As some Democrats balk at campaigning with President Obama, an Ohio Republican offered praise for the commander in chief's ability to inspire his party.

"There is no better campaigner — or motivator for national Democrats — than President Obama," Senate candidate Rob Portman (R) wrote in a fundraising pitch to supporters Wednesday. "National Democrats will open their checkbooks to help my opponent this fall. And that presents us with a challenge." He asked for donations of $25 or more.

"It is clear that Ohio is a 'crown jewel' for Democrats," he added. "If the Democrats win in Ohio in 2010, they will use it as a platform for the presidential race in November of 2012."

Portman faces Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D) for the open Senate seat in November.

Fisher is expected to join Obama during his stop in Clintonville for a speech on the economy Wednesday. The president then heads to the Columbus Athenaeum for a fundraiser benefiting Gov. Ted Strickland's (D) campaign and the Ohio Democratic Party.