If pigs had wings, they could fly. If gravity wasn’t a proven law of the universe, people could defy it. If John Kasich had campaigned in 2010 on gutting collective bargaining for public sector workers, he would have lost by a half-million votes.
At a Monday night town hall at Concord’s McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, another iffy scenario seems as unlikely as pigs flying and people floating in mid air. The perpetually petulant Governor of Ohio showed the tremendous uncertainly that underlies his false bravado of eventually being elected president next year.
“If I become a story out of here, I really think I’ll be president,” Mr. Kasich told a small gathering of New Hampshire voters who showed up at his 45th town hall meeting, The Concord Monitor reported.
Big “If” Iffy At Best
But if recent polling is any indication of Gov. Kasich’s chances to “become a story” when voting begins early next year, a new poll out Tuesday by Associated Industries of Florida, a pro-business lobby that tracks the race for its largely Republican membership, shows that if as very iffy.
“The crowded GOP field is harming Marco Rubio and helping Donald Trump, according to three new polls of likely Republican voters taken in New Hampshire, South Carolina and in Florida that also show Ted Cruz surging,” PoliticoFlorida reported. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for the first time, ties Trump in South Carolina and is tied for second with Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in Florida, following last week’s GOP debate in Las Vegas.
If Gov. Kasich wasn’t polling at one percent nationally, as Quinnipiac shows, he might be a story, but he is and he isn’t.
Kasich Afraid Of Women’s Issues
Playing to a tiny audience of about 30 people at the Portsmouth Country Club, the small turnout for his launch of “Women For Kasich” was noted because of the lack of women in attendance aside from Gov. Kasich’s entourage that included 10 named leaders of his newly launched effort. There were virtually no other women present, Monitor staff reporter Ella Nilsen wrote, about the event. The new Kasich support group’s mission is to “keep his visibility high when he’s elsewhere, and reach out to other women, especially on social media.”
In a stunning statement, the group’s leader said that while “women’s issues are everybody’s issues,” abortion is off the table because it’s “too controversial.” This is basic Kasich, up-play your favorite talking points—lower income taxes, reduce government regulation, balance budgets, ramp up military spending—and downplay your weakest, most vulnerable positions, which include a terrible record on women’s issues and rights in Ohio.
Gov. Kasich never brings up his proven record in Washington for 18 years and in Ohio for five years to create an obstacle course for lady Buckeyes to access their constitutional right to an abortion, choosing instead to start and end his discussion on the big, controversial topic Hillary Clinton and others will hammer him with should he be anything than a back-bencher next year. Gov. Kasich says little other than he’s pro-life. In early primary states, reporters may not know just how bad his record in Ohio is, as he promises to do for the nation what he’s done in Ohio.
Kasich To Crow About 2015 Work
Meanwhile, back in Ohio Tuesday, Ohio’s 63-year old governor will conduct another one of his year-ending, self-basting monologues on just how wonderful he’s been in the biggest battleground state of them all. Gov. Kasich will surround himself with loyal if not clueless Republicans who control the Ohio legislature and are pushing new measures to regulate the disposal of fetal remains by both abortion clinics and hospitals.
Odds are great that he won’t bring up recently revealed news that his handpicked staffers decided which abortion restrictions would be included in the last state budget, even though Gov. Kasich cast himself and his administration as neutral bystanders.
He probably won’t mention that he signaled he would sign a bill in the legislature that would prevent abortions of down syndrome babies. He will keep quiet on the last-minute, un-debated provisions stuffed into budget bills that he could have vetoed but allowed to stand that force women to go out of state for needed help.
He will mention that 60 percent of women voted for him last year, but he won’t mention that two-thirds of voters stayed away from the polls, making his claim of support from women, who now outnumber and outvote men, look far less impressive.
Kasich says he’s bi-partisan, but evidence of that argues otherwise. In New Hampshire, he was asked to address the idea of bipartisanship should he become president. A report from the Foster Daily Democrat newspaper quoted Kasich on his ability to reach across the isle.
“You know, with Democrats, they’re not always going to agree with you, but you can’t demonize them,” Kasich said, Caitlin Andrews of FDD reported. “And you try to pull them in.” Ohio’s jokey governor said, “My father was a Democrat, so I know how to talk to them.”
John Kasich has little if anything to show from his five years as Governor of Ohio that he could get done what he claims are his accomplishments without backing from a super-majority of Republicans who rule Ohio’s General Assembly. Throughout his life as a career performance politician, Mr. Kasich can point to one-off relationships with a Democrat here and there, but for him to say he’s included them in his policy formulations is only believable by reporters and town hall attendees who have no clue about government back home.
Kasich Bravado Masks His Fear Of Losing
John Kasich’s big “if” reflects the great degree to which he hasn’t caught fire outside of Ohio. When he first started campaigning, a big upside for his campaign was that few people who he was or what he can had done. Since then, reliable polling shows that as more people get to know him, they don’t like him. But Kasich knows he has an abrasive personality, little changed from when he was a young politico on the hunt for public sector work in the 1970s. His unfavorables now surpass his favorable ratings, and his recent spat of snarky TV ads directed at Donald Trump come as no surprise to media who have followed him over the decades, reporting on his off-putting, attention-getting remarks.
Gov. struggles to break through in New Hampshire and nationally, according to The Monitor, which shows polls have Mr. Kasich 7.7 percent in New Hampshire and 2.3 percent nationally, based on poll coverage at Real Clear Politics.