The one-time Catholic boy from Mckees Rocks, Pennsylvania, who as a youth wanted to be a priest but found as an adult that politics is more fun and lucrative, plans to extend his political career from Governor of Ohio to Republican presidential nominee this year by violating the eighth of the Ten Commandments.
As scripture says, the Lord, disguised as a burning bush, told the Israelites, through stone tablets written on Mount Sinai and delivered by Moses, “Thou shalt not steal.”
But unlike John Kasich this year, the Lord isn’t trailing league leading Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, or even Marco Rubio, in delegates won on the campaign trail after 47 Republican primaries and caucuses. Now term limited following his second win for state leader two years ago, Gov. John Kasich remains in the race for GOP presidential nominee despite only one win and 46 loses.
If Donald Trump wins Indiana Tuesday, and polls show that’s what’s likely to happen, he could do what Kasich, Cruz and many other establishment Republicans said would never happen, arrive in Cleveland with the 1,237 delegates to win the nomination outright on the first ballot.
But should the Donald fall short, even by a delegate or two, backers of Kasich say the focus will turn to who can win in the fall. Camp Kasich points to polls showing him the best of the GOP breed this year to defeat Hillary Clinton, now seemingly unstoppable as the Democratic presidential nominee. But polls this early, experts tell us, are not guaranteed to predict voters’ sentiments months from now as campaigns work their magic to define one candidate and denigrate another.
Jo Ann Davidson, a former Republican Ohio House Speaker, will represent the state party on the Republican National Committee rules committee, along with John Kasich’s friend, political operative and now-lobbyist ally Don Thibaut. At a recent Ohio Republican Party gathering, Ms. Davidson suggested that Gov. Kasich could avoid an existing rule that requires candidates must have won at least eight states to be eligible to be nominated from the convention floor.
“You don’t have to be nominated on the floor for the votes that you get to count,” Davidson said, the Dayton Daily News reported. “So if somebody who has not been nominated gets 1,237 votes, they’re going to be the nominee.” At the meeting, the 66 Ohio delegates won by Gov. Kasich in his only first-place win so far promised to stick by Kasich.
Donald Trump knows what candidates like Kasich and Cruz are planning and have plans to counter them. Outside groups, including one led by longtime Trump political ally Roger Stone, and a loose collection of colorful supporters such as “Bikers for Trump” are organizing ahead of the July convention in Cleveland, the AP reported.
“Our principle focus right now is Cleveland,” Stone said of his group, called Stop the Steal. “We want to bring as large a contingent as possible to demonstrate the breadth of Trump’s appeal so that the party can see graphically what they’re going to lose if they hijack the nomination from him.”
Donald Trump, with 957 delegates so far, just 280 shy of what he needs to be the nominee, has called the way Republicans pick a nominee “rigged.” Each state has its own rules about what delegates go to the convention and how they must vote on a presidential candidate while they’re there. “Stop the Steal” and other Trump fans are pushing a similar message on social media and websites.
Paul Nagy, a New Hampshire Republican who runs “We Will Walk,” a group that has collected more than 41,000 online signatures of people who say Trump deserves the nomination, said what Camps Kasich and Cruz don’t want to hear, given their claim that they can unite the fractured GOP: “We are prepared to bring the Republican Party down if they mess with Trump and try to take it away from him by doing the dirty tricks,” Nagy said, the AP reported.
Great America PAC [GAP], a different pro-Trump group, is also raising money ahead if the convention in Cleveland. William Doddridge, chief executive officer of the Jewelry Exchange and a leader with GAP warned “that ‘party elites’ will try to seize the nomination from Trump at the convention.
John Kasich wrote a book about meeting every other Monday while he was still a congressman in Washington to study the Bible. What Mr. Kasich learned from all those sessions seems in many ways contrary to what the Bible teaches, among them to not lie and to not steal. But on both scores, Mr. Kasich has pushed his sweet narrative of being a compassionate moderate to the breaking point. His plan to win by stealing in Cleveland what he couldn’t win legitimately in the field won’t go over well at the Pearly Gates when St. Peter asks him some very pointed questions.