Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s 2016 hopes and hugs presidential campaign run ended badly. After raising and spending millions of dollars, Ohio’s 63-year old lame duck leader could only win one state, Ohio, while losing 46 others.
From the day last July when he launched his campaign for the White House from the Ohio State Union, declaring he was ready to be president, Gov. Kasich’s long election odyssey took him out of state for more than 200 days, running for a job Buckeye voters didn’t elect him to run for because he didn’t include it in the reasons he should be reelected. Shirking his duties at taxpayer expense wasn’t understood to be a part of his “the best has yet to come” spiel.
But we know he’s back at work now, in Columbus, because he tweeted he was at a meeting of his cabinet. “Had a real positive cabinet meeting this morning,” he said, with a picture of himself seated at the head of a long table filled with administration officials. “Fortunate to have such a strong team working for Ohio.”
Pay Forward By Paying Back
Throughout his 2014 campaign for reelection, Gov. Kasich kept reporters at bay on whether he’d seek the nation’s highest office. For long-time students of basic Kasich, there was never a doubt, ever since his first failed run for it in 2000, that he was angling for another crack at the White House. But Ohio media was reliably gullible and played along. The Pennsylvania-born boy who wanted to be a Catholic priest before he found politics more fun and lucrative manhandled his audience well.
Some say that what helped John Kasich see the light to get out of the race, aside from losing badly by running fourth in a three-man race, was mounting pressure from some quarters—including editorial zingers from a couple Ohio Big Eight newspapers who endorsed his first and second election run—that he was bilking state taxpayers for the security detail costs for Ohio Highway Patrol officers who, by law, are duty bound to protect the governor and family members wherever they g0.
Sources pegged those costs somewhere between $350,000 to as much as $1 million. Estimates were necessary because Camp Kasich refused to disclose real figures, maintaining all along that any information related to the governor’s security costs were super secret.
Now that Gov. Kasich has come back home, it’s a fair and legitimate question to ask if he’ll do what other candidates in his situation have done, namely, payback taxpayers for footing his security bill?
Brown On Kasich Costs
On his weekly press call, Sen. Sherrod Brown was asked whether Gov. Kasich has any obligation, ethical or otherwise, to pay taxpayers back for the security bill he ran up out of state running for president. “The legislature and governor need to work that out,” Sen. Brown said. Ohio taxpayers will weigh in, he said, suggesting the Ohio legislature make a decision, jointly with the governor, on what “he owes for his security that’s taken him on a year long quest or president.”
Instead of paying forward with hopes and hugs, it seems more appropriate—now that his second campaign is just another paragraph in history books on who tried but failed to be leader of the free world—for Ohio’s 69th governor to do what’s right. For a change of pace, John Kasich should engage in a little pay back that isn’t retribution, as has been his practice over time.