John Kasich and Rob Portman have so far ran an entirely substance free campaign. Unprecedentedly so. In fact, the vacuum of policy pronouncements is so bad from the GOP ticket that when John Kasich signs a conservative groups “No tax hike” pledge, it’s treated like a “plan” and not a promise. Even more absurdly, Kasich signed the pledge without any question of how he’d possibly fulfill it given the projected budget deficit (projected by his own running mate, no less) while attacking a Governor who, in reality, was able to guide a 17% across the board cut in the State’s income taxes while balancing the budget during a massive international recession.
For two candidates who claim that they can fix Ohio’s economy it’s laughable just how lacking they’ve been in offering Ohioans any glimpse as to what they plan to do in office.
Every time this has been pointed out, Kasich defenders like the Carpetblogger have suggested that it’s no different than what Strickland did in 2006. (Which is an odd defense for a candidate that is supposed to be “better” than Strickland.)
Here’s all the Kasich campaign has offered Ohioans as to his plan for Ohio. It’s nothing but platitudes. It’s devoid of anything concrete and is more aspirational than concrete specifics.
According to these old posts at BSB, Ted Strickland in 2006 had already released the first two installments of his plan (two of, I believe, four parts), replete with projections for costs and how it would be paid for, by . . . April.
- Job retraining plan announced in March 6, 2006.
- Family assistance to help send kids to college in April 25, 2006.
Jon Keeling needs a new excuse for Kasich’s lack of a plan for Ohio because Kasich’s already several months behind where the candidates were in 2006. Both Ted Strickland and Ken Blackwell gave voters better insights into their plans if they were Governors during their primary campaigns, than Kasich has given Ohioans during this general election campaign so far.
Maybe its a partisan double standard, because despite these details, editorial writers criticized Strickland in 2006 for not talking about more “specifics” about what he’d do as Governor though there has been no such criticism for Kasich. Maybe it’s because newspapers have had to downsize so they just don’t have the staffing to cover campaigns as well as they did in 2006.
But the reality is that we’re in June and John Kasich, Mary Taylor, and Rob Portman have been running a stunningly vapid and substance-free campaign. Worse than anything we’ve seen before.
And we’ve been given no indication by anyone in the Kasich or Portman campaigns that this is likely to change any time soon.
Signing unenforceable “pledges” with out-of-state ideological special interest groups does not tell us anything other than you will say anything to get elected. (The idea that Kasich’s income tax repeal will not result in a large shift in the tax burden where sales and other other taxes go up as the income tax is repealed is insanity.) The issue, though, is what will you do once elected.
John Kasich is the first modern candidate I’ve known to publish a book during a campaign that was utterly devoid of any policy proposals. His campaign is nothing but political junk-food of empty promises of a free lunch.
We’re still waiting for the author of “Stand for Something.” To, you know, stand for something. This pie chart is starting to look overly optimistic.
We may not hear anything from Kasich in form of a plan all summer.