Scioto County native and Ohio Governor delivered his final remarks as governor at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Wednesday, December 15. Strickland was defeated in a re-election bid to Republican John Kasich.
In his speech Strickland highlighted some of Ohio's accomplishments over the years dating back to the Wright brothers.
He also dedicated a section of his speech to the state of the economy.
"Too many of our neighbors have lost their jobs, their savings, their hope. In this great and powerful nation, we live this day amidst homeless and hungry families. We must remember that struggle is not a vice and compassion is not a character flaw. But for all that we have seen this economy do to people, it could have been far worse, b ecause this entire economy stood on the brink of a total collapse of the international financial markets. A collapse that would have swallowed even the most profitable companies and likely brought on a second Great Depression," Strickland said. "But the President and the Democratic-led Congress took strong action that avoided the cataclysm that loomed over us. It's easy to say 'the government shouldn't be in the car business.' But the government saved the car business and tens of thousands of jobs in Ohio. The assembly line is running in Lordstown today and they'll be making cars there for generations to come because in the moment that decided our future, steady hands re-wrote the standard of impossibility."
He said despite all of the uncertainty the state has faced in recent years; no one gave into the gloom and doom that was spreading. "I am proud of that. I am proud that we buckled down, we met the critical needs of our people, and we strengthened the foundation of Ohio," Strickland said.
He then spoke about the investment the state has made in initiatives that will shape the future of Ohio. He also spoke of changes made to the education system in Ohio under his leadership.
Strickland concluded his remarks by saying, "I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had in this life and the opportunities I have had to serve the people of this state. It has been my great privilege and my great honor. My friends, our journey together has been cut short. And we may not have reached our final destination. We built a stronger foundation for Ohio. The legendary playwright George S. Kaufman had a very distinct philosophy about what made a good play. A young admirer who had written a new play once asked Kaufman how he could improve it. Without seeing the play, Kaufman replied, 'Make it shorter," Strickland said. "But in politics, unlike the theater, less isn't more. I loved this time leading Ohio, and I can tell you, we were writing a stirring second act. But this is not a day to lament. 'Fix your thoughts on what is true and good and right,' the scriptures teach. And so I say to each of you: I believe in the future. I believe in Ohio. And when time casts the final vote, the foundation of Ohio will speak for us."