“You’re not in politics to represent political parties … You’re in politics to do good and pass good policy,” Gov. Kasich told a recent gathering of Republicans in New Hampshire, an early primary state he’s betting the ranch on to shoot him to the top of the current slate of 17 GOP White House hopefuls come next February when Granite Stater’s vote.

As reported by Melissa Proulx of The Keene Sentinel in New Hampshire, Gov. Kasich hit his three talking points: balancing the budget, rebuilding the military and creating more unity in the country. One of Gov. Kasich’s favorite bromides, that he’s above politics, is so blatantly false that repeating it without providing even one of the many examples of how Mr. Kasich is the ultimate, bare-knuckles politician calls into question any reporter’s reporting research.

Bogus Bromides

“I was one of the chief architects when we not only balanced the budget, but we also paid back the largest amount of publicly held debt in modern time, and we cut taxes, and the economy was growing and doing great, Proulx reported Mr. Kasich saying. Clinton’s budget paved the way for federal surpluses, and Congressman Kasich voted against it, but took credit for it when it worked.

Kasich favorites like, “It’s the private sector that creates jobs … The government should just facilitate that,” are whoppers, said without fear of anyone, maybe especially media, taking him to the wood shed with facts. “It’s a sin not to help people who need help,” Gov. Kasich told virgin ears in New Hampshire, who don’t know much about him in general and virtually nothing about his real record in Ohio.

R Doesn’t Stand For Poor

New revelations show Gov. Kasich has become very rich over the course of his long tenure as a performance politician. The Plain Dealer, which shamefully took down its video of the governor acting like a total jerk last fall when the paper’s editorial board had him and his two challengers seated before it, reported Saturday that, based on the disclosure of financial records to the Federal Elections Committee, which Fox News has put as a condition to be in it’s debate in Cleveland, the mailman’s son has feathered his nest quite nicely.

Converting his well-paid time as a congressman for 18 years into other more lucrative employment opportunities—as a Managing Director for Lehman Brothers and political talk show host at the Fox News Channel—his value lies somewhere between $9-22 million. No wonder the governor has done all he can to keep his wealth under wraps, which we deciphered was true when he says the Lord doesn’t mind wealth, He minds being “greedy,” a line Mr. Kasich has yet to define for his own circumstances. His plea for compassion, which some have interpreted makes him a so-called moderate, reflects his understanding that rich people like him, who have all the resources anyone can ever want, should toss a bone now and again to all those who are not rich. Back when I could cover him, I asked him about the issue of inequality, to which he responded, “that’s a federal” problem. But Kasich-style compassion always comes with a tablespoon of bitter medicine.

He wants Medicaid eligible people [mostly low-income mothers and children] to pay to have it, or he’s a fan of means testing, effectively making their struggle that much harder. He likes personal responsibility, but for the governor, it applies most always to people, not so much for corporations. Mr. Kasich has long banked on his political platitude that government breeds dependency, which is a Cardinal sin in his brand of partisan ideology, that favors the wealthy, whose dependency on government, primarily through the tax code, is the greatest of all, over regular workers.

John Kasich has clearly taken his own advice that “it’s a sin not to have people help themselves.” Mr. Kasich, whose sins are many but who says he’s playing for eternal salvation, has certainly helped himself to power, fame and fortune. And since he can see the White House from his home in central Ohio, his last chance in the national political spotlight is shinning bright. The riches are there for the taking, for him and his friends, and he knows it.

This Governor

Former Columbus Dispatch senior political writer Joe Hallett told me once upon a time, when I asked him why former Dispatch reporter Joe Vardon, who was new to the paper at the time, landed the assignment to follow Gov. John Kasich to the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps at Davos, Switzerland, in 2013, where he would mix with world political and business leaders?

Mr. Hallett, who served with me in the statehouse press corps for three years, didn’t answer the question directly, saying instead that the paper had decided to cover “this governor” where ever it took. The paper’s mission then as it is now was echoed by interim Dispatch editor Alan Miller, who reaffirmed Gov. Kasich, a term-limited governor who wants to be president, would be covered at every step.

Coverage Or Coverups At Every Step?

From it’s coverage at every step, it’s clear the Columbus Dispatch, which was purchased for a fire-sale price recently, was in the tank for citizen Kasich in 2010 and again for the governor last year when, with the drumbeat help of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, reporters chased down the governor’s beleaguered Democratic opponent while giving “this governor” one free pass after another on blockbuster stories that could have proved fatal to his budding presidential campaign hopes had any reporter bothered to pursue them. But instead, the 63-year old Music Man from Ohio waltzed to an easy win in a low-turnout midterm election. Columbus’ major daily’s promise to cover Gov. Kasich at every step sounds like great journalism. Based on past performance, it’s not.

Instead, it’s proof that the strong voice for and defender of Republicans in general, and Gov. Kasich in particular, is doing exactly what Kasich’s handlers and now his New Day for American campaign team wanted then and wants now: Mention his name on the front and editorial pages as often as possible and, unless forced to, be his adjunct PR agency, by always pushing the governor’s flimsy narrative of turnaround at his hands alone, no matter his fabulous flops in policy, governance and partisan political gymnastics.


NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll

In separate news, a new NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll shows Donald Trump, the bodacious New York real estate mogul is the first choice of 19 percent of GOP primary voters. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker nets 15 percent while 14 percent back Bush and ten percent support retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson. At three percent, John Kasich cranks up his already low polling by one percent. But that’s better than Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who tied at one percent. The rest of the field, including former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York governor George Pataki and former governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore who did even worse.

Kasich Spends 2 days in Iowa

In news from Iowa, the first state to hold a primary, of the 22 Republican and Democratic candidates tracked so far on how much time they’ve spent in the Hawkeye State, Gov. Kasich logs in at 21 with only two days spent there, according to The Des Moines Register. Ohio’s snarky governor was quoted dissing Iowa to some of his staffers. Camp Kasich says it’s focused on New Hampshire, which unlike Iowa where the caucus system is used operates a primary where all voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote.

Topping the list with 37 days spent in Iowa is Rick Santorum, who won the GOP contest in 2012, barely beating Mitt Romney, who went on to be the Republican nominee, who subsequently lost the national election to President Barack Obama.