John Kasich has apparently found his comfort zone for re-election in a kind of political pantomime in which he is silently acting out his role to the voters in paid-TV imagery while his narrators assure you that he means well in everything he sets out to do for you.
So until election day we will be served with body language and thoroughly encrypted feel-good messages without him really showing up as a real person. (Exception: When the governor, anticipating a generous contribution, called upon God to bless Sheldon Adelson, the Midas-like casino owner. Those are the moments that don’t appear in the TV ads).
The keepers of conventional wisdom shrugged when Kasich passed the word through his flaks that he wouldn’t debate his opponent Ed FitzGerald. Nothing to be gained by it, one Cleveland TV reporter supposed without a hint of discomfort over a major candidate’s refusal to face the voters with his opponent on hand.
After all, Kasich explainer, spokeswoman Connie Wehrkamp, said the decision was regrettable “despite good-faith efforts on our side” that were halted a couple of months ago when FitzGerald’s campaign suffered an “implosion”.
Good-faith efforts? Kasich had said earlier that he knew nothing about any debate discussions because these were in the hands of his “campaign”. Anybody from the distance of Mars who has a hint of the man’s brusque hands-on style knows that absolutely nothing occurs in a campaign that he does not know about.
His pantomime will continue when he and Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor turn up in the well-vetted Summit County Republican Headquarters Tuesday afternoon. There he will be joined by some local Republicans and Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, a lobbyist who gets a $10,000 monthly paycheck to connect the governor with the University of Akron.
In return for Kasich’s appearance, we have a hunch that Alex, never at a loss for hyperbole, will describe him as the greatest governor in Ohio history. Kasich will act out his response with a modest smile and leave the scene in full command of his unfettered campaign to run for president.