Tag Archives: John Kasich

Primary challenge awaits POTUS?

A version of the term “primary” has become a verb, in addition to it being an adjective and a noun.

Its verb form is used in a political contest, as in so-and-so is going to get “primaried.” Donald J. Trump, for the purposes of this blog post, is the “so-and-so” under discussion for a moment or two.

The president of the United States has managed to p** off damn near the entire Republican Party establishment with his hideous behavior and his tirade of insults against leading GOP politicians, namely those on Capitol Hill.

It’s tough, naturally, to predict any outcome as it regards this individual. He wasn’t even supposed to get elected in 2016 after a string of ghastly comments, campaign deeds and his generally acceptance ignorance of anything having to do with the federal government.

But … there he is. Sitting in the Oval Office and making an utter ass of himself, not to mention disgracing the presidency.

If this clown faces a primary challenge in 2019 and 2020 — presuming he’s still in office — how does that bode for his re-election? Recent political history doesn’t look kindly on these things.

* In 1968, U.S. Sen. Eugene McCarthy challenged President Lyndon Johnson in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. LBJ won, but Clean Gene got a substantial vote. Then U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy entered the primary race — and LBJ bowed out. The party’s eventual nominee, Hubert Humphrey, lost the presidency to Richard Nixon later that year.

* Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan decided to run against President Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination in 1976. Ford was running for election after taking over from President Nixon in 1974. Reagan didn’t think Ford was conservative enough. The men fought for the nomination until the convention. Ford was nominated, but then lost to Jimmy Carter.

* President Carter got a challenge of his own in 1980 from U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, who thought Carter wasn’t liberal enough. Carter fought back that challenge, but then got trampled by Reagan in that year’s general election.

What lies ahead for the current president?

One of the men he beat on his way to the White House, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, was utterly appalled at the president’s remarks in the aftermath of Charlottesville. He sounds like someone who’s going to “primary” the president. He was asked directly the other day whether he intends to run for the GOP nomination in 2020. Kasich gave that classic non-answer: “Look, I have no plans to run … ”

“I have no plans” is code for: I am thinking reeealll hard about running. Actually, given that Gov. Kasich was my favorite Republican in the 2016 primary campaign, I hope he does take the leap one more time.

Trump’s poll numbers keep plummeting. He keeps stuffing both feet in his mouth. He continues to embarrass the nation that managed to elect him. And, oh yes, we have that Russia investigation proceeding with all deliberate speed.

Indeed, history is unkind to presidents who face challenges from within their partisan ranks. Will this president defy conventional wisdom yet again? 

How about ‘reprehensible,’ or ‘despicable’?

I am growing weary of these tepid responses from Republican officeholders to the tweets that the nation’s top Republican keeps firing into cyberspace.

Donald J. Trump’s itchy Twitter finger keeps degrading the presidency. Yes, many Republicans are speaking out. They are angry, embarrassed and dismayed at what the president is doing.

But get this, from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, one of my favorite Republicans and the guy I wanted to see win the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

He calls the president’s latest tweet tirade “unacceptable.” He said it is “unfortunate.”

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan said the other day that Trump’s attack on MSNBC broadcaster Mika Brzezinski was “inappropriate.”

That’s it? There’s been more of that kind of lukewarm language coming from GOP leaders.

Check out more tweets here.

I’d settle for terms like: reprehensible, despicable, disgraceful, degrading, frightening … you know, language that expresses genuine outrage.

Will any of it matter? Will that kind of response get to Donald J. Trump, making him think better of his intemperate use of a social medium?

No. It just would send a signal throughout the country that it might be dawning on Republican leaders that the guy who occupies the presidency is unfit for his high office.

Get ready for election night

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They say there’s a first time for everything … as in, well, everything.

I need not be too specific … if you get my drift.

My wife and I are going to do something for the first time — if my memory hasn’t failed me — on Tuesday.

We’re going to an election-night watch party.

Some friends of ours in Amarillo invited us to their home along with several dozen perhaps of their best friends to watch the returns roll in on this most consequential presidential election.

Our friends know of my utter, complete, well-documented disdain for the Republican Party’s presidential nominee. They figure I’m all in with the Democratic nominee.

I’m not really. Neither is my wife.

But here’s the thing. Americans are facing a dismal choice as they select the next president of the United States. One of these two people will take the oath of office next January.

Am I happy about the choices we have?

As I told friends my wife and I met for lunch Friday in Colorado Springs, Colo., if the choices had been, say, Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, that would have presented me with a much happier decision-making exercise. If Kasich had been the GOP nominee this fall instead of the clown the party nominated, then I likely would be casting my first-ever presidential vote for the Republican nominee.

Our friends say they want to surround themselves Tuesday night with friends who will want Hillary Clinton to be elected.

From my perspective, that might be overstating — in a fairly nuanced sort of way — my own preference.

Given the miserable nature of the GOP nominee, I would prefer Hillary to be elected.

