Kasich in 2016. Really?
by Thomas Givens

I know a guy who works in state government. He got the job because he was very active in GOP politics. We were talking recently and he said, John Kasich was going to be the next President of the United States. He said this with a straight face and a gleam in his eye you only see in true believers. The Manson Family had that look as did the followers of Jim Jones.

I was speechless for a moment and said “Really?” He said John would be the best candidate fielded in years. A true pro-life fiscal conservative who won’t have to run from his record like McCain and Romney. A Governor that saved the Ohio economy with visionary leadership. He could do the same at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

I took a long drink of my beer and opined Hillary may have something to say about that. That prompted a monologue from a man who thinks Red State and Drudge are legitimate news sources. We jousted a bit and parted agreeing to disagree.

The very fact this guy said Kasich is going to be President means the worst kept secret in Ohio politics is likely pointing to John running. Provided he gets reelected. As much as the Ohio GOP pushes this as a certainty, it surely isn’t a gimme. Ed Fitzgerald is polling well a year out. A couple polls have him and Kasich tied. I know it’s a long time till November 2014 but it seems promising.

I would like to see Kasich’s numbers among single women. The labor movement has him on their to do list. The Tea Party infused House and Senate are making noises about a Right To Work bill. He also has to worry about a Right To Work ballot measure possibly showing up in 2014. That would be very bad news for his campaign.

Labor and reasonable Ohioans remember how SB 5/Issue 2 fared. Ohio may not be the Union bastion it once was but they still wield some power. They can put big money into the campaign. Have troops ringing doorbells and manning phones. Unions also have impressive GOV prowess.

That may explain the rash of voter suppression bills in the pipeline. If you can’t win on issues, keep the opposition from voting. Husted tried hard in 2012. He also got spanked by the courts including SCOTUS. With Nina Turner running, Husted may have his hands full. He will be under close scrutiny on how the election runs. There is a possibility he will need to explain his actions in Federal Court once more. He really shouldn’t flirt with a contempt citation this time around.

When that despicable budget passed and came to Kasich for a signature I knew the abortion regulations would survive. He did not veto a single provision. He did manage to reaffirm his faith driven pro-life stand every time he had a microphone in his face. John proudly unfurled the pro-life banner and flew it high. It was simply an outright play to the National Base. Prepping his street cred for a run in ’16.

Now, the Medicaid expansion may be a small problem nationally. I doubt it will be an issue he’ll want to deal with as he’s hit from the right here in Ohio. We are so crazy here a “Right To Life” group is among those suing to stop the expansion. The obvious best way to ensure women’s health is to deny them health care access.

Ted Stevenot is making noises about running against Kasich in the Primary. Kasich has some problems with the far right wing of the Party. He is talking on raising taxes on frackers. He expanded Medicare doing an end run around the Legislature. Both are heresies.

We Kasich watchers are thrilled, looking forward to another national campaign for Kasich. His run in 2000 folded do to total disinterest from the GOP. I want to see him go off script and maybe lose his temper. Watching a melt down on national TV would be a lovely train wreck. I wonder how his former bosses at Fox would spin it.

John is already getting the softball treatment on Fox. Since Rupert kicked in a million towards John Kasich’s run for Governor his lackeys may prove helpful.

This GOP Primary Season is already shaping up as a doozy. It makes the 2012 field look thoughtful and well reasoned. Kasich will need all the aw shucks, boyish charm he has to even get past Iowa. I expect his travel plans to ramp up soon. Running for reelection will slow down the overt jockeying for now. Should he win, expect him to hit the ground running for President.

That in itself should be an issue in ’14. If reelected, will he serve a full term? Well, the best thing we can do for John is deny him another term It will be good for Ohio. It will be good for the Nation. And, it’ll save him embarrassment on the national stage. He can do a Huckabee and get his Fox show back. At least there he’s harmless.


You can follow Thomas Givens at his blog An Old Lefty or on Twitter as @AnOldLefty.