As one of the grouchier members of the overpopulated Blogger Corps, I do find a bit of useless humor in the national media’s rush to add one more Scrabble letter to the 2016 presidential roster.  Russell Baker, the New York Times former columnist, and a keen one at that, described such folly as the “great mentioning game”, which seasonably dealt with the eternal question of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

The roster of the mentionables was nearly filled out when Ted Cruz stormed the field with the fury of Morgan’s raiders,  stomping over the whimpering bodies of other wannabes  like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin (the crazy aunt in the attic) and – who knew? – John Kasich.  Another Buckeye, Rob Portman,  once nibbled at the idea, with kind credentials from the Columbus Dispatch, but he fell back to the practice squad with his endorsement of gay marriage, a no-no on what his side religiously considers as its indispensable power base.

As we all have known since many  pundits cast Hillary Clinton as the smartest money to be the next president long before  she restyled her hair, all of the attention must be limited to those dancing angels in the Tea Party since it dumped the GOP overboard in the Potomac and the creeks of Texas.

New Republic magazine guaranteed itself of being a pace-setter for the pundits’ three-year itch by asking its readers: Will Elizabeth Warren challenge  Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016? Well, will she?  Doesn’t really matter, folks,  because the magazine’s delicious question will  send off a lot of Potomacati in tears, feverishly  wondering why they didn’t think of it first. But they will be back with further grooming. I mean, Warren vs. Clinton?  You could retire after that one.

And when Kasich supported an expansion of Medicaid, there was a frenzy of national reports declaring him to be John the Bold by defying right-wing orthodoxy  that controls the national party.  So moved that a garden variety Republican had shot out of the bubble, even Paul Krugman bought into it.  It was the kind of story  in which people could be impressed that the conservative governor had reinvented not only himself but also a  new day for the party itself.

Salon ‘s Joan Walsh was less impressed and emailed  Kasich’s overworked spokesperson Rob Nichols  to interview the guv.  He triumphantly emailed back: “Everyone on earth  wants to talk to him”.    She said she would be patient.

“He hasn’t replied,” she wrote in defeat.  Maybe it was because she wanted to mention that while expanding Medicaid – the Christian thing to do, he explained –  he also supported reductions in food stamps to more than 130,000 people.

“Kasich made the decision after his Medicaid move and it was entirely seen as a sop to  the right to make up for it. It didn’t work; Tea Partyers are still blasting  him,” Walsh wrote, complaining that the New York Times and other media road warriors “made Kasich a hero.”

Kasich for president?  Put a a fat asterisk next to the name.

The other morning I passed by a TV set in which Cokie Roberts was saying in her prim George Will  voice, “Fifty-one percent of the American people…”  I didn’t wait for the rest of it, but I figured that if she  mentioned anything minimally interesting about one  candidate or another, we’d all know about it in the Land of Punditry before midnight.

Evangelize!
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  • dmoore2222

    Kasich might as well run for president because he’s gonna have a lot of time on his hands after November 2014.

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