Iowa that Strickland has such a low opinion of its cherished status, will that damage Hillary? ]
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Rick Hines at HinesSight is deft at spotting political trends when they pop up in news stories. He sees Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's last-minute swing through Iowa with Sen. Hillary Clinton ahead of the crucial Jan. 3 caucuses as a likely Strickland audition for No. 2 if she nails down the nomination. Hines is giving the swing a major ride on his national political blog today. Clinton is scrambling in Iowa to maintain her stature as the leading Democratic contender; that she wants Strickland at her side is a signal she thinks he's an effective ally.
"Clinton and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland campaigned through vote-rich eastern Iowa this weekend. Some will see this as a try-out for the Vice-President spot on the ticket with Clinton having a popular governor from a key state by her side."