Ted Strickland numbers gun enthusiasts among his biggest supporters. And given the Democratic nominee for governor's Appalachian roots, there's nothing surprising about that.
But when Strickland said last Monday that he would sign House Bill 347 -- a bad gun bill now pending in the Ohio Senate -- the "moment it hits" his desk, he needlessly put into play an issue that has long occupied too much of the legislature's time. Strickland's response reflected an over-eagerness to please gun enthusiasts.
Not to be undone, Republican rival Ken Blackwell reiterated his Second Amendment credentials. A Blackwell spokesman said his candidate also supports House Bill 347, which would unnecessarily dilute the permit process for carrying a concealed weapon.
Senate President Bill Harris said he expects the Senate to approve the gun bill before year's end. That would be no surprise, given the gun lobby's clout in Columbus.
But Strickland's jumping into the discourse on guns was purely political pandering. Guns are a sideshow in the race for governor -- a show that distracts attention from the state's dire economic condition and its huge educational shortcomings.
Despite Tax ... er I mean Ted Strickland's choice of a gun grabber as a running mate, it appears that he is a strong defender of the Second Amendment.
Am I wrong?
PS: Have you ever noticed how when politicians deal with conservative issues that the American people support, liberal journalists like those at The Plain Dealer call it "pandering," but politicians passing the "correct" legislation are engaging in "principled leadership?"