Although Los Angeles Dodgers’ center fielder Willie Davis was widely considered the fastest man in baseball throughout the 1960s and 70s, he is perhaps more often remembered for a remark he made following game two of the 1966 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. In the fifth inning Davis committed three errors on two consecutive plays. L.A. lost the game 8 to 4 and was swept in the series. When asked about his less than stellar performance, Davis dryly remarked, “It ain’t my life, and it ain’t my wife, so why worry?” Even more important than his amazing speed, Davis had extraordinary perspective.
More than once since the release of the November 7, 2006 general election results, I’ve given some thought to Mr. Davis’ quip. I have been elected to city council and Mayor of my hometown of Cincinnati. I was three times elected to statewide office, first as State Treasurer, then twice as Secretary of State. Voters from my political party decisively choose me to be their standard bearer in the race for Ohio Governor. When the votes were counted in the general election, however, this time I and other uncompromising conservatives did not come out on top. But beyond personal disappointment there is perspective (a la Willie Davis). And beyond such perspective there is an ironic, yet undeniable sense of accomplishment for many of us.
I have spent thousands of hours over the past several years traveling on Ohio’s highways, city streets, and country roads, to virtually every municipality and township in the state. I have talked with literally millions of Ohio citizens about the sanctity of human life and the sacredness of marriage. We discussed second amendment issues, the importance of demanding fiscal restraint on our state and local budgets, tax relief, and viable plans to revive Ohio’s economy that would offer our children opportunity to live, work and raise their own families.
For all the effort over many years, I along with others of like mind, were able to help shape the discussion at Ohio’s statehouse, courthouses, and city and township halls. These efforts resulted in some remarkable victories – like Ohio’s Constitutional Marriage Protection Amendment, the establishment of a statutory state government spending cap, the reduction of the sales tax rate and the defeat of expanded state-sponsored gambling. We raised more than $12 million from non-traditional sources and identified more than 1.4 million individuals who pledged themselves to be civic-minded forces for change.