While other Republicans like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio are taking the leap, laying out their leadership credentials and declaring their candidacy for U.S. President, Ohio’s erratic, combative and term-limited governor showed what leading from behind really looks like.
John Kasich ventured again past state borders Monday to display his well-known abrasive personality to several hundred people who attended the Detroit Economic Club. Already thrashed in New York by leading conservatives who called him out on his Bible babble trope to justify his limited compassion for “people living in the shadows,” and warned by leading pollsters who say his peek-a-boo campaign for president is wearing thin, the twice-elected governor lives comfortably in his own ego bubble.
After all, if it’s not about him, he’s just not into it. This helps explains to those who have not followed him for nearly 40 years in elected office why he plays coy on whether he will or won’t get in the ring and rumble with the likes of top tier GOP candidates who won’t spare the rod to spoil him.
Cowardly Kasich Not Ready To Rumble
“I’m going to decide this when I want to decide it,” Kasich told about 300 people at a Detroit Economic Club luncheon, the AP reported. “I am seriously considering it.” The former congressman who represented a reliably conservative district in central Ohio for 18 years in congress, was as gruff and unlikable as always, telling the 300, “If people like it, great. If they don’t like it, I’ll play more golf.” Maybe his low polling numbers already reflect the fact that he’s not known, or not liked by those who do know him.
The always petulant chief executive who enjoys berating others to work harder and longer, and who’s made a career calling out for reform, can’t offer any real answers to simple questions. For example, Mr. Kasich fancies himself a budget expert, but when it comes to naming one federal program he would cut if his fairy tale push for a federal balanced budget amendment were to magically come true, he can’t deliver a tangible answer. Instead, he retreats to safe territory, mouthing standard word salad standards about calling reforms only he can deliver.
On one of the biggest issues facing the nation, immigration, the AP reported that Kasich said he opposes creating a path to U.S. citizenship for millions of people illegally living in the country. Yet he also opposes mass deportation. Again, straddling the political fence is not leadership.
Even though Gov. Kasich doesn’t much like media, telling one reporter last year to stop asking him questions while banning another one from even covering his State of the State address this year, he surely knows that Hillary Clinton has entered the race for the White House yesterday, even though he says he doesn’t read newspapers. For Mrs. Clinton, a former First Lady, Senator from the State of New York and Secretary of State, her run, she said, wasn’t about her but the country.
For Gov. Kasich, the country comes fourth at best. “If it makes sense, you know I’ll do it. But it’s got to make sense to me and to my family and to my friends, because I’m not going to string anybody out there. We’ll see how things go,” the AP reported.