It’s only been two weeks since John Kasich won a resounding victory in what was the poorest voter turnout election since the 1940s. But two Ohio newspapers, who dragged their journalism credentials through the mud this year by pummeling Kasich’s Democratic opponent to an early death, are again basking in the aurora of the wannabe president as he practices the high art of political engagement that he has crafted over decades. Not answering questions, ignoring opponents and the public, and feigning dis-interest in a race everyone knows he’s very interested in, were some of his winning ways. They will now be reborn with a national audience in mind.
This week Kasich got chatty with like-minded Tea Party governors attending a Republican Governors Association event in in Florida, giving the world a glimpse of the governor’s plan for the national stage. It’s what KasichLore calls ” The Ohio Model,” a collection of verses straight out of the crony capitalist bible, and Ohio’s late great newspapers provided breathlessly devout coverage it all.
If you don’t know what John Kasich will do next, but want to anticipate his next move, basic Kasich says do the expected, as he did in Ohio this year when he created buzz among his dream teamers by not launching his campaign for reelection with kick-off events, but by doing it in the shadows and not debating his opponents, a trick he’ll try to execute on a national stage but won’t get away with this time. Kasich did the unexpected even though it was totally anticipated by those who have followed him closely over his long and lucrative career as a professional performance politician.
Mr. casual Friday was again without tie as he tried to stand out from the maddening crowd of radical-right religious Republican state governors who assembled in the Sunshine State this week to strut their stuff before party officials and mega-donors ready to pony up millions to keep another Democrat from occupying the White House through the end of this decade. As he did in Ohio this year, Kasich either declined to answer questions directly or offered “hints” that sycophant reporters on the Kasich bandwagon might find titillating enough to fuel the fans blowing Kasich’s name as a one-time long-shot outlier higher on the list of Republicans desperately hoping to be the next sacrificial lamb slaughtered in the coming presidential election cycle in two years.
Kasich routinely refused to answer questions this year from reporters and groups as benign as the League of Women Voters, and he continued his stealth campaign yesterday, when all he could offer on whether he would sign or veto the so-called “Heartbeat” bill, which would effectively outlaw abortion in Ohio, is “I share the same concerns as Ohio Right to Life.” Always in full avoidance mode, Ohio’s governor knows he doesn’t have anything to worry about because his wing-men—speaker Batchelder in the House and president Faber in the Senate—will protect him. “It’s a long way till it comes to my desk,” Kasich coyly told gullible media.
But it’s not a matter of speculation of where he stands on women’s healthcare rights. Mr. 25-percent, the percentage of registered Ohio voters who actually voted for him on Nov. 4, accepted without question or any public hearings ill-informed abortion restrictions that appeared overnight in the state budget—the most expensive in state history at $62 billion—he signed last year.
Kasich, a former 18-year congressman who claims not to like Obamacare but has no plan that makes sense to replace it, set himself apart from the other GOP Obama-bashing governors, including Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Mike Pence of Indiana, Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin, by defending Common Core, expanding Medicaid and remaining open to the idea immigrants could eventually earn citizenship, per President Obama’s announcement Thursday night, for immigrants currently in the country.
Don’t change what works, and what worked for John Kasich in Ohio this year is what’s worked for him his entire political career, namely, evasion and obfuscation on one issue after another where Republicans are out of step with the majority of Americans but in step with what the old and new John Kasich think. On a panel of state GOP executives, Kasich said he wouldn’t oppose eventual citizenship as long as there is a “laborious and tough process” because “we’ve got to think about what’s going to bring about healing. . . Everybody in this country has to feel as though they have an opportunity,” one published report said.
Ohioans know their governor all too well, which maybe explains why over 800,000 fewer voters were uninspired enough by his God-given leadership skills that they just stayed home. The national belt-way media feeds on reports from Ohio mainstream media, which lowered the bar terribly this year, as they allowed John Kasich to walk on water by essentially giving him a free pass for ignoring long-standing campaign traditions like debating opponents and clearly stating his position on issues like raising the minimum wage, protecting women’s health care rights, reducing income inequality, protecting pubic education, privatizing formerly public functions like job creation and running prisons, among many others.
Everyone knows that Gov. Kasich doesn’t forget, doesn’t forgive and is as hyper-political as they come, which shows just how brazen he is as he pretends he’s above politics when he’s not. “The country is just too divided. It’s ‘You got your stuff and I got my stuff,'” he told media who followed his every evasive answer. And Kasich has done all he can to divide and conquer, making it all the more possible for his insider group to get their stuff—lower income tax rates—and your stuff—higher sales and property taxes that fund big carve outs for the wealthy.
Johnny Pennsylvania loves secrets, but he’s as transparent as he always has been. He wants to remake the GOP over in his image, but that image comes from a false prophet and it is just that, false. Kasich is as Republican as they come, and by not answering questions honestly and fully, he shows just how not-different he is from today’s Republican Party.