Talk about being a stranger in a strange land, Ohio Gov. John Kasich will be on the menu of speakers at the 50th Anniversary Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium with others who not only didn’t vote for him for Buckeye State governor (twice), or for president in last year’s Republican primary, but who likely disagree with him on most everything else, especially women’s issues.

Kasich’s appearance at the symposium, to be held at Johns Hopkins University on Nov. 13, will reward those in attendance with a free copy of his last book, “Two Paths: America Divided or United.” The event is free but will be ticketed via raffle, the event website says.

“Two Paths,” Kasich’s book that looks back on his big loss last year for president when he only won one GOP state contest (Ohio) and lost 49 others, is ranked at Amazon Best Sellers at #35,232, #175 in books about commentary and opinion, #213 in books about biographies and memoirs, leaders and notable people, and #319 in books about politics and government.

Kasich’s Book Jacket Line

According to Amazon’s description of “Two Paths,” Kasich offered a “powerful message of hope and togetherness” that struck a chord with American voters. The book is “sounding a clarion call to reason and purpose, humility and dignity, righteousness and calm,” Amazon Books says about the 320-page book.

“The country never looked so grand and magnificent as it did from ten thousand feet,” Kasichwrites of his time on the campaign trail, “and it was always a thrilling, faith-affirming thing to look out our window and see the sun splashing across Bryce Canyon in Utah, or the lights of the New York skyline at night as we flew past the Statue of Liberty, or an open field in the heartland that ran as far as our eyes could see…. I’d look out and think what an honor it would be to lead this great nation, what a blessing.”

Kasich will join other speakers who are comedians, like Hasan Minhaj, a comedian and actor known for his “correspondent” role on the Daily Show and for hosting this year’s White House Correspondent’s Dinner; a progressive political commentator like Joy Ann Reid, the host of MSNBC’s “AM JOY” on Fox News’ chief competitor MSNBC; or Tamika Mallory, Bob Bland, Carmen Perez, and Linda Sarsour, known collectively as “The Ladies of the Women’s March.”

For those of us who have followed Ohio’s 69th governor over the years, his latest authorship is mostly a rehash of his life as a performance politician. From his early days when he gave up wanting to be a Catholic priest but learned he could take control of the congregation, to adulthood, where he found fame and fortune in elected political office preferable to a monastic life without fame or fortune, “Two Paths” retells those episodes of his life and adds new ones that make him a perfect candidate for national chaplain.

After allowing Ohio reporters to look at only one year of his tax returns for about 30 minutes when he first ran for governor in 2010, Kasich released partial tax returns for seven years when he ran for president last year. Kasich’s fortune was estimated at somewhere between $9 and $22 million.

It should be assumed that Kasich will again be tapping Ohio taxpayers for his travel and protection to this event, just like he did when he spent most of 2016 out of Ohio on the presidential campaign trail. The governor, then and now, has refused to reveal how much was spent on his losing quest for president, the second of his life.

Kasich’s Ticket To Ride

Defending expanded Medicaid has become the hook media relishes now that Republicans, as a block, are trying to kill the Affordable Care Act. Kasich gets to stand out from his GOP colleagues who, by and large, are in tune with Kasich on many wrong-headed programs and policies, from tax cuts creating jobs and prosperity for all (when that has been resoundingly debunked), to closing abortion clinics and throwing obstacles in the path of women seeking their constitutional right to such services, to pushing for a federal balanced budget amendment that noted economists say is misguided and potentially disastrous.

And now that Kasich has associated himself with Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in fashioning some moderate reforms to shore up ACA state exchanges, his value as a political huckster has risen in the eyes of beltway pundits who think he’s not as mad as so many of his Republican colleagues chomping at the bit to toss tens of millions of people off affordable health care.

Are You Kidding?

Kasich, whose natural glibness and petulant persona have earned him previous awards for foot-in-mouth disease gaffes, might want to bring some jokes with him to counter any nasty or snippy tweets from President Donald Trump, the candidate who mocked Kasich as irrelevant or for even being on the GOP debate stage last year.

 

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