From Decline to Renewal in Ohio

With his state ranked 48th in terms of economic momentum, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland made education the centerpiece of his 2007 Inaugural Address.

"Gone are the days when nations and states competed economically based on only natural resources or technological superiority," Gov. Strickland said. "Today, the tools we compete with are the creativity and productivity of our own minds and talents. This reality should shock us from complacency and compel us to action."

Like the governors of Michigan and New York, which respectively rank 50th and 42nd on the economic momentum scale prepared for the National Governors Association, Gov. Strickland also railed against the cynics ("Get thee behind me, Satan," he said.) and called on the people of his state to set aside the politics of division and unite behind a focused list of priorities: affordable health care, solid education, vibrant cities, and fiscal responsibility.

"In this winter morning air, we are greeted not only with the ceremonial passing of the torch, but with the reality of hard choices," the governor said. "The road of decline or the road of renewal. Neither route will be easy. But only one will lead to prosperity."