With that in mind — and in my heart — we will go to our friends’ home in a couple of days and hope that Americans will make the right call in selecting the next head of state, commander in chief and leader of the greatest nation on Earth.

Kasich: the last principled GOP ex-candidate standing

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John Kasich and Ted Cruz took Donald J. Trump’s march to the Republican presidential nomination down to the wire.

They finally conceded this summer that the real estate mogul/reality TV celebrity would be their party’s nominee.

Sen. Cruz, R-Texas, attended the GOP convention in Cleveland and received a torrent of boos from delegates for encouraging them to “vote your conscience.” He declined at that moment to endorse Trump.

Kasich, who governs Ohio, didn’t attend the convention in his home state. He still hasn’t endorsed Trump.

Whereas Cruz’s initial refusal was based on Trump’s repeated insults against Heidi Cruz, the candidate’s wife, and his father, Rafael, Kasich has kept his distance because Trump — in Kasich’s view — simply doesn’t represent the tradition of a once-great political party.

Cruz swilled the Kool-Aid and today announced he would vote for Trump in November. Kasich hasn’t said anything of the kind.

I had hoped Sen. Cruz would remain on the sidelines. Now it’s up to Kasich to demonstrate that at least one Republican leader has the stones to stand on principle.

Gov. Kasich remains my favorite Republican presidential candidate. Indeed, had he been the nominee instead of Trump, there stood an excellent chance that I would have voted Republican for president this year — for the first time since I began voting in 1972.

I’m still wrestling with what I’m going to do this year.

Kasich should have been the nominee, given his record of success as a leader in Congress and his cooperation with President Bill Clinton in achieving a balanced federal budget.

Sadly, none of that seemed to matter to the red-meat carnivores who comprise the base of the Republican Party.

My hope remains that Gov. Kasich will remain at arm’s length from this year’s GOP nominee.

I’ve noted all along that Kasich was the rare grown-up in this year’s GOP presidential campaign. He hasn’t let me down yet.

RNC boss seeks dictator status

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I feel the need to revisit briefly an idiotic notion by Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

He’s issued a warning to former GOP presidential candidates that they might “face consequences” if they seek the presidency in the future if they continue to refuse to back this year’s nominee, Donald J. Trump.

My question simply is this: Who in the hell does Priebus think he is?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/18/candidates-who-dont-back-trump-may-not-be-allowed-to-run-again-rnc-chairman-says.html

Priebus said potential future candidates such as, say, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz might find some insurmountable obstacles if they seek the party nomination in 2020.

Wait a second! Didn’t former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz face the scorn of her partisans for allegedly rigging the party nomination to favor Hillary Rodham Clinton?

Priebus now insists that the former GOP presidential candidates line up behind Trump … or else face the consequences.

That is a ridiculous and gratuitously ham-handed approach to pre-determining who the party’s next nominee ought to be.

The GOP presidential field signed a pledge to support whoever the party nominated for president. The pledge, though, isn’t legally binding. It’s not even politically binding, given that neither major party has a rule requiring blind loyalty.

Chairman Priebus is exhibiting delusions of grandeur if he thinks he can hand out “consequences” for future candidates who don’t abide by his wishes.

Kasich stands by his principles

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Ohio Gov. John Kasich is demonstrating once again why he was my favorite Republican candidate for president of the United States.

He has just told GOP chairman Reince Priebus, effectively, to stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Priebus chided many of the former foes of GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump for failing to back the candidate. He threatened them with political repercussions if they decide in 2020 or 2024 to run for the White House again.

According to Politico: “Thankfully, there are still leaders in this country who put principles before politics,” said John Weaver, Kasich’s adviser, adding, “The idea of a greater purpose beyond oneself may be alien to political party bosses like Reince Priebus, but it is at the center of everything Governor Kasich does.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/09/kasich-priebus-trump-228343#ixzz4KiEL6VXD

Kasich was one of the thundering herd of GOP candidates who signed a non-binding pledge to back the party nominee. He did so early in the campaign. Then, as the field began to shrink — and Trump’s insults piled up — Kasich began having second thoughts about Trump’s fitness to become the next president.

Kasich finally dropped out of the race and has declared his refusal to endorse Trump’s candidacy. He declined to attend the GOP convention in Cleveland, Ohio, where Kasich serves as governor.

Principle matters more to Kasich than fealty to a deeply flawed political candidate.

Priebus, meanwhile, comes off as a partisan pipsqueak.

Host governor takes a pass on GOP convention

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Of all the Republican Party no-shows for this week’s GOP presidential nominating convention, I want to focus on one of them.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is taking a pass.

He won’t be in the convention hall to welcome the delegates. He won’t speak on behalf of the party’s presumptive nominee. He will be absent from the proceedings.

Kasich has told the media he plans to be in Cleveland, even though his governor’s duties might require him to stay on the job down yonder in Columbus.

He’s not alone, of course. The party’s two living former presidents — George H.W. and George W. Bush — are staying away. The party’s two most recent presidential nominees — John McCain and Mitt Romney — won’t darken the convention hall door. Jeb Bush will be a goner. Several GOP members of Congress facing tough re-election fights won’t be there, either.

