When a hungry traveler stops in at a Waffle House, waffles are on the menu. When a voter hungry for answers stops in at a John Kasich town hall meeting, they should also expect to get waffles even if they order straight answers to simple questions.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich has established a well-crafted, sweet song of a speech about giving everybody hope and opportunity again. For voters young or old or yet to be as the case may be, John Kasich’s flim-flam message of having hope again can be intoxicating to virgin ears who think the governor is on their side, when his record over the years, especially as governor, shows he’s on his side, which isn’t necessarily your side.
The best example so far was his silence when running in 2010 on gutting collective bargaining rights of public sector workers if elected. After he was elected, Gov. Kasich pursued with a vengeance taking down rights and protections of public sector workers.
What Gov. Kasich will never admit to, is that, had he campaigned five years ago on destroying protections public workers had relied on for 40 years, he would have lost by a half-million votes instead of winning by a mere 2 percent or 77,127 votes statewide.
Kasich Serves Up Waffles in NH
According to the Concord Monitor, Gov. Kasich was his evasive, joking self as a couple Henniker Community School students pressed him at a New England College town hall meeting Wednesday. Casey McDermott, a Monitor staff reporter at the event, reported that the two 11-year old students, Alex Garside and Alana Sevigny, who were part of a group of students and teachers who came to hear Kasich speak, didn’t get the direct answers they deserved from Ohio’s twice elected chief executive officer.
“The middle class is the backbone of a strong American economy,” Garside told Kasich, McDermott reported. “What will you do to help the middle class?” Sevigny wanted to know what Kasich would do to lower gas prices.
Gov. Kasich, who has honed his political craft over decades, “offered broad answers to the girls’ questions – along with some banter,” McDermott reported. Avoiding straight answers to straight questions from a couple future voters, Mr. Kasich went to his go-to well of vague, non-responsive answers. He told the girls he grew up in a neighborhood that was home to “lower and middle class folks,” according to the Monitor. He said the key to helping the middle class is focusing on job creation, adding it’s also “important to give people a way to adapt and keep learning new skills that could help them to advance.”
“I don’t want you to be bothered by this, okay? But education is for life,” Kasich told the seventh-graders. “You have to constantly upgrade your skills.” Avoiding the question, probably because he doesn’t have any good answers as his record so far as governor has shown wages are lower and poverty is up in Ohio, Ohio’s governor switched to talk of social media. Mr. Kasich asked, “Do you know what Snapchat is? Facebook?”
“Give that girl a gold star,” Kasich said, McDermott wrote. “But the fact is that we need to make sure that because things are changing so quickly, that workers can adapt and they can have skills, because when they have skills, you can get paid more. And the more skills you have, the better you can do your job, the more they have to pay you.”
Ohio Not Better Off Under Kasich
The facts are quite different, based on a pending report from an economic research group that reveals Ohio’s median wage dipped, and now remains lower than in all but eight of the last 36 years, adjusted for inflation. Once more than nearly nine percent above the nation’s median wage, Ohio’s median wage is now over 5 percent less than the national.
Kasich gave one of the girls a short lecture on supply and demand. “When you have a lot of something, it costs less. When you have less of something, it costs more,” he said. Gov. Kasich is now 30th in the nation according to the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in job creation, and but for hydraulic fracturing, among other energy technologies, his job as a job-creator would be even worse than it is now. Gov. Kasich became the first governor in the nation to freeze renewable energy standards crafted by Republicans and Democrats under for Gov. Ted Strickland.
“You know what’s so great about that? That means we don’t have to depend on people who we don’t like all that much sometimes to tell us how to power our stuff,” Kasich told Sevigny. “So this is good news for you.”
A number of students stopped by to see Gov. Kasich, who after spending millions on advertisements in New Hampshire, a small libertarian-leaning state he can’t finish lower than third place in if he wants to keep his chances of becoming the GOP nominee for president next year, is now among the leaders. John Kasich boasts that he’s now second in New Hampshire polls, but close on his heels is Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the all-male Republican lineup, who is right behind him at third place after spending time at the kid’s table on August 6, the day Fox News sponsored the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland. The next debate, sponsored by CNN in California, will add Fiorina, a former CEO of Hewlett Packard who lost her only run for public office as senator from California, to its ten-person debate.
Where’s The Beef And The Details?
Sadan Kodjoe, a self-described “independent” said Kasich made a solid first impression, but wants more specifics from him, particularly on his immigration policy and his approach to foreign policy, especially as it relates to addressing the Islamic State. Good luck with that, as Kasich knows his sweet song is all about emotion with few if any details on what he would do if elected.
Martina Cohran, as McDermott reported, was less satisfied. Cohran, a senior political science major, plans to support Hillary Clinton. She said Kasich seemed like a nice guy, but she wasn’t sure that he brought forward enough policy specifics during his answers on Wednesday. “The whole ‘reach for the stars’ thing is really good for them,” Cohran said, referring to the kids who attended the event. “But we (college students) want to know about college loans, we want to know if we’re going to be able to have jobs in this economy. Those are the things we’re going to be interested in.”
Cohran, Garside and Sevigny will have a long wait ahead of them if they want to hear John Kasich actually enumerate a detailed, coherent policy on virtually any topic.