If there ever was a time riper for a real leader to step forward in a leadership role with solutions that really bring people together, as Ohio Gov. John Kasich said in town hall meetings from New Hampshire to Indiana this year, this election year is it.
Reports from Monday said “desperate conservatives” are circulating a petition calling for the Republican National Committee to host a special meeting where Donald Trump could be replaced as the party’s presidential nominee, the AP reported. Some of the organizers were the same Republicans who tried to prevent Trump from winning the GOP nomination. The effort, per the AP, “is a long shot at best.”
In fear of an Election Day disaster with Trump at the top of the ticket, the conservatives pushing the petition have appealed to RNC members across the nation in recent days to intervene. “The conservatives are concerned by Trump’s behavior since he won the nomination last month,” the AP report said, adding, “RNC officials are dismissing the effort, point out that Trump won the presidential nomination fairly.”
How many times over the years, especially this year when he ran from cover for president, has Ohio GOP Governor droned on about how good everything would be if he were given a chance to lead?
Back in March, when he spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C., Gov. Kasich emphasized his experience in government in Washington, saying, ““I don’t need on the job training,” the Washington Post reported.
Ahead of the Ohio primary in March, Gov. Kasich was in Youngstown asking for help after polling showed Trump was about even with him. “I need your support tomorrow, give me a chance to lead this country,” CBS Pittsburgh reported Kasich saying.
The two-term governor liked to say he could beat Hillary Clinton, since polling at the time offered him a version of his narrative. Camp Kasich relied on a section from an NBC poll conducted months earlier that poll tested Kasich, 2012 nominee Mitt Romney and House Speaker Paul Ryan against Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton. Kasich performed the strongest of the three, due in large measure to gettiong cross-over votes from more Democrats and Independents than Ryan or Romney.
In a Kasich-centered universe, his star always shines brightest. But some astronomers have already returned a verdict on how his less than stellar leadership in Ohio since his election in 2010 has delivered for average Ohioans. That verdict by some stargazers isn’t that good.
Yet, the 64-year old lame duck chief executive still gets to opine, from time to time, on this year’s election, which produced Donald Trump as the Republican nominee while reducing John Kasich and the other failed GOP White House wannabees to backbenchers throwing sour grapes spit balls at the Big Orange Machine and its New York billionaire and reality TV star leader.
After he lost 49 states to first-place finishers Donald Trump or Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a buzz rose about forming a third party to tap into the anger and frustration washing over America of being left out. A lifelong Republican by choice, because his parents were Pennsylvania Democrats, John Kasich could have stepped up, offered himself as the leader of a third-party movement, and commanded headlines from coast to coast. But the former Lehman Brothers banker and Fox New TV talk show host crumbled before the challenge.
When he ended his run this year on May 4, he remarked on leading a third-party, saying, “It doesn’t feel right,” as if the historic opportunity to upend the election this year was an ill-fitting suit. He went further, calling the daunting task now accepted by two former governors, Gary Johnson from New Mexico and Richard Weld from Massachusetts, “kind of a silly thing.”
With his timid turn down to history, did Ohio’s 69th and most petulant governor throw his baby out with the bath water amid conventional wisdom that frames Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton as two bad candidates foist upon voters?
But Plunderbund readers know that Gov. Kasich is only at his best when the political deck is stacked in his favor, as it’s been in Ohio since his 2011 swearing-in ceremony. The glib governor who once aspired to be a Catholic priest knew from his long and lucrative life as a professional performance politician that the third-party deck had all the jokers but no aces.
With Trump and Kasich at loggerheads over style and tone, all John Kasich would have to do since he’s done about everything else he can to put a spell on the House of Trump, at least in Ohio where the political establishment lined up with him out of fear or anticipation of him moving on, was to raise his hand signalling he’s ready to bring the nation together as only he says he can.
When asked about it, Gov. Kasich doesn’t go out of his way to dispel unsubstantiated rumors that a Trump son called one of the governor’s unnamed aides to offer the vice presidency and control over domestic and foreign relations. All he will say is that he didn’t talk to Trump about it, leaving the impression that the offer was made even though Donald Trump and his campaign manager, Paul Manafort, disavowed the story. The political slap fight between Kasich, who refused to attend the GOP convention in Cleveland even to welcome guests to Ohio even though Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a Democrat, found time to do so, and Trump, who referred to Kasich as irrelevant, will seize up GOP machinery all the more. Now that Kasich has virtually guaranteed himself no solitude in Fortress Trump should the Donald rise to win in November, he’s left with being a NeverTrump antagonist.
With that level of animosity between Ohio’s Republican governor and the presidential nominee Republicans elected, wouldn’t the chance to lead a third-party movement be what the Lord had in store for him all along, since He obviously chose anther to be the GOP nominee?
Are leaders born or does the job make a leader? John Kasich has shown his executive leadership skills in Ohio, where he enjoys the gift of a GOP-run, hard-right legislature working hand-in-glove with him. Unable to create jobs fast enough for those who need them, a median state wage almost $5,000 below the national median, child poverty up and for-profit charter schools milking taxpayer dollars even though they produce an inferior student compared to public schools, and the husband of his campaign manager and former chief of staff violating state and likely federal laws by fudging charter school data to reward big Republican donors and dupe federal officials into awarding millions in grant funds not deserved represent a short-list of why Kasich’s leadership has been bad for Ohio.
“It doesn’t feel right” was his lame excuse to let pass a golden opportunity to be both the National Chaplin, dispensing hugs, hopes and inspiration, and the next leader of the free world. The Kasich Lane, as Ohio’s governor likes to call where he and his team like to drive, could have been an entrance lane to the highway of the future, one where lower taxes, less government, balanced budgets and sympathy for all was the standard.
There were no aces for Kasich in the third-party deck, which is why the deck with all the aces to become the next president of The Ohio State University is awaiting Mr. Kasich to shuffle it to his advantage.