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Strickland said all the right things in address

During his fourth, and perhaps last, State of the State address, Gov. Ted Strickland focused on topics most Ohioans care about these days: jobs and the economy. It was the right move considering nearly 185,000 people in the state lost their jobs last year.

But it was also the right move politically.

Strickland is suffering in recent polls. He will have to have everything roll his way this year to retain the governor’s job in November.

By setting optimistic but realistic goals in his speech, Strickland set the bar at an appropriate level.

His challenge, of course, will be to accomplish much of anything this year with a Legislature that appears reluctant to compromise.

An example of that unfolded just last month, when the Senate initially balked at Strickland’s plan to delay a planned income tax cut in order to patch an $851 million budget hole. …

The election is still 10 months away, but polls indicate Strickland and John Kasich, the Republican challenger, are already in a dead heat.

… If Strickland is somehow able to right the ship and build a foundation for future job growth, he should still be at the helm of the state this time next year.

If he can’t, it’ll be someone else’s turn to move heaven and earth.

The (Findlay) Courier, Jan. 28