An interesting piece by Matt Bai in the New York Times today about John Kasich thinking he’s been sent to Ohio by God – or Gandalf – to save the state and bring glory to the emporer…or some such delusions of grandeur:

The way John Kasich sees it, he is fulfilling a grand design, a mission for which he was chosen by God, to save Ohio. “It’s like what what’s-his-name told the hobbit,” Ohio’s Republican governor told me as we flew on the plane that ferries him around the state. “What’s that guy’s name? Gandel? Gandorf?” A pair of young aides seated across from Kasich called out helpfully over the drone of the engine. “Gandalf,” Kasich repeated. “Do you remember what he told the hobbit?”

I didn’t.

“ ‘You’re a very fine fellow, mister hobbit,’ ” Kasich intoned, waving a finger at me. “ ‘But this is a wide world, and you don’t think all these things happen by accident.’ ” He paused to let this sink in. “And I don’t think it’s an accident that I got into this job.”

Maybe not an accident your Governorship, but definitely a mistake.

Bai is usually pretty good, but still buys the $8 billion dollar deficit lie hook line and sinker.  He comes closer than most journalists in saying Kasich “had to close a projected $8 billion hole in the budget”, but he doesn’t say why Kasich had to.  It’s a Constitutional requirement of all Governors.  Kasich likes to try to use that as a bullet point in his awesomeness and Bai nearly let’s him get away with it as others have done.  Maybe Matt should read up on PB about the false nature of the $8 billion number.  Not only is it false, but the entire premise is wrong given that Kasich inherited a nearly $1 billion surplus – something you won’t read about from journalists flying on planes with John Kasich.

Of course Kasich doesn’t want to talk SB5…not even a little bit:

It was this instinct that led him, during his first months in office, to embrace the Legislature’s plan to curb collective-bargaining rights for public employees — a proposition Ohio voters soundly rejected in a referendum, and which most likely explains Kasich’s dismal approval ratings during much of his first term. (“I don’t want to talk about it,” Kasich told me when I asked him about that particular debacle.)

LOL.  Johnny don’t wanna talk about SB5’s sound defeat while flying the journo around on his plane.  Sniff.  Sniff.

Bai probably should have paid more attention to Plunderbund if he wanted some perspective on the things Kasich was selling him on his plane.  JobsOhio, American Greetings, Bob Evans (they were never moving to Texas, but they did move jobs!)

He comes close to hitting the point that we’ve been making for over a year now – that Ohio was on the road to recovery when Ted Strickland was Governor.  John Kasich didn’t build that.

Who gets credit for what is the constant source of political debate, and the truth is usually somewhere in the middle.  It’s pretty clear to us, though, that Ohio’s recovery began under Strickland and is continuing under Kasich at about the same pace as the rest of the country if you consider unemployment a key metric.

We’re pretty sure there wasn’t any need for God to have sent Kasich to save us as we already had a Methodist minister looking over his flock.  One that, after last night’s speech, we all miss more than ever.

Now, we can’t be so sure about Gandorf, or Jindal, or Gandalf, or whatever.