Ohio Daily Blog

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Friday, January 12, 2007

My New Favorite Photograph

I just went to the Ohio Secretary of State web site for the first time this week and saw this wonderful image:

I'm leaving in a few hours to see her inaugural ceremony. What a wonderful day!


At January 14, 2007 11:32 PM , OhioCentric said...

Jennifer's Inaugural Celebration was, as you know from having been there, fantastic! With Governor and Mrs. Strickland, Ohio's new junior U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, new Lt. Governor Lee Fischer, new State Treasurer Richard Cordray, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redern and others, most notably Jennifer's proud family with her on stage, all 374 seats of the intimate auditorium in the William Green Building (aka the BWC building) were filled and the walls were lined with well-wishers who had come to see and hear Ohio's first woman secretary of state tell them why she ran and what she intends to do now that she holds this important post.

Her husband of nearly 29 years, Rick Brunner, himself an election law expert who advised candidate Strickland to vote before the trumped up suite by a Blackwell supporter could gain political traction, served as master of ceremonies. He recounted the timeline of events and decisions leading up to Jennifer's stepping down from her judge's office, and informed and amused those on stage and in the audience, who included dozens of family, a cadre of elected state officials and a host of members of the skilled professional team who will accompany her as she implements her vision for Ohio elections.

Her second child, daughter Laura, mesmerized all present with her stirring and passionate rendition of our national anthem and three dazzling verses from America The Beautiful, a song Rick said should be our national anthem because of its classic and apt descriptions of the breadth and variety that is America.

Running for a post that she was so well matched for, compared to the ill-fitting relationship between it's requirments and those offered by last year's Republican candidate, was a long, two-year odyssey that consumed her time as it did those of her family, friends and supporters, all of whom worked tirelessly to turn out more than one-half million more votes than her opponent captured.

The ceremony, which lasted about an hour, was classy and poignant. Sherrod Brown delivered the key note address. Judge A. J. Wagner performed the oath of office, with Chief Justice Thomas Moyer and his wife seated on stage looking on.

Following the ceremony, many hugs and handshakes were offered as the crowd dispersed and made their way from the BWC building across High Street to the grand ballroom of the Hyatt Regency, where several thousand people mingled, as each candidate in turn took their turn at bat at the podium.

The evening was full of happiness for a job well done. But while this event punctuated the end of her campaign, it also the starter pistol for the next four years. This week, Jennifer and her team took the field of the three floors in the Borden Building in Columbus that had been ruled for eight years by Ken Blackwell.

Insiders say that Brunner's team, gracious and accomodating to a fault as they occupied officers long held by the band of acolytes who were well paid to drink heavily of Mr. Blackwell's partisan Kool-Aid, were greeted as "liberators." Some were reported to have said that they had not seen Mr. Blackwell for nearly two years in some instances. This will not be the case with Jennifer, who upon landing in Columbus after returning from watching The Ohio State University football team get pasted in Arizona immediately went to the offices and, with her husband and youngest child John at her side, took a full tour of all three floors.

Jennifer will not be a stranger to the SOS employees as Blackwell was. But then she lives in Central Ohio and Mr. Blackwell did not.

It's rumored that Mr. Blackwell had shredders running full steam in the week preceeding his handoff of the keys to his kingdom at one minute after midnight Sunday, January 7th.

And despite his chief communication's last salvo at trying to frame all the good things he did and how well he left the office for Jennifer, look for news to emerge about the extent to which Mr. Blackwell spent down his budget and other news that may shock Ohio taxpayers about how flagrant he used public dollars to provide healthy if not obscene gifts of moolah to his most loyal employees before they actually left their security badges behind.


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