As you probably heard, earlier this week Governor John Kasich gave what was supposed to be a very serious update on how Ohio has fared over the last year, what your front-of-the-classroom-social-studies-types might know as a State of the State speech. Pretty important, right? Time-honored? Yup. Fully-dressed in ceremony and pomp? Absolutely.
As you also probably heard, Kasich diverted from the traditional script last week when planning this year's speech. Instead of giving the address in Columbus, he shuffled off to Steubenville. Strange? Sure is, but we'll give him props for trying something new.
What you can't really forgive the top man on the state executive branch is treating the speech like it ain't no thang. Then you end up with the millions-plus daily clickers at a web site like the Huffington Post waking up to a headline like this: "John Kasich Parkinson's Imitation Marks Ad Hoc Speech That Veered Off The Rails."
Instead of writing out and practicing his remarks, Kasich shot from the hip, freestyling a 70 minute yammer that included the following:
During the address, Kasich imitated a Parkinson's patient, cried, insulted the people of California, praised his "hot wife," gave 14 shout-outs to the same person and played an awards show host while tearfully channeling a famously emotional fellow Ohio Republican, House Speaker John Boehner.
So, instead of, lets say, filling Ohioans ears with substantive talk on the issues and the progress of the state, we got a lot of Gordon Gee shout outs. Worse, we look stupid. How the hell are we supposed to save face the next time we log into our Mother Jones listserv and field all that harassment from nerds on the coasts? “Oh, look, the Ohioan's back in the game. Hey Ohioan, why can't your stupid governor pull off a normal SOTS speech? Look at all the losers in Ohio.”
We can't take that kind of abuse.