Hypocrite in Ohio?

Ohio GOP gubernatorial candidate Jim Petro is doing all he can these days to move to the right of Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, the leading Republican in the race and, therefore, Petro’s biggest threat for the nomination.

National Journal reported earlier this week that Atty. Gen. Petro has launched a TV ad highlighting his opposition to abortion and gay marriage. This comes from a man who in 1998 won the backing of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League of Ohio when seeking the state auditor job.

When it was politically feasible and in his interest to oppose abortion, Petro did just that. In 2000, he flip-flopped on the issue and came out for a ban on first-term abortions, National Journal reported.

Petro’s ad says that he and his wife “are pro-life; we believe that we have to do all that we can to advocate the protection of all life.” Can we believe it? Flip-flops happen in politics every day. But it makes you wonder if it’s just that — politics rather than principles.

Polls show Blackwell ahead of Petro and current State Auditor Betty Montgomery. The popular secretary of state has been credited, correctly I might add, for President Bush’s victory in Ohio last year. Blackwell made sure Ohioans voted for a marriage amendment simultaneously. There’s no doubt, even in liberals’ minds, that people supporting that amendment also voted for Bush.