Ohio mainstream media is all a twitter again, this time about John Kasich’s meeting Friday with Donald Trump at the White House. In the mystery of who invited who to this odd couple confab between a new president and a lame-duck governor who will wander off the political radar screen in less than two years, the mystery might not be a mystery if observable history is considered.
It’s indisputable that the Trump administration has a habit of lying even when it isn’t necessary. It is also true that that Gov. Kasich has been in Trump’s doghouse for a long time. Ohio’s petulant, self-inflated state CEO decided to challenge the Big Orange Machine by disrespecting the Donald in Cleveland, where the Republican National Committee held its nominating meeting. Kasich was a no-show even though Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, a Democrat, had the political commonsense to welcome Republicans to his city.
The Mystery That Isn’t
Adding salt to the wound between the collapsed Catholic boy from Pennsylvania and the New York City real estate billionaire, Ohio’s 69th governor then voted for a candidate who wasn’t on the presidential ballot in any state, Arizona Sen. John McCain.
In trying to figure out whether President Trump actually wanted to talk to Kasich, or whether Team Kasich badgered the White House for the meeting to keep hope alive that Mr. Kasich, who’s had a long and lucrative career as a political showman, has a political future after he leave office in less than two years, reporters need only look back to the news fakery foisted on the media that Trump asked Kasich to be vice president.
A popular meme for willfully ignorant media is that Kasich is a popular, moderate governor. Even though his popularity has plummeted and bills he’s signed and budgets he’s introduced demonstrate how un-moderate he is, back in May, shortly after Kasich quite the race after he tried to team-up with rival Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to box out Trump, the story goes that Donald Trump Jr. asked Kasich to be vice president. A Kasich adviser who spoke only under the condition that he not be named, said Donald Jr. made the offer to be VP, which included being in charge of domestic and foreign policy. According to Team Kasich, when asked what Trump would be in charge of, the answer was “Making America great again.”
As reported by Robert Draper in the New York Times Magazine, “Donald Jr. disputed the Kasich adviser’s account.” For the record, Mr. Draper reached out to me when he was covering Gov. Kasich. We spoke on the phone and I sent him information that for his own reasons he chose not to include in his reporting.
A second source “insisted…that, while a call occurred between Donald Trump Jr. and top Kasich adviser John Weaver, a vice presidential offer was never on the table.” Jason Miller, Trump’s communication adviser, said, “It’s completely ridiculous. There was never an offer made. It’s completely made up.” Miller then added, “Gov. Kasich is just being a sore loser.”
If these two denials from solid sources weren’t enough, there was the Donald’s own Twitter statement on Kasich’s fake news VP story. “John Kasich was never asked by me to be V.P. Just arrived in Cleveland – will be a great two days!”
For national and state reporters who refuse to admit to the obvious, in order to keep access to Gov. Kasich for the remainder of his term, Trump no more wanted John Kasich to be his vice president than he wanted Hillary Clinton to be his secretary of state.
That fake news story could only have come from Camp Kasich, which has every reason to engage in titillating but false news. Team Trump again disavowed it coming from them, as was confirmed when one of Mr. Trump’s sons campaigning in Ohio said his father’s team never vetted Kasich for anything, let alone vice president.
And why should they, given Gov. Kasich’s well known personality disorder that makes him unable to talk about anyone other than himself for more than five seconds? Can anyone believe Gov. Kasich would glorify Donald Trump the way former Republican Governor of Indiana Mike Pence has been forced to do as the real VPOTUS after his boss makes one giant gaffe or misstatement after another?
Are you kidding? It’s easier to believe Donald Trump is a left-wing Democrat in disguise than to believe John Kasich could carry water, day after grueling day, for the Donald.
And what will Kasich say to the Donald on Friday? What else, keep expanded Medicaid, balance the federal budget, cut taxes and reduce regulations.
Kasich’s next political allegory, “Two Paths: America Divided or United,” will reflect on his second run for president last year, and the role his belief in the Lord played in it. Will it shine its jaundiced light only on the governor, not the new president, who might otherwise be cast as the serpent in light of what Kasich has said about him? If you know John Kasich, you know the answer.