John Kasich loves to be a moving target. Moving targets are harder to hit than ones that stand still. His moving target theory of campaigning is better understood by reading his book “Every Other Monday” about attending Bible study class with some like-minded political buddies back in his days in Washington.
The book offers a glimpse into his mental meanderings at the time and serves as a guided jungle tour through the thickets of his mindset as a congressman then and governor now.
Based on common notions about the The Bible and its teachings, especially the New Testament teachings about love and forgiveness, the quirky kid from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania appears more suited to be Pontius Pilate than Jesus Christ, based on his awkward demeanor, off-putting personality and hard-right record of governing.
Kasich is no amateur when it comes to using Bible babble to advance him or his policy. Last week, after doing well in New Hampshire, he said the light overcame the darkness. That phenomena is gone one week later, now that he and the remaining field of Republican candidates have moved their traveling firing squad to South Carolina. Voters in the very conservative state will show on Feb 20th which Republican has the GOP juice to be the party’s nominee come July in Cleveland, where Republicans will hold their national convention.
Former two-time Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is aiming to bump off Kasich in South Carolina just as Kasich bumped off Bush, Rubio, Christie and Cruz in New Hampshire. Kasich did land in second place last Tuesday, but still got clobbered 2-1 by first-in-the-nation primary winner Donald John Trump. The once over-sized field of Republicans has been whittled down to just six, who will be on stage Saturday night for the GOP candidates debate hosted by CBS News.
Kasich’s pitch has always been to paint himself as above politics. Those who know him know that is preposterous. Labeled as the “Happy Warrior” by some pundits and the “prince of peace and light” by himself, John Kasich goes to extraordinary lengths to hide his dark underbelly of Nixonian-style politics going unnoticed back in Ohio.
Trying to be Mr. Sunny Side Up is tough on him, especially since he’s so well known for being naturally combative and confrontational. His record of retribution to those he doesn’t like is legend.
Kasich’s facade of faith and compassion is cracking into its natural parts in less than a week. Reports say that attacks by Jeb Bush have placed Kasich in the “awkward position of saying that he wants to repeal Obamacare but may want to retain the Medicaid expansion.” Kasich loves to talk, and when he ran for governor for the first time in 2010, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, one of Ohio’s largest newspapers which has a list of mia-culpa’s to account for as it pushes Camp Kasich’s agenda and narrative, noted he could “talk himself off a cliff.” In spite of this warning, the PD endorsed him in 2010 and again in 2014, even after his video-taped performance before its editorial board showed how immature, mean and rude he can be when no one is watching.
More recently, the Dayton Daily News had this observation on the governor the paper did not endorse. “Although he has decades of experience as a politician and Fox talk show host, Kasich still has tendencies that may keep his handlers awake at night: He can inspire, connect and convince but he can also ramble, offend and threaten in the course of a single speech.”
It’s revealing that even though John Kasich vows to set government on a path to balance the federal budget within the next decade, he’s all for additional Medicaid spending that increases the federal deficit.
Boosted by his second-place finish in New Hampshire’s, he knows more light will illuminate his dubious record in Ohio. Appearing at a pancake restaurant in South Carolina, Ohio’s term-limited governor insisted that he wants to offer a positive message and “talk about the sun coming up.”
The dark side of Kasich then overcame the light side, as it inevitably would in light of his Nixonian political scandals underway in the Buckeye State.
The self-described “prince of peace and light” who once said he was “Jesus, only better,” showed his true Pontius Pilate persona by warning everyone to let him alone.
“I don’t take crap from anybody,” he told the crowd at the pancake house gathering in Florence. It’s hard to imagine Jesus of Nazareth preaching peace and love one moment, then showing the devil in him by saying he’s not a pin cushion or marshmallow.
Maybe national pundits and Beltway reporters will come to understand that John Kasich is swinging for the fences, this second time around for running for president. He has everything to win and nothing to lose, since he’s running from cover as a mid-term governor who will still be in charge of battleground Ohio if he doesn’t become the GOP’s nominee this year.
Kasich ha already talked himself off many cliffs, but reporters know nothing about his record in Ohio so they’re unable to compare and contrast his rhetorical from his real record. From his long-held beliefs in fundamentally erroneous Republican beliefs, from taxes to jobs to compassion, Kasich will find that he can’t talk his way back on to a cliff he’s talked himself off of.
Meanwhile, a report by Reuters show Donald Trump leads among Republicans with about 38 percent, while Kasich barely registers four percent.