Today Ohio Governor John Kasich gave the State of the State speech. He broke with years of precedent and gave the address at a school in Steubenville, Ohio.
Amazingly, Kasich got ripped for deciding to give the speech away from Columbus. Some groups said it was a waste of time and money. One liberal “think tank,” ProgressOhio, criticized him for “breaking 200 years of tradition and running away to a small venue in hopes that no one will make the effort to travel there.”
ProgressOhio’s status as a “think tank” must be self-proclaimed, because there clearly wasn’t much thought given to their knee-jerk opposition to Kasich’s decision to take the State of the State speech on the road. Since when does ProgressOhio care about “200 years of tradition”? There’s nothing magical about having the State of the State speech in Columbus. If you asked most Ohioans about the issue, they wouldn’t care where the speech is delivered — or even whether it is given at all.
Steubenville is one of many Ohio cities that has struggled in the past few decades. Why not give Steubenville some time in the limelight? Why not do something simple that brings visitors to town, causes them to spend some money at local restaurants and businesses, and focuses some attention on the Steubenville story?
I thought Kasich’s decision to give his speech in Steubenville was a small, but inspired, action on his part. The reflexive opposition of ProgressOhio and similar groups, on the other hand, reflects nothing but the tiresome partisan politics as usual that most of us have grown to despise.