Gov. John Kasich gave his final State of the State speech last night, at Otterbein University in his hometown of Westerville. He didn’t unveil any new programs but he did talk about values.
Kasich’s State of the State speech was political potpourri. He didn’t talk about any one subject for more than a few minutes. He quoted philosophers and theologians from Plato to Martin Luther. He talked about secular humanism and religion and its role in his life. He was reflective.
“I’ve just done everything that I can do. I’ve done my best. We have to run through the tape. Make no mistake about it. We’re not quitting until we turn off the lights because we have so many things to do,” Kasich said.
Kasich was, at times, hard to follow. He talked about national concerns, and said Ohioans need to work together to improve communities and the state, sometimes using phrases he’s said over and over.
“Live a life a little bigger than ourselves. And you know what it’s all about. It’s human connectiveness, that we are connected to one another. When the police officers in Westerville were killed, then somebody who lived up near Lake Erie lost a little bit of themselves. When a little boy drifts ashore on a raft from a foreign country and dies on the beach, we all lose a piece of ourselves,” Kasich said.
He touted positive work on opioids in Ohio, though numbers of deadly overdoses are still rising. But he didn’t talk much about his new gun law proposals or about his plans to merge education into one agency. And the only news he made was that the state will soon open its largest state park, to be named for Jesse Owens. But he didn’t say where.
Kasich honored three Ohioans with his Courage awards. One was a Kent State student who developed a campus mental health program. A 10-year-old Ashland boy was honored for giving back $300 meant for an X Box to help the homeless. And the third was a Miamisburg nurse who helped rescue victims of the shooting in Las Vegas. And Kasich urged governors who follow him to continue giving the courage awards during future state of the state speeches.