Former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose wife beats any Republican for the White House should she be the party’s nominee in 2016, endorsed Ted Strickland for the U.S. Senate Tuesday.

“Ted Strickland offers a unique blend of qualities we need more of in Washington today: a proven record of service to hard working Ohioans, energy, determination and idealism,” President Clinton said today in prepared remarks. “He knows how to reach across the aisle to find common ground and when Ohioans need him to stand his ground. No one will care more, know more, and work harder for better opportunities for every Ohioan than Ted. I’m proud to support him.”

Former Ohio Governor Strickland, who lost a close race in 2010, responded with his own statement of appreciation. “I am profoundly grateful to have the support of President Bill Clinton,” Strickland said. “He has a long and distinguished record of standing up for the middle class and creating opportunity for working Americans.”

Mr. Strickland said support by the former president, on whose watch the federal budget was balanced and 23 million jobs were created, “only underscores what my campaign is about: protecting the American Dream for middle class Americans.”

Ted Strickland brought his A game with him last Friday night when he roused an excited crowd of about 850 Democratic Party loyalists who gathered in downtown Columbus to hear him and other candidates talk about their plans for winning in 2016 and how the Ohio Democratic Party will help achieve their collective goals.