Seriously, our Governor-elect is clueless.  He emerged from the White House genuinely stunned that his brilliant “give us the money” argument didn’t work.

From today’s Columbus Dispatch, we learn that President Obama made it pretty darn clear he’s not going to let Kasich save political face in killing the 3C passenger rail system:

"I would say this was a major point of conversation, including on the train – flexibility," Kasich said. "Give us the money; let us solve our problems."

"I am not real optimistic that we’re going to get a lot of flexibility on anything," Kasich said.

As an example, Kasich asserted that the federal government requires states to use virtually all federal job-training money for workers who have lost their jobs. By contrast, Kasich wants to devote a larger share of that money to retrain people who still have jobs.

Imagine that.  The federal government puts a stronger emphasis on retraining already out of work people so that they can find a job.  What goofballs!

Again, Kasich’s definition of “flexibility” is the other guy agreeing to let Kasich to do whatever he wants, past promises and commitments be damned.

I see the newspapers are still pushing this claptrap, too:

But Kasich, who also spoke with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, said he is still not worried that the state will lose $400 million in federal Race to the Top money, even though he plans to change Strickland’s evidence-based school-financing formula adopted last year.

Notice the change in wording.  In a week, we’ve gone from “Duncan told me we’ll keep the money” to “still not worried.”  So, they aren’t exactly still reporting that Duncan promised explicitly to Kasich that Ohio’s “Race to the Top” money isn’t in danger.

If Secretary Duncan truly had told Kasich that the “Race to the Top”  money wasn’t in danger by Kasich killing Strickland’s evidence-based school funding model, then Duncan or the U.S. Department of Education would say so.  Instead, what the agency told Plunderbund earlier in the week should give Kasich plenty of reason to be worried that he might cost Ohio another $400 million.

“While we sincerely hope to see every dollar get delivered as planned, we cannot make any commitments about funding until our staff analyzes any proposed changes and makes a determination as to whether they significantly alter the plan or are approvable.”

[U.S. Department of Education spokeswoman in a prepared statement e-mailed to us in response to our request to confirm Kasich’s account of his conversations with Secretary Duncan.]

Until some other media outlet gets confirmation from someone within the U.S. Department of Education that Secretary Duncan has said what Kasich has claimed, he’s obviously lying about the risk his own “inflexibility” to Governor Strickland’s policies presents in Ohio’s ability to keep federal funding it received due to those policies.