Like a chameleon changing color to blend into a new surrounding, Ohio Gov. John Kasich is venturing outbound to safe Republican venues to boost his near-zero national polling numbers enough that he won’t be embarrassed by not qualifying to be among the top ten GOP candidates who will stand on stage in Cleveland in August for the party’s first presidential debate.

Q-Poll Pegs Kasich At 2 Percent


Gov. John R. Kasich, left, at his 2012 year end review. Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus is seated next to him.

A Quinnipiac University National poll released Thursday shows gridlock at the top of Republican totem pole to be president. There are five leaders – or no leaders – as Republican voters look at likely GOP candidates in the 2016 White House race, with no candidate above 10 percent and 20 percent undecided, the Q-Poll said. GOP leaders include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Gov. Kasich attributed his lopsided win in a historically low turnout election last fall to the Lord’s hands being on him. So far, the Lord is placing His hands on others with today’s Q-Poll showing the glib governor is a bottom dweller at two percent, tied with hopeless candidate Carly Fiorina, Hewlett Packard’s failed CEO whose calling appears to be to drone attack Hillary Clinton. On track to be who Democrats select next year to run for president, Mrs. Clinton is expected to mop the floor with Mr. Kasich, should the Red Sea part again and make him the last candidate standing, or any other Republican who is unlucky enough to face her in 2016. Even card-carrying crazy candidates like U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, at seven percent, or U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at six percent, Donald Trump at 5 percent and New Jersey Gov. Christopher Christie at 4 percent, are polling higher than Ohio’s autocratic executive leader .

Again in campaign-mode, Gov. Kasich’s methods are well known to those who have followed him over the course of his long and lucrative career as a professional politician. His fast footwork is on display as he morphs from off-putting jerk to sunny optimist and from know-it-all micromanager to a candidate feigning ignorance about who his competitors are or what they’re doing. Ever the opportunist, the 18-year congressman who long relished his Beltway insider status, has always looked for a parade to jump in front of. The go-go governor pretended to be a Tea Partier in 2010 to win enough support to push him over the finish line. But soon after winning, he ditched movement values in several ways, the most prominent being his administrative expansion of Medicaid.

Now that populism is a growing political movement, Gov. Kasich appears ready to hop onto this new bandwagon, even though history IMG_5138shows he shares none of its valued planks. Amazingly, he now claims he’s not for crony capitalism even though the former Lehman Brothers banker and Fox TV political talk show has crusaded for corporate welfare—and a rigged tax code that enables it—over his nearly 40 years in elected office.

Key To Kasich: Lazy Myopic Media

He also knows that myopic state and national media will be sufficiently dazzled by his political showmanship that they won’t press him on policy decisions that would flush his hard-right record into the open. Ohio media, lead by the Columbus Dispatch and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, did the governor’s dirty work last fall by bearing down on the beleaguered Democratic challenger over personal and campaign missteps. While media hyenas ran after Ed FitzGerald last year, they let Gov. Kasich’s record of tax shifting, siphoning off local funds to cities and schools, injecting government into women’s health issues, selling state assets, spending record amounts, approving gerrymandered districts and signing bills that hurt democracy instead of helping it go untouched.

No longer dressing like it’s casual Friday, Mr. Kasich is now brushed and polished as he schmoozes and yuks it up with a national reporter like Jonathan Karl of ABC, who loved the governor’s ebullient banter more than digging down on his real record. Had Mr. Karl bothered to peer into Kasichlore, he would have seen that he’s still stuck in time as a Reagan relic. Despite reality proving him wrong, he still believes tax cuts produce jobs, government funding social safety net programs is bad, private is always better than public and personal responsibility only applies to people and not corporations . On the big issues of today—public schools versus charter schools, raising the minimum wage, leveling out economic inequality, being for gay marriage, taking money out of politics and being transparent instead of secret, among others that will help factor into who voters want in the White House going forward—he’s camped out on the far right bank of the American mainstream.

