It was a sight to see. Probably won’t see it again. And it wasn’t John Kasich getting passed over by Haley’s comet when South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley streaked by him and others to orbit around Marco Rubio.
No one—no reporter, local state or national, no million-dollar TV news anchor, none of the bevy of young budding political writers who seem to know everything about anything, no Beltway-based pundit, no Washington insider, or New York Times editorial board—has flustered and frustrated Gov. John Kasich as well or as quickly as “The Late Show‘s” host Stephen Colbert did in just a few minutes Wednesday night.
This was John Kasich’s second appearance on the show, the first one didn’t go so well either, as Colbert’s comedic genius neutralized the governor’s tight narrative and supporting talking points. Unlike the normal routine where Kasich is asked a question, picks a talking point to answer whether relevant or not, and that’s it. Stephen Colbert, who made his name on The Comedy Channel masquerading as a conservative, right-wing gas bag knock off of Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, knocked the slump-shouldered governor off his game as millions tuned in to see Kasich get man-handled by a one sharp comedian.
Colbert Rattles Kasich
One look at the profile the “The Late Show” offered the public on Gov. Kasich for his first appearance shows it wasn’t written by Kasich’s PR handlers. Instead of the mechanical talking points Camp Kasich sent to show producers tonight, the first profile focused on Kasich’s poor, but very Republican record on attacking workers and women’s rights.
Tonight’s handling of a big political ego is hardly new for Stephen Colbert. He won many hearts and minds when, as the hired entertainer at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2006, he mocked and skewered President George W. Bush with the not-smiling Commander in Chief sitting a few feet away.
My Message Hasn’t Changed
In a matter of minutes Wednesday, Colbert soon had John Kasich flustered and interrupting, recalling his disastrous performance in one early Republican debate where he forced his way into the discussion, showing his real persona in the process. Colbert kept coming at Kasich, forcing the combative governor to raise his voice and erupt with canned campaign talking points worthy of Marco-Rubio style repetition. John Kasich showed his glass jaw, and Colbert socked it, a couple times.
Kasich, who’s spiel has been he’s above politics and will only be positive, showed both how negative he can become and just how closed minded he is. For a candidate who says he knows how to bring people together, that’s quite an accomplishment but basic Kasich. Talk is cheap and Kasich is a talker, as he proved tonight with Colbert, and again earlier in the day, when he had lots of laughs with his old buddy Chris Matthews, another million dollar mouth who’s loved Kasich long time for many decades.
The 63-year old, term-limited Republican governor who’s anointed himself as the “prince of peace and light” [POPAL] lapsed into his pathetically programmed talking points, but Colbert didn’t let POPAL get away with his new story as if it were New Testament gospel.
He reminded Kasich that he might not being doing as well in his home state of South Carolina because people down there like to fight. Polls show Donald Trump with a big lead, while Kasich isn’t any better than a distant fourth to Trump. Foreshadowing how poorly he expects to do, Camp Kasich won’t stay in South Carolina as they did in New Hampshire last week. Kasich will take his whipping and move on.
Kasich Pushes ‘The Negative’
From asking Kasich why Obama shouldn’t appoint a justice to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court as the Constitution directs him to do, and reminding him that a Democratic was president when the federal budget was last balanced, to only knowing who Kasich was because he a show staffer told him, Kasich tried to bob and weave. He shifted into hyper-drive, spewing as many of his canned campaign slogans and talking points out like a vending machine gone wild. Marco Rubio would have been jealous at how Kasich rattled off verbiage both new and old.
Kasich got off his best one liner, saying “the debates are the dumbest thing ever.” He also said he was told that everything will change from New Hampshire to South Carolina. “My message hasn’t changed one iota – bringing people together,” he said. And who can forget the ever popular “The Republican party is my vehicle, it is not my master,” whatever that really means.
Earlier in the show, Colbert did another edition of “The Hungry For Power Games” that makes fun of the race for president, especially the Republicans, including Kasich, who are battling it out to be the party’s nominee. For what it’s worth, Kasich followed a segment about “Worst In Show.” Other guests included Kate Hudson, Richard Dreyfuss and Courtney Barnett.
The “Late Show” tweeted thanks to Gov. Kasich for being a guest and then said “Give my best to South Carolina.” Colbert was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina.
For those who remember, John Kasich told the Ohio Senate not to appoint all the appointees to boards and commissions made by Gov. Ted Strickland following Kasich win in 2010. He’s asking the Senate to do the same thing, only with a president who’s term ends because it up, not because he was defeated.
The next primary state to vote is this Saturday in South Carolina, where military issues and veterans are important to winning. Trump leads in all polls, while John Kasich is at best at fourth place, barely into double-digits.