Yesterday, Governor Strickland appeared on 700WLM for a radio interview with hosts Eddie & Tracy.
While the 12 minute interview was, for the most part and thanks to the Governor, a new cure for insomnia, the last couple minutes woke me right back up.
As they were wrapping up the interview, the hosts told the Governor:
"You got a lot of work to do, man."
"This state is in a bit of disrepair."
"Jobs, Governor....This state needs a great deal of help right now."
First off, that is the exact kind of narrative that will lose the election for Ted Strickland on 11.2.10. As long as Ohioans believe the state is "in a bit of disrepair" and "needs a great deal of help right now", and radio hosts need to keep reminding the Governor how desperately Ohioans need jobs, the referendum on the incumbent that happens with every re-election campaign will not end well for Strickland.
But it was how defensive Strickland became in response to the narrative the hosts were encouraging that really piqued my interest. Rather than discuss ideas to fix the problems, he instead decided to deflect and try to convince the listeners that Ohio's problems aren't as bad as they are elsewhere.
Strickland first said, "Indiana is now cutting about $300 million out of education. We're not doing that in Ohio."
Which is an outright lie.
I've used this graphic before, but since the Governor doesn't even remember his own budget bill, apparently I need to remind him. Below is the line from the enacted budget highlighting the amount of state dollars Ohio is spending on education this year and next.
Ohio is cutting nearly $709 million dollars over the next two years and the Governor has the nerve to lie to 700WLW's listeners and say Ohio isn't cutting anything? Amazing.
Additionally, the Governor stated, "our unemployment rate is lower than Florida's and many, many other states."
Apparently in Ted Strickland's world, NINE is "many, many". Upon the last unemployment rate report, Ohio ranked 41st at %10.6.
Ultimately, these answers show the Governor just doesn't get it. Even if what Strickland said was the truth, those aren't the answers that will satisfy Ohioans. They don't care that things might be worse somewhere else. They're hurting and they want to hear that the leader they elected over three years ago is working towards finding solutions.
And Governor Strickland didn't give them any.