It’s basic Kasich to try to fool all the people all the time. For those watching on the sidelines, Gov.Kasich’s about-face on government lending is laughable, showing just how double-jointed he is. He’s expert at saying one thing before an election—which is lite on substance—and doing the opposite after.

His biggest demonstration of outright deception failed with the shellacking he took in 2011, when Ohio voters by a 2-1 margin stuffed his plan to gut collective bargaining rights for public union workers. Citizen Kasich made no mention in 2010 of how he would attack workers, but once sworn-in, he set his sights on doing just that. Had he told voters in advance what his intentions were, he would have lost to former Gov. Ted Strickland by a half-million votes. Instead, he squeaked to a win with just 77,127 votes statewide. And because Ohio has no recall provisions for statewide candidates including governor, John Kasich escaped being recalled as happened to his bosom buddy Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who Kasich counseled on his push to attack workers.

Kasich Changes Color On Crony Capitalism


Gov. Kasich, seen here signing the 2014-2015 biennial budget, loves props, and kids work just fine.

A long-time pro-growth, pro-business fan, crony capitalism is part of Kasich’s political DNA. It’s curious that he now says he’s against corporate welfare, when his record shows just the opposite. A big example of his crony capitalism, that remains in plain site for anyone who cares to look, is his full-bore rush to create JobsOhio, his super secret, hand-picked board of business cronies who have billions in government-backed bonded funds to shower on well-connected insiders. Kasich won’t talk about how poorly he and JobsOhio have done to actually create jobs, but the facts speak for themselves: Ohio is now 30 months into underperforming the national average by 40 or more percent in some months.

The governor’s latest color change comes with his stated opposition to the Export-Import Bank. This anti-growth, anti-business declaration puts him at odds with business groups and prominent members of his own party, including Ohio’s junior U.S. Senator Rob Portman. Portman is aligned with his senior partner, Democratic U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown. Sen. Portman and other Republicans are coalescing around a bipartisan bill that would reauthorize the bank’s charter for five years. The record shows that Congressman Kasich voted to reauthorize the Ex-Im bank at least twice.

Kasich Budget Battered

Meanwhile, back in Ohio, the governor’s executive budget, the most expensive in state history, got hosed by the Ohio House and is taking on water in the Senate. His reputation as an autocrat who runs over people who oppose or challenge him is legend. Gov. Kasich’s so-called “Ohio miracle” story falls a apart without too much examination. Beltway media, unfortunate but not surprising, doesn’t seem smart enough to look past the narrative his handlers have crafted that is largely repeated without challenge in national coverage.

Plunderbund has and will continue to go where other reporters and news groups fear to tread. Gov. Kasich wants everyone to believe PBLOGOhe’s not a politician, doesn’t pay attention to polls and doesn’t care about status quo special interests when the very opposite is true. We know that’s pure horse hockey.

Hoping for a miracle, his peek-a-boo campaign suffers each day now that seven Republicans have made the leap and declared their candidacy for president. Gov. Kasich is the Music Man of Ohio and his showmanship over substance is designed to deceive. He didn’t have an official coming-out party for reelection last year, a gimmick Ohio newspapers portrayed as Kasich’s iconoclastic style. He won’t be able to do nationally what he did in Ohio, although it will be fun to watch him try. Seven candidates are in with another seven ready to join the biggest field of GOP White House wannabees ever.

It’s no secret that Gov. Kasich harbors many personalities, from petulant jerk to aloof autocrat to evangelical preacher. Which one becomes dominant depends on the audience and the circumstance. He’s already given examples of why his psychological profile makes him unfit to be leader of the free world.

When the Cleveland Plain Dealer scrubbed his terrible video performance last year from an editorial board meeting that included his two challengers, the world won’t have a chance to see what a few saw—a temperamental, immature, mean and vindictive person, who talks about Jesus but acts like Pontius Pilate. So much for fair and balanced coverage. Kasich knows he can intimidate and threaten media. That says as much about media as it does about the governor himself.