We’ve all learned from the campaign finance reports how posh ($10k in private charted jets) and image conscious (over $40k in polling, $250 on a makeup artist) John Kasich can be.

Today, Stephen Koff of the Plain Dealer breaks the Code of Silence in the media on another front:? John Kasich runs from the media more than he’s been running for Governor.

Kasich’s avoidance of the media has gotten so bad, Governor Strickland, who has endured the gauntlet of criticism by the press, actually feels sorry for the media:

John Kasich believes in message discipline, which means he’ll answer questions when he’s good and ready. Ohio voters who want to know how the former congressman and Lehman Brothers executive would handle thorny issues in the state budget, for example, will find out when the GOP candidate for governor decides it is time to tell them.

[Strickland said:] “I am looking forward to the time when the two of us are willing to talk openly and directly to the press, and to answer questions, as I think I have always done in my political career. Whether I’ve been a candidate or an officeholder, I’ve always been willing to stand before the press to take whatever questions they wanted to ask me and to attempt to give the most direct and candid answers possible. And I’m looking forward to the time when Mr. Kasich is willing to do the same thing.”

The Columbus Dispatch asked if Strickland thought Kasich is hiding from the press right now.

“Well I wouldn’t want to characterize his behavior in that way,” Strickland said. “But I haven’t seen him allow himself to be directly questioned by the press, except on maybe one or two occasions.”

Even Kasich said at the Mary-Taylor announcement that it was the first time he took questions from the media since announcing… last June.? Of course, given how horrible that press conference went, I guess I can’t fault Kasich for running away.?

So what does the Kasich campaign say when asked about being incredibly image conscious to the point of absurdity?

The Kasich campaign says it will respond this afternoon, and we’ll update when it does.

Jesus Christ on a cracker…. (We’ll get back to you after our focus group we just convened on the issue gets back to us.)

[UPDATE:]? It took the Kasich campaign over two hours, and I imagine thousands of dollars in political consultant fees, and the best they came back with is a snarky comment about unemployment.? Seriously, these guys are weak.

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