On April 12, 2014 the Daily Beast did a piece on our Governor, John Kasich. It seems to take him seriously as a potential 2016 Republican contender for the Presidential nomination. It was a soft, positive look at his tenure so far. My first response was WTF? Was this the same Kasich that has been running the Ohio I live in?
Well they started off with his lack of name recognition nationally. That helped doom his aborted 2000 run.
So far, so good.
They then mentioned that his record as Governor and as a member of the House gave him a nearly a perfect resume for a run to the nomination. I knew at that point the writer must have only researched using the Columbus Dispatch or the Governor’s press releases and fanciful speeches.
So let’s look at this resume that impresses them so.
They claim Ohio’s jobless rate is a plus since it’s two tenths of a point below the National rate. 6.5% versus 6.7%. That’s a massive accomplishment in an economy that is recovering. There was no mention that during most of his term the jobless rate was higher than the national rate. They don’t mention the long term rate. Or that a lot of those jobs are in the auto industry whose bailout Kasich opposed.
The author, Myra Adams, goes on to cite the Governor’s State of the State address as an unbiased account of his accomplishments since 2011. Because speeches such as that are always completely honest. She mentions the old canard of the $1.5 billion budget surplus replacing the so called $8 billion shortfall. Conveniently there is no mention of where that money came from. Across the board cuts to education funds and the social safety net. There were cuts for everyone except the wealthy “job creators” who received more perks from the Ohio GOP dominated Legislature.
Kasich cutting taxes by $3 billion is given a positive spin since a $1.5 billion surplus with a revenue cut can only happen with reduced spending. The fact the spending cuts hit the State’s most vulnerable is ignored to spin the numbers. Kasich’s claims his policies are solely responsible for 170,000 new jobs and investment in the State go unchallenged. As does the claim of rebuilding.
Ms. Adams doesn’t mention the reprehensible laws Kasich has signed into law. Ohio has abortion laws Texas envies and are copying. SNAP benefits were cut. There was no mention Gonadakis, the lobbyist and head of Ohio Right To Life who holds an appointed post on the State Medical Board with no medical background. The State Board of Education is dominated by Tea Party Kasich appointees that love charter schools and hate public schools.
Also not mentioned is Ohio’s brutal voter suppression moves that rival anything the Segregationist South ever had. Now that the Voting Rights Act has been gutted, Ohio has joined the Old Confederacy. That is ironic as Ohio was the point of the spear in the Civil War to end the Confederate ideals. Kasich has never seen a repressive bill on his desk that he wanted to veto. These voting rules are the reelect John Kasich and Protect His Job Act.
Ms. Adams also buys Kasich’s claim that he balanced the Federal Budget on his own as Chairman of the House Budget Chairman. The 100 Members of the Senate, President Clinton and the other 434 members of the House were just along for the ride.
Ms. Adams cites the State of the State speech as a potential “rousing 2016 Presidential Campaign speech.” She says John “delivered it like a seasoned pro.” She ignore Kasich’s propensity to go off script which terrifies his handlers. When he ad libs anything can come out of his mouth. His rant about the idiot cop that pulled him over on State Route 315 come to mind. The Governor seems to have anger management issues. That alone will make him fun to watch in the GOP dog and pony show that poses as primaries.
Kasich’s stint on Fox News is cited as sharpening his delivery skills. Yeah, Fox. Let’s look at that. (from 2010)
During his years out of office, Kasich spent some time aa a Fox News host. He had his own show and was the go-to sub for Hannity and O’Reilly. During the 2010 Governor’s race, Fox was a de facto propaganda arm for the Kasich campaign. Softball interviews, campaign pitches, Fox hosts doing fundraisers, money and exposure sure didn’t hurt John in his razor thin victory over Governor Ted Strickland.
Already we are seeing Kasich pitched softballs on recent Fox appearances. Cavuto gushed over our Governor. Hannity loves him. He may already be the Fox favorite for 2016. I would expect a lot of free airtime should Kasich run.
Now, why is John not higher on the list of potential candidates? The article did look at that.
Kasich did commit heresy by doing an end run around our Tea Party controlled legislature, using the Controlling Board to expand Medicaid. It did enable the legislature to avoid a potentially damaging vote in opposition while getting Kasich a RINO tag. After all how could a true conservative do that? That move would likely not hurt him in an actual national race but could be deadly in the GOP Primaries. After all, in 2012 someone yelled “let ‘em die” to applause.
The main reason is Kasich isn’t currently interested as he’s running for reelection. The race is much tighter than one would expect at this point in the cycle. (A recent PPP poll shows Kasich tied with his opponent.) Ms. Adams goes with the conventional wisdom (with which I agree): if Kasich wins reelection, he’s off and running. The best quote in the article is Kasich is a total BS artist. A plus for a politician.
After all, Kasich showed up in Vegas for the Sheldon Adelson audition, where he pimped himself out heavily. Adelson seems to be looking for a Governor to bankroll as he did Newt and Mittens in 2012. Kasich fawned over Adelson. He was joined in the love fest by Walker of Wisconsin and Christie of New Jersey. Ms. Adams does correctly assume if there is a large win by Kasich you’ll see wallets open and combine with Fox News’ ongoing push. All this assumes a big win,(or at least not losing) in 2014. A Kasich reelection is not a forgone conclusion as the campaign heats up. (A sidebar, the Ohio GOP condemned the Democrats avoiding primary fights as they moved to keep a conservative third party challenge off the ballot)
This seems to be an opening salvo of Governor Kasich being taken seriously as a candidate by outlets outside the Right Wing echo chamber. It may also signal soft reporting and the glossing over of his record as a far right Republican. The media seems to consider him a moderate. Well, ask an Ohio woman how moderate he is.