Over a year ago when John Kasich spoke about Ohio’s economy, he said it was in a “death spiral” that need his “game changing” income tax repeal in order to recover.  Now, Kasich attempts to pull off his best “Gipper” impersonation that sounds more like Lil’ Orphan Annie declaring that the “sun will come out tomorrow” than Reagan’s “Morning in America.”

Did Kasich’s folks ever actually see Reagan’s Morning in America ad?  Clearly not when you compare the two:



Kasich’s optics are just terrible:

Sunny Kasich

I thought if you listen to the ad, or watched the images other than Kasich, it was a good ad.  But Kasich’s expressions, his lack of chemistry with an audience of a dozen, and his failure to refer to one policy proposal just made the whole thing vapid.

John Kasich is no Ronald Reagan.  Over one-third of the comments, by Kasich’s supporters at his official campaign blog, criticized the ad for its utter lack of substance.  They, too, are tired of Kasich running a campaign on a noun, a verb, and “400,000 jobs.” (Which isn’t even true.)

Whereas Kasich used to speak of repeal as a necessity to move Ohio out of its “death spiral,” now it’s a more modest goal of “reducing taxes.”  Something to get to before you die… like Tuscany.  John Kasich’s ad concedes that Ohio is in a recovery.  That we have better days around the corner.  And the ad doesn’t even suggest that those days can only happen if he’s the Governor.

Kasich was asked back on July 22, 2010, would Ohio had done any better during this recession had he been Governor (@ 2:37)? 

He couldn’t answer the question directly.  He couldn’t say, when asked, that things would have been any better if he was already Governor.

Lately, John Kasich stump speeches have promised three things:

  1. Lowering taxes (When taxes are 17% less than when Strickland took office already.
  2. Less spending (When Strickland is the only Governor to have reduced overall State spending and has shrunk the state government’s workforce to levels not seen since… Reagan.)
  3. Less Regulations (When Strickland has repealed hundreds of regulations and revised thousands more as he promised in 2006 to be the first Governor to undertake comprehensive regulation reform.)

John Kasich’s more modest, new platform promises what Governor Strickland has already delivered.  And Strickland’s plan is working.  Even John Kasich admits it.  Ohio is out of the death spiral and a brighter tomorrow is ready to dawn.

Ohio lead the nation in April in jobs—so far the biggest private sector jobs creating month this year.  We’ve regained over 50,000 through June, which is roughly 20% of the jobs we lost last year—the single biggest year of job losses we’ve seen in Ohio in most of our lifetimes.

We’re seeing steel being made in the Mahoning Valley again.  We’re seeing our brothers and sisters returning to work at GM plants like the one in Toledo.

John Kasich wouldn’t have tackled electricity re-regulation as his ideology is wedded to de-regulation, but it’s clear that Strickland steered Ohio away from a disastrous policy created by the GOP in the 1990s that would have sent utility rates skyrocketing, thus killing manufacturing even further than the recession and “free trade” deals already have.  That’s just one example of how Governor Strickland has made Ohio better for job growth and creation than John Kasich would be.  That’s before you even get to Kasich’s support for outsourcing.

John Kasich isn’t offering a new way.  He’s barely offering a way at all.  To the extent he has, he’s modestly promising to do that which Strickland has already done and to do more of what every Republican who’s ran for Governor of Ohio has promised to do since 1990.

After sixteen years of constant GOP rule, you have to wonder, what’s left to do in tort reform?  John Kasich’s doesn’t know, but he promises to do it.

On the other hand, Ted Strickland has offered a new way.  He’s worked in a bipartisan manner to get the General Assembly to pass a job creating stimulus plan because he saw that our economy was about to go into a deep recession.  He’s created numerous public-private partnerships to help small businesses and manufacturers obtain the capital they need when the rest of the credit market was frozen.

He’s positioned Ohio to not only meet its potential for green energy manufacturing, but lead the nation in it.  He’s done it facing almost impossibly budgetary odds while expanding access to health care, reforming Ohio’s school funding system, and investing in college education in ways that kept the cost of college down.

Maybe John Kasich sees the real writing on the wall.  Maybe that’s why he’s gone from irritable to glum.

Cause not only is he no Ronald Reagan; he’s no Ted Strickland either.

Just grab your cowboy hat and enjoy the ride, Johnny.  It’s all you can really do.

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