Leaving nothing to chance, the Ohio Republican Party staged the operatic version of Gov. Kasich’s personally created Valhalla this week that reportedly will raise upward of $800,000 for his reelection campaign. Indeed, the Columbus Dispatch described the mosh pit in Columbus as the ‘biggest fundraiser in Franklin County history.”
In a piece that typically gasped in awe over the guv’s skill in attracting largesse from the corporate world, we were told of guys elbowing around the high-rolling dinner guests with hard hats (translation: Ohio is on a mighty path with “Kasich Works”) and a “mock construction zone on the speaking platform”. (Translation: See how John runs among his fellow bulldozers.”)
We can only wonder why somebody didn’t think of having the production sent to the voters by the Metropolitan Opera’s live transmission to a theater near you.
It should be obvious by now that the story of the Kasich campaign begins with a fortissimo show of cash-on-hand to intimidate his Democratic opponent, Ed FitzGerald. As a politician whose treasured word is “metric’, which he doubtless acquired in his days as an exec of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, we can expect the money thing to come up often as the only valid test of competency in determining your vote.
My former colleague, Dave Hess, who covered then-Rep. Kasich as a Capitol Hill correspondent for Knight-Ridder newspapers, recently described him to me.
“He’s opportunistic,” Hess said. “And misguided – and an advocate of plutocrats”.
In Kasich’s trumpeting of his own great deeds about the Ohio economy, there has been no mention of how the federal economic comeback has greatly girded his boasts. The Plain Dealer reported the other day, albeit back on page 18 next to a Macy’s bra ad, that Ohio is getting $18.17 million from the U.S Treasury to expand creditworthy small businesses. “Yet,” the story noted, “Ohio’s announcement made no mention of the federal government’s role – namely, that it is providing the money”
There was a time, when Kaisch was opposing Federal steps to enliven the economy, including the critical auto baleout. (He later did one of his jujitsu acts on national TV by saying he didn’t think it helped that much anyway.
But there we go. Talking about money again. That’s what the state GOP bash was all about. Not policy. Not ideology. Not an outreach to minorities and “the others” down the ladder. But cash.
It reminded one, however, of something Oscar Wilde once said:
“No man is rich enough to buy back his past.”