CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Republican State Rep. Bill Seitz, a lawyer who is a conservative power broker in the Ohio House, says one of outgoing Gov. Bob Taft's biggest failures in dealing with legislators was his penchant for giving them punch and shortbread cookies. Seitz didn't specifically say martinis would have helped, but the implication was that something stronger should have been on the menu.
''Though he was always polite, he never cultivated friendships with the General Assembly members -- his governor's mansion receptions featured Hawaiian Punch and Lorna Doones, which just doesn't make for relationships any closer than you would find at an after-church coffee hour," Seitz told Peter Bronson, a columnist for the Cincinnat Enquirer, who reported the remark today. Bronson wrote that he asked Seitz, a SW Ohio lawmaker, for his assessment of the Taft years.
Seitz gave Taft some credit, and said the Third Fronteir technology initiative will be a success in improving the state's economy. But he described Taft as pretty bland with a Puritan streak. ''He was a relentless crusader against all things pleasurable -- no smoking, no drinking, no gambling -- and has earned Ohio a reputation as 'The No Fun State,' not to mention one determined to make its neighboring states (which allow gambling) to become ever more richer at Ohioans' expense,'' Seitz told Bronson.
Here's some more about Lorna Doone. Taft originally was from Cincinnati, the city where the Keebler Elves got their start baking cookies. Wonder if he would have had more luck with elves in the mansion?