Multiple media outlets are reporting this afternoon that the Kasich Inaugural Committee has majorly reversed course and arranged for Kasich’s actual swearing in ceremony to take place in the State Senate chamber and not his private house. The media is welcome to cover it.
Also, the Inauguration Committee announced that it has loosened its restrictions on the inauguration events and now the media will be free to cover the event, and not just formal remarks. Still unclear whether the press is still prohibited from interview the attendees at the event, however.
It kind of begs the question: why didn’t they do that in the first place?!?
Kasich had no choice but to cave. The media scrutiny was ready to dominate the weekend coverage that should have been glowing political “honeymoon” pieces about the incoming Administration with questions about Kasich’s hostility to transparency and what he may be hiding. Kasich didn’t want practically every newspaper in Ohio having an editorial bashing him over transparency on the eve of his inauguration. (But why did they just now realize that?!?)
And that’s the flip slide of this issue. Not only was this lack of transparency galling, but it was yet another example of how much Kasich and the people around them are completely in over their heads. Anyone with half a brain would have realized before today that to do what they tried to do would be to pick a battle with the media they couldn’t win and wasn’t worth fighting. So, why did the Kasich campaign spend even a day picking that fight?
They can’t get 500 people to go to a free event with an open bar in Cleveland. They can’t get their story straight about Matt Borges and his law firms solicitation for donations for the inauguration. They can’t even fill, apparently, a much smaller venue for the ceremonial swearing-in than Strickland did. They’ve picked one nominee after another that they have to announce special policies to handle the obvious conflict-of-interest the appointee presents. They pick a complete unwinnable and unnecessary fight with the media on the eve of what should be the easiest political p.r. softball an Administration ordinarily gets.
It’s not just their tendency to actively seek ways to avoid transparency that is troubling; it’s also their sheer incompetence in throwing themselves a party. And this is, essentially, the same team that is tasked with balancing our state budget and setting public policy for the State over the next four years.
If they can’t even lead people to a free open bar event, how can they lead the State effectively?
Seriously, folks, this was supposed to be the easy part for them.