Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s campaign posted a Star Wars-themed video—”Our Only Hope“—to Twitter on Wednesday, the same day he capitulated on his second run for president in 16 years.
Clearly, the force was not with him this year, as his very bad primary election record, where he lost all states he was on the ballot in except for his home state of Ohio, showed just how his positive, upbeat message of hope and inspiration flopped with GOP voters who wanted to see more people drawn and quartered than forgiven and hugged.
But now that the only hope to win lost, Mr. Kasich’s name joins others on a list of political candidates Mr. Trump should consider to counterbalance his terrible reputation, so Republicans can pull off a win in November after Trump clinches the nomination in Cleveland in July.
Chemistry? Are You Kidding Me?
If chemistry is a key factor to who Donald Trump picks for vice president, it’s unlikely Gov. John Kasich makes the cut. Donald Trump said he wants a running-mate with governing experience and “with whom he has a good rapport,” The Washington Post reported Thursday, citing plans to launch the vetting process soon that will include Dr. Ben Carson, a one-time competitor turned ally, on the selection team.
“I think John will be very helpful with Ohio, even as governor,” he said. Trump stressed that he’s had a good relationship with the Ohio governor and said he’s willing to consider Kasich as his running mate. “I would be interested in vetting John,” he said, the AP reported.
It’s hard for Kasich followers to imagine him speaking about anyone other than himself for more than ten seconds. Playing second banana to a bombastic, over-the-top, jump-the-shark personality like Donald Trump, who Gov. Kasich said would lead to losing the White House, the Senate and control of the Supreme Court, would be as appetizing to John Kasich as Jesus agreeing to be Lucifer’s ticketmate. Mr. Kasich really doesn’t like sharing the limelight with anyone else if at all possible. He’s proved this many times, the two most recent examples are when he told voters in Florida to vote for him instead of Sen. Marco Rubio, and again last week in Indiana when he told voters to vote for him instead of Ted Cruz, even though the two candidates entered into an agreement to not compete against each other in the Hoosier State.
Reasons Republicans are giving to consider him as a VP pick for Trump is that he’s still the governor of a major swing state that Republicans must win to win the White House. No Republican since Richard Nixon in 1960 has won Ohio but lost the presidency. If the focus in Ohio in the fall is on Hillary Clinton, and she won Ohio in both the 2008 and 2016 primary seasons and could take the state in the fall if voter turnout is up as it’s expected to be, there is no guarantee Kasich can help avoid the inevitable.
Ransom Of Red Chief
The autopsy of Kasich’s second failed campaign included this gem from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a newspaper that endorsed him in 2010 and again in 2014 and took down an embarrassing video of him acting jerky just weeks before Ohioans elected him to a second and final term as their state leader.
The biggest fear from Camp Kasich was “What happens when the guy who made a name for himself as the grownup in the race ends up looking like the child who had to be dragged away? Kasich’s hard-headedness is well-established, but now it threatened to damage his reputation. Kasich had emerged as one of the presidential race’s most likable candidates. But no one likes a sore loser.”
Sentiments from some voters on Kasich’s sudden death yesterday echoed many of the criticisms of him and his campaign. He raised taxes in Ohio, cut school funding and can’t produce enough good-paying jobs, were typical. Some thought his speech was embarrassing, calling it “rambling, semi-coherent.” “He made it sound l Iike the description of a vacation road trip, forgetting to mention that donors and taxpayers paid for it,” one person commented online.
Others wanted something more: “How about a refund on your salary and the cost of security,” one poster said.
The 63-year old governor made no mention of Donald Trump or whether he would both support and campaign for him. He also made no mention of suspending his plan to somehow win the nomination at the Republican convention in Cleveland about ten weeks away.
One critical observation was that nothing Camp Kasich predicted ever came true. There’s precedent for that, given citizen Kasich’s claim in 2010 that if he was elected governor he would be a firewall to a second term for President Obama. In 2014, he said the best was yet to come, but that promise turned out to be a cryptic promise to run for president even though he tried to deflect that plan.
For some Republicans, they remember his “snappishness” while in Congress as a weakness. And one newspaper, The New York Times, which endorsed John Kasich, had this to say Thursday: “Whatever the reasons, in this year of negativity, Mr. Kasich’s positive campaign never got off the ground. As he returns to the state that appreciates him, his constructive approach and focus on issues important to people’s lives will be missed.”