State of the Speeches: An Ever So Brief Look at Today's State of the County and Next Week's State of the State



Northeast Ohio is set for a duo of political speeches in the coming weeks: Ed FitzGerald’s State of the County/Governor’s Race Campaign Speech and Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State/Bill Batchelder Back-Slapping Festival. Let’s roll the preview.

The stupid call-outs began in earnest earlier this month, when FitzGerald demanded Kasich sign a pledge not to run for president in 2016 (read: not to bail on his office before the four-year term ends). It’s a moronic request, because FitzGerald didn’t even finish his own four-year term as mayor of Lakewood before assuming the county exec seat in 2010. The local democrat has almost exclusively done damage to his own campaign (the Thomas Eagleton Effect reared its head early on), as Kasich sorta leans back and maintains his statewide familiarity and decent approval ratings.

All of that is important, because the impending State of the County address today is sure to resemble a campaign speech for the governor’s race. FitzGerald has his eyes set on Columbus. That much was true when he gave a speech at the Shaker Heights Democratic Club Feb. 5, detailing his anti-Kasich platform and handing off the mic (and ostensibly the office) to supposed county exec frontrunner Armond Budish of Beachwood.

Kasich, for his part, is bringing this annual traveling road show (the goofily named State of the State) to Medina. That’s lame-duck House Speaker Bill Batchelder’s home turf and a mere stone’s throw from Fitz’s own stomping grounds. There will definitely be some slights against Cuyahoga’s Boy Wonder during the speech, but Kasich will likely spend more time toeing the line between his conservative values (read: income inequality masked as economic development) and his more moderate statewide image control. Since the Issue 2 backlash in 2011, the governor has worked to temper his constituents and all but guarantee a majority of the vote this November.

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