The local Republican congressman from Ohio, Bill Johnson, apparently likes to give speeches and since he’s an Ogden favorite, the speeches are usually featured in our local papers. Having some background in rhetoric, however, I’ve found that Johnson’s speeches (at least as they are reported) are not as well-organized and thought-provoking as you might expect from someone who gets numerous speaking opportunities.
My all-time favorite Johnson speech is one that he gave a year ago to Bridgeport High School students as reported in the Wheeling Intelligencer by Shelley Hanson:
“We actually farmed with mules up until I was 13 years old. We had no indoor plumbing. Everything we did every day was a matter of survival,” said Johnson, adding that even the mule was borrowed from a neighbor.
The students must have been riveted. It was followed by a short lecture on European governments:
"We’re not like the great nations of Europe, where the president can abolish the legislature and resign and say, ‘We’re going to rewrite the constitution and we’re going to start all over again.’"
The speech was front page news a year ago as the Congressional Budget Office's report on the latest Republican plan to replace Obamacare was pushed back to page 9 to make room for it.
This morning's Intelligencer covers Johnson’s Lincoln Day address to Belmont County Republicans on page 15. Reporter Miranda Sebroski apparently drew the short straw and was assigned to the speech:
Johnson started the speech by saying how much he admired what officials in Ohio are doing for the state. He then transitioned into talking about President Abraham Lincoln to compare how divided the country is now to the time of the Civil War.
That must have been some transition!
Johnson also discussed how innovation in the U.S. has been lacking since the 1970s, with the iPhone and internet being the biggest changes.
I’m sorry I missed the speech.
Okay, I’ll grant that local Ohio Republicans may be different from Republicans elsewhere. Still, shouldn’t there be some explanation as to why the Belmont County Republican Party held its annual Lincoln Day Dinner in March instead of February like the rest of the country?