Laura Bischoff had a good piece in Sunday’s Dayton Daily News about Kasich and Strickland’s careers and finances.

She does a good job of outlining both men’s career choices and it’s worth reading. But I wanted to focus specifically on a Kasich quote where he claims that his private sector successes had nothing to do with his political background:

“Just because you’re a member of Congress doesn’t mean squat,” Kasich said. “…the bottom line is nobody gives you money for anything that you don’t earn in the private sector.”

Here’s the thing: Kasich does not have a degree in finance or even business. Nor does he have a degree in communications. And when he left Congress he had no business experience or finance experience or communications experience. As a matter of fact, he had no private sector experience whatsoever. When he left Congress the only thing he’d ever done was work in politics and the only salary the guy ever earned – from the day he left college with a B.A. in Political Science and for the next 25 years – came out of taxpayers’ pockets.

And yet, once he left congress and gave up on his dreams of being President, he seemed to have people in the private sector lining up to give him a job.

Fox News. Lehman Brothers. And tons of companies who wanted him to sit on their board of directors (e.g. Schottenstein Property Group).

Which is funny because as far as I can tell Kasich had, up until then, never worked hard at being a banker or a TV reporter. As far as I can tell the only thing Kasich knew about property was how to get a great deal on some land in Westerville.

And yet all these big companies were trying to hire John Kasich despite the fact that he had zero training and zero experience in any of their industries.

It amazes me that John Kasich has the balls to claim that it was through hard work alone that he achieved financial success in the private sector when the reason is so amazingly obvious.

Not only does being a member of Congress mean more than squat – it means absolutely everything in Kasich’s case.

These people did not hire him because of his hard work in the private sector. They hired him because he was well known member of congress who had lots of public sector connections.

And they gave him TONS of money for no other reason than that. In 2008 alone he made $587,175 from Lehman Brothers, $265,000 as Fox News commentator and $61,538 from the Schottenstein Property Group.

To be clear, I’m not faulting these companies for hiring a former congressman. It makes a lot of business sense. And I’m not faulting Kasich for taking them up on their offers either. The guy made a lot of money for himself and his family and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But come on John, stop trying to claim you earned it or you deserved it or you got it through hard work. You were a mediocre TV host and a complete failure as a banker. Your “success” in the private sector (i.e. the fact that you made a lot of money) had nothing do with hard work or skill or luck or even being good at your job. People paid you tons of cash because you’re a well-known politician with lots of political connections. Period.

 

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