Outgoing Gov. Ted Strickland says he hasn't yet decided whether he'll continue a recent tradition for Ohio governors.Oh you silly, silly, Governor. The LEFT! Ha! Still partisan 'til the last. Soooo funny.
Starting with George V. Voinovich and continuing with Nancy Putnam Hollister and Bob Taft, Strickland's Republican predecessors have carved their names into the bottom of the top right-hand drawer of the 150-year-old desk in the governor's Statehouse office.
Strickland, a Democrat who leaves office Sunday, said last month that he hasn't decided whether he'll follow suit.
"It's on the right-hand side of the desk, so if I were to do it, I'd probably move over to the left-hand side," he quipped.
No. Not really.
One of my favorite memories while living here in DC was sitting at the desk in the ceremonial office of the Vice President. The individual I was with told me to pull out one of the drawers of the desk. There before me were carved signatures of Vice Presidents going back to the 1940s. Republicans and Democrats alike. As one.
During the campaign, Ted Strickland said he "believed in Ohio". Not a left-wing Ohio, but Ohio. As one.
Voinovich began his tradition with the same idea - that Ohio's Governors will carve their names in the desk. Not Republican Governors. All Governors. As one.
Being Governor is about leading Ohio. It's not about just leading those that agree with you.
Strickland's quip, however insignificant it may seem, says a lot about the guy.
For him, being Governor was about getting re-elected. He was a partisan to the last.
And I don't mind if he doesn't sign the desk.
Why? Because it will be like he never existed.
Ted Strickland was Ohio's absent landlord.
When the state needed leadership and bold choices, he hid behind that old desk in hopes the bad stuff would go away.
Fortunately for Ohioans, that's about to change.
UPDATE: Strickland etched his name into the leftside drawer, thereby permanently ruining a state treasure.
We are one Ohio, Governor Strickland. Your effort to turn this historic desk into yet another symbol of partisan hackery is another example of the shameful way you have left office.