Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland was originally scheduled to address the Democratic National Convention in Denver around 6:15 Tuesday evening, but when he finally stepped on to the podium, it was prime time. Why? Because in just about every political calculation for this year's presidential election, Ohio is a must-win state — if not ground zero, as it was four years ago.
But unlike 2004, there is popular Democratic governor and all but one of the statewide administrative offices occupied by Democrats. The fact that Strickland, formerly of Lisbon, strongly supported Hillary Clinton in the March primary prompted this question before the start of the convention Monday: How enthusiastically will the governor speak on behalf of Obama?
You be the judge. Below is the text of his speech. (Incidentally, his shot at President Bush was picked up by the Associated Press and sent out as one of the national quotes of the day.)
Governor Strickland’s Remarks to the 2008 Democratic National Convention
Following is the full text of the governor’s remarks:
Last week, Ohio and the nation lost one of our strongest voices for social and economic justice: Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
We miss her and we mourn her passing. But knowing Stephanie as we Ohioans do, we know she would not want us to be sad at this moment, so I’m asking those of you in this great hall to join me in celebrating the life and service of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones.
The state she helped represent—the great state of Ohio—has a bit of almost everything this great nation has to offer. But along with the beauty and promise of America, a big, diverse state like Ohio also lives with the challenges of the American economy.
And tonight, at kitchen tables across Ohio and the heartland, mothers and fathers are worried.
They’re worried because DHL is pursuing an agreement that could lead to the loss of more than 8000 jobs, and they wonder if their jobs are going to be next.
They’re worried because they have a child in Iraq, risking life and limb in a war that has taken too many lives, cost too much money and injured too many families; and after returning to America, their child might have to leave their hometown again to find work.
They’re worried because Midwesterners are more likely to lose a neighbor to foreclosure than gain a neighbor who buys a house.
And while families are losing sleep tonight trying to figure out some way to make their paycheck stretch through one more day, John McCain is sleeping better than ever.
He’s sleeping better than ever because he thinks QUOTE “Americans overall are better off,” thanks to President Bush.
And would you believe he said last week that “the fundamentals of the economy are strong.”
He has no problem hitting the snooze button on the economy, because he’s never been part of the middle class.
And I would say to him: Senator McCain, it’s time for your wake-up call. Because we just can’t afford more of the same.
Now, when I was a little boy I went to a one room school house.
One of the rules we had in school was that when you made mistakes on your homework you had to correct them— because if you didn’t, you would repeat them.
If John McCain doesn’t know the economic policies he’s been supporting for eight years have failed the heartland and failed this country, he’s destined to repeat those mistakes.
Now, I could say John McCain represents four more years of Bush policies. But I don’t have to, because his campaign is telling you the very same thing.
He and the Washington lobbyists who run his campaign are offering policies that are stuck in the past and that will keep our economy stuck in reverse:
Stuck-in-the-past policies that mean Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest men in America, pays a lower rate of income tax than his secretary…and he’ll be the first to tell you, that’s wrong.
Stuck-in-the-past trade deals that mean a father has to give up his high-skill job manufacturing refrigeration equipment, for a low-wage job stocking the freezer aisle at a grocery store;
A stuck-in-the-past energy policy that can’t look beyond old fuels like oil to new sources like wind and solar, because oil lobbyists wrote the policy;
And a war that sends 10 billion of our tax dollars per month to build the Iraqi economy, while bridges and roads collapse here at home.
You know, it was once said of the first George Bush that he was born on third base and thought he’d hit a triple.
Well with the 22 million new jobs and the budget surplus Bill Clinton left behind, George W. Bush came into office on third base – and then he stole second. And John McCain cheered him every step of the way.
For Ohioans and all Americans, we can’t afford more of the same. It’s time for a change—and Barack Obama will bring the change we need.
Barack Obama will give a $1000 tax cut for the middle class, and end the tax cuts that encourage corporations to send jobs overseas.
He’ll invest in advanced manufacturing and green industries. He’ll work to bring down the cost of health care and make college more affordable. He’ll remove roadblocks in front of new small businesses and start-up companies.
For Ohio and for the nation, there’s more than hope in these ideas—there’s jobs. Investing in advanced energy industries will create 5 million green jobs across this country. In Ohio alone, investing in wind power could boost wages by more than $3.5 billion by 2020.
That’s the change we need.
It’s the change from thinking everyone’s born on third base to making sure everybody has their chance at bat, that people don’t have to sit out in this economy anymore, because they can pay for college, can get a loan to start a small business, can afford the treatment they need to get healthy again.
It’s time for a president who will bring our jobs back and bring our troops home. For the change we need, it’s time for Barack Obama.