Jon Keeling is going to go down as the Sun Tzu of Ohio Republican political strategist with today’s post.

First, let’s clarify a few things, this post is a trial balloon by the Kasich campaign.? Jon Keeling has demonstrated that he doesn’t write a single thing without the Kasich campaign’s involvement.?? He even mentions in the post that this is what he’s hearing, so this isn’t just his personal opinion.

Second, nobody cares about who Kasich’s running mate will be.? God bless lil’ AK Bulletsauce, but the image he tries to create of Republicans circling the block waiting for an audience with Kasich to kiss his ring as the masses of Ohioans gather around his campaign headquarters awaiting the first sign of a plume of white smoke to surface doesn’t exist.

I mean, it’s not like being on the Lt. Governor slot has exactly been a boon for Republicans.? Just ask Tom Raga, Nancy Hollister, or Jannete Bradley… if you can locate them anymore.

Look, I’m about the most pro-Strickland guy in the world, and I’ve got to tell you that I’ve given virtually no thought to who Strickland is going to look to fill the void left by the departure of Lee Fisher.? All I know is that I don’t think it’s going to be me, but I admit that I cannot confirm that.

Regardless, Ohioans aren’t losing sleep wondering who these guys are going to entrust with breaking tie votes in the State Senate that never occur.

  • Former Canton Mayor Janet Creighton.? Yes, nothing spells “popular” Republican like one that lost her last election over her support for President Bush only to join the Bush Administration.? She told a mostly African-American audience at a mayoral debate that her Democratic opponent’s pledge to institute a zero tolerance for drug and property crimes as a way to clean up their neighborhood and make them feel safe was “racial profiling.”? She, of course, lost despite being expected to be heavily favored for re-election. Yes, nothing says a break from the failed Republican Administrations of the past like a failed Mayoral candidate with ties to the Bush Administration.? Genius, I.Q. Thinkysauce!
  • Sen. Karen Gillmor-? Who?? Oh, the widow of former Congressman Paul Gillmore.? Yeah, maybe having a woman on the ticket would make Kasich look more moderate and appeal to independents.? Look how that worked out for McCain.
  • Senator Jimmy Stewart- Guy has a great name, but given that he already passed on running against Congressman Zack Space, I don’t think he’s going to jump on the Kasich ticket.? Regardless, Athens County wouldn’t be diluted one bit with Stewart of the ticket (which is why Stewart also rejected numerous attempt to draft him to run against Strickland for Congress), so it’s hard to see what Stewart adds from a geopolitical strategy.? Still, it’s so Kapra-esque.
  • Senator Mark Wagoner and Representative Matt Dolan.? The fact that IE Crazysauce mentions Dolan’s family wealth would “self-finance his race” (maybe he doesn’t know as a Virginia resident that there is no such thing as a race for Lt. Governor?? Amber, did you know that?) suggests that Kasich’s fundraising is still below expectations.

Regardless, it’s funny that for all the bluster IT Bloggersauce has manufactured over the tax freeze, one-third of his list are Republicans who voted for it.? His list actually includes a greater proportion of Republicans who voted for the tax freeze than actually voted for the freeze itself.? And he mentions their vote as a way to appeal to moderates and independents.? So, in one fell swoop, Keeling actually concedes that the tax freeze is not the political liability he’s claiming.? Either that, or it’s only a political asset when Republicans support it?

No, such a pick wouldn’t inherently make Kasich’s criticism of the tax freeze look entirely hypocritical, nor would Dolan’s speech on the floor of the House about politicians criticizing this freeze with no solution of their own provide Democrats fodder for oppo radio and television spots.? Yeah, Dolan.? That’s the ticket!

  • State Auditor Mary Taylor….

Give me a minute.? I need to change my pants from peeing I’ve been laughing so hard at the one.?

No offense to the David Pepper folks, but it’s no secret that most pundits on both side of the aisle widely believe that Taylor is safe.? As the only Republican to survive the 2006 massacre, Keeling offers no rationale why Taylor would give up a safe seat that would position her for further statewide politics already in order to run with Kasich.

Please, let it be Mary Taylor.? David Pepper will win the State Auditor’s race, and when Strickland is re-elected, Democrats will control the Apportionment Board during redistricting.? God, I would love to see Kasich snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like this.? But I can’t believe the Ohio Democratic Party would be so lucky.

Keeling doesn’t even profess who the Republicans could use to replace Taylor because there is none as the Republican bench is so thin that after promising the State a new generation of Republican leaders, ORP Chairman Kevin DeWine has instead given 1990s retreads John Kasich, Rob Portman, and Mike DeWine.

I’m amazed Keeling didn’t include Ken Blackwell.? They both share the same views, and don’t you know how Blackwell would do with the urban African-American vote?

Seriously, Jon, nobody care who Kasich gets to run on the campaign to get beat by Ted Strickland.

But thanks for the laughs!