He thought he was going to be the Lord’s and the country’s choice to lead Republicans to victory against Democrats this fall. The icing on John Kasich’s cake this year was for a mailman’s son to humbly accept the presidential mantel at a national convention in Cleveland in his home state.
But then Ohio’s lame duck governor woke up one morning in early May, after winning just one race and losing 49 others, to find the Lord had surprised everybody by letting New York’s billionaire real estate mogul Donald John Trump lead the party faithful forward.
Basic Kasich took the news that he wouldn’t be the center of attention in Cleveland, or the next leader of the free world for that matter, and turned it into another petulant moment for the 64-year old leader, who for a second time saw his dreams of working out of the Oval Office crumble after hitting a wall built by the master wall-builder himself, Donald Trump.
Will Donald Rock Cleveland?
With activities in Cleveland ready to roll in a couple weeks, Ohio’s 69th governor finds himself wandering around Cleveland for four days and four nights, or however long he ends up spending time there, as Team Trump prepares to orchestrate a convention show by the reality TV showman that John Kasich and other high-profile GOP leaders don’t have roles to play as they did in previous ones. The glib governor whose losing campaign was built on hugs, hopes and inspiration, apparently hasn’t received an invitation from Donald to participate in his nomination in Quicken Arena. Tired establishment Republicans like Mr. Kasich are overtly saying no to even being there or covertly saying their support of Mr. Trump’s candidacy shouldn’t be taken as endorsing him.
Hillary Clinton has been in Ohio once a week for the last three weeks, with her latest event taking place in Cincinnati on Monday. At that event, Mrs. Clinton was joined by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren as the duo tattooed the Donald up and down, from his stunning statements on national events like the killings in Orlando a few weeks ago to more recent statements by the Big Orange Machine that he can win without the support of Republicans like John Kasich or Jeb Bush or other big-name, big-ticket GOP names including former president George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, who Mr. Trump has pounded as someone who should have but didn’t beat President Barack Obama in 2012.
Gov. Kasich apparently won’t enjoy a speaking slot in Cleveland until he endorses the Donald, which won’t happen because Ohio’s governor says Mr. Trump would have to do a complete makeover for that to happen. It’s pretty bad when your party and its presumptive leader will hold events in your home state and you, the governor of that state, are left out.
Gov. Kasich’s spokesman told the New York Times Tuesday that Ohio’s top Republican has plans to be “in and around” Cleveland during convention week, but Gov. Kasich has no plans to be involved in anything that has to do with Mr. Trump. Chris Schrimpf, a Kasich spokesman who left Wisconsin and Gov. Scott Walker’s circle to come to Ohio, said Mr. Kasich will attend “events focusing on keeping the Republican majorities in Congress and winning races down ballot.”
Kasich’s Guitar Gently Weeps
New national polls show Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump in most key states. In Ohio, the two presumptive party leaders are tied, but the tie is because Mr. Trump has drifted down while Mrs. Clinton has risen.
John Kasich will have to campaign hard for some of his down-ticket political buddies like Sen. Rob Portman, who is tied with former Democratic Governor Ted Strickland.
Ohio is key to any presidential win, so with Mr. Kasich being a non-factor in Cleveland, and reflecting on his inability to keep President Obama from winning Ohio in 2012, Gov. Kasich’s guitar will gently weep as the Big Apple businessman folk hero rocks out not far from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In separate news, it appears Gov. Kasich couldn’t rise above politics, as he said he does, enough to appear with Ohio’s astronaut hero John Glenn at a ceremony renaming Columbus’ airport in his honor. Kasich the uniter, as he calls himself, showed just what a political creature he is despite his tall tales of bringing people together.