It was John Kasich’s big day yesterday, when his private event, held at his Alma mater in Columbus and orchestrated for his big presidential announcement launch, lost the headline wars to Donald J. Trump. The uber-direct and blunt New York real estate mogul, who’s risen to the top of Republican polls, virtually obliterated Kasich’s kickoff like a solar eclipse casting its dark shadow over central Ohio when he released the cell phone number of another GOP White House contender, South Carolina Senator Lyndsay Graham.
For those who didn’t get distracted by Trump’s latest media dazzler, Gov. Kasich’s now familiar delivery and showmanship was on display again yesterday, but as more than one national writer said, it consisted of a 45-minute rambling speech that was heavy on Kasichlore and feel-good story telling but light as always on Kasich policy.
Kasich: “When We Win”
In an email to supporters following the big event at the Student Union at The Ohio State University, Kasich’s campaign sent out an email saying what everyone for weeks, months and years already knew, his commune with God on his purpose in life was over, the verdict is in, and he’s running for president.
“When we win, we will show Washington how to cut taxes, balance the federal budget, and create jobs. When we win, we will make Americans safer and restore our leadership around the world. When we win, we will find solutions to the problems our leaders have ignored for far too long,” his fans were told.
In another sign that Gov. Kasich’s big day at the races wasn’t as big as he had hoped it would be, his Facebook traffic Tuesday was as low as his poll standings. David Lightman of McClatchy DC wrote Kasich’s big announcement only generated 261,000 interactions on Facebook and 156,000 people. That’s low, compared to his rivals, Lightman noted. “And it reflects his low standing in national polls. Kasich needs to reach the top 10 to qualify for the August 6 Republican debate in Cleveland, and it looks like it’s going to be close.”
For purposes of comparison, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had 482,000 unique people and 803,000 interactions; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal had 316,000 unique people and 542,000 interactions; former Florida Gov. Jeb! Bush had 493,000 unique people and 849,000 interactions, McClatchy reported.
Even though I wasn’t given press credentials to cover the event, I was outside the Student Union to capture some of the sites and sounds of a small but vocal group of protesters who had a very different view of the governor and his record.
Brad Friedman, whose nationally syndicated radio show out of Los Angeles that focuses on progressive issues with a special emphasis on “Green” news, had me as his Bradcast guest yesterday to comment on Gov. Kasich, who he is, why he’s running, and why he’s not the right candidate for the job.
Now the 16th Republican candidate to formally announce his bid for the 2016 presidential cycle, Gov. Kasich run the risk, as one pundit put it, of running the risk of losing if he continues to “lecture Republicans about everything they’re wrong about.”
Blade Cartoon Cutting
The Toledo Blade, who did not endorse the governor last year and who’s been one of his more vocal critics among the Big Eight newspapers who have largely promoted him and his candidacy, offered a political cartoon that cut through the buzz that surrounds his so-called Ohio Miracle.
60 Seconds Ohio: Rosetta Hobel
Here’s Rosetta Hobel, a middle school teacher in Youngstown, taking exception to what Gov. Kasich has done to education in Ohio. According to education watchers, Ohio schools have fallen from fifth in the nation to 18th.
Ohio Dems React
The Ohio Democratic Party released a new video, “Not So Presidential,” highlighting some of Gov. John Kasich’s most controversial statements over the years. “Governor John Kasich has spent a long time in the public eye, and he’s not always handled the spotlight very well,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper said. “From calling a law enforcement officer an ‘idiot’ to advocating for racial profiling, Kasich doesn’t seem very presidential when you look at his inflammatory comments over the years.”
Camped out on High Street, across from the student union where Gov. Kasich held his event, the Ohio Democratic Party and its Chairman David Pepper took on Ohio’s governor on jobs, education and more. Two students and a teacher stepped to the podium and told their stories of just what the governor’s policy prescriptions have done to make things worse for them and others.