KasichChurchThe frequent photos of Gov. Kasich with outstretched arms suggest that he might consider one of those megachurch arenas for his base before he wanders into the wilderness of a presidential campaign. Voters would be expected to respond not only to the preachy profile but also to his recurring references to how he and the Lord get along so well. As he told us on election night, God had put his hand on him.

In the old days, ii was called mysticism, a one-on-one conversation with God. Today it woudn’t be a stretrch to say that more politicians than ever are finding it quite convenient to bring their God into the reverential sphere with voters.

Several presidential candidates in the last election tried to convince us that they were running with the best wishes of the Lord as well as the Tea Party. Texas Gov. Rick Perry of Texas even went so far as to claim that God told him to run. So did Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain. Earlier, George W. Bush was certain that God had wanted him to be the commander-in-chief.

And so there he was, of all things, on the aircraft carrier decked out as a military pilot, declaring MISSION ACCOMPLISHED.

Sometimes just the opposite occurs, Mike Huckabee revealed that God had told him NOT to run. Thank God for that!.

Today’s practitioners of the religious art are so much less imaginative than the days of dog rentals as props for the candidates. Edwin O’Connor gave us a lively account in The Last Hurrah of the role of a rented Irish setter as a homey prop by Kevin McCluskey against Mayor Frank Skeffington to complement the billboard and painting of the Pope for the eyes of the Catholic electorate.

There. Religious outreach as well as that big irish setter. Oh, and the infancy of TV ads that captured the warm relationship between the candidate and the hired Irish setter. He won!

Have yet to see Kasich with a rented dog. But it’s early.