None of these folks can stand Donald J. Trump, the party’s nominee.

Kasich’s absence, though, is the most profound.

He was one of the 16 Republicans who ran against Trump. Although he didn’t get tagged with a label — a la “Lyin’ Ted,” “Little Marco,” or “Low Energy Jeb” — Kasich became the target of a Trump barb as the GOP frontrunner poked fun of Kasich’s eating habits, for crying out loud!

It’s a very big deal for the governor of the state that is hosting a political nominating convention to stay away.

Kasich, who was my favorite Republican primary candidate, is a longtime GOP pol with a stellar record as a member of Congress. He had a record on which to run, such as his leadership in helping craft a federal balanced budget while he chaired the House Budget Committee. In a normal election year, that might be enough all by itself to put a presidential candidate over the top.

Oh, wait! This is anything but a normal election year.

I’m glad to see Gov. Kasich refuse to have his good name tainted by an association with a nominee who has parlayed his penchant for insults into a winning campaign formula.

Get ready for record low turnout … possibly

jeb-bush-donkey-hotey

John Ellis Bush likely spoke for a lot of Americans over the weekend.

He doesn’t like Donald J. Trump and he won’t vote for him for president. Nor does he trust Hillary Rodham Clinton, so she won’t get his vote, either.

Bush — aka “Jeb” — is quite likely going to leave the top of his ballot blank when the time comes for him to vote.

He said it “breaks my heart” that he cannot support the Republican Party nominee, Trump. But he and the presumptive GOP nominee have some history that Bush cannot set aside.

Bush told MSBNC’s Nicolle Wallace — a former communications director for President George W.  Bush — that Trump has conducted what amounts to a successful mutiny of the Republican Party. He praises the real estate mogul/TV celebrity for winning the party nomination fair and square. Trump, though, did it by tapping into a voter sentiment that none of the other GOP candidates — including Jeb Bush — could locate.

This makes me think my earlier prediction of a potentially record-low-turnout election might not be too far off the mark.

The current record belongs to the 1996 contest that saw President Bill Clinton re-elected over Bob Dole and Ross Perot with just a 49 percent turnout of eligible voters.

Now we have polling data that tell us Hillary Clinton and Trump are profoundly disliked by most voters. FBI Director James Comey’s stunning critique of Clinton’s handling of classified information on her personal e-mail server has only heightened voters’ mistrust of her … and to think that the director then said he wouldn’t recommend criminal charges be brought against her!

As for Trump, well, I won’t weigh in here. You know how much I despise that guy.

Jeb Bush won’t attend the GOP convention. Neither will his brother and father — two former presidents. Nor will Mitt Romney or John McCain, the party’s two most recent presidential nominee.

Oh, and the governor of the state where the convention will take place? Ohio Gov. John Kasich, another former Republican presidential candidate, won’t darken the door at the Cleveland arena where delegates are going to nominate Donald Trump.

Let’s face the daunting reality that a lot of Americans just might follow Jeb’s lead and stay home.

Third-party bid emerging from … GOP?

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I’m always willing to admit to being a little slow on the uptake at times.

Here’s an example of something I’m having trouble connecting.

Mitt Romney is recruiting members from within the Republican Party to run as “third-party” candidates for president in 2016.

Yes, that Mitt Romney. The Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee. Mr. Establishment Republican himself.

Here’s what’s puzzling. At least two of the names he’s recruiting belong to other mainstream Republicans. Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Gov. John Kasich of Ohio.

http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/279926-report-romney-met-with-kasich-sasse-about-third-party

These two fellows have at least one thing in common: They both despise Donald J. Trump, the GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee.

For that matter, you can add Mitt to the list of Trump foes.

Let’s play this out for a second or two.

What happens if, say, Kasich or Sasse decide to take Mitt’s bait? They run for president as a “third party candidate.” What in the world do they call this “third party”? Would it be Republican 2.0? How about the Real Republican Party? Or, Your Grandpa’s GOP?

Trump’s brand of Republican Party politics bears virtually no resemblance to the kind of platform on which Mitt ran in 2012, or on which Kasich ran this year until he suspended his campaign just a few weeks ago.

I don’t know much about Sen. Sasse, other than he’s been a vocal Trump critic ever since Trump decided to run for the party’s presidential nomination.

I guess you have to go way back to 1912 to find such a serious schism within the Republican Party. That was when former President Theodore Roosevelt broke away from the GOP to form a progressive party, the Bull Moose Party. That split guaranteed the election that year of Democrat Woodrow Wilson.

I’m guessing no one needs to remind Mitt that history does have a way of repeating itself.

 

Why not Bernie for VP?

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The more I think about it, the more plausible it’s beginning to sound.

Bernie Sanders well might become Hillary Clinton’s running mate against Donald J. Trump.

I had been thinking all along that Clinton might look more toward someone with, say, a Hispanic background. Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro — who’s now housing secretary in the Obama administration — was a logical choice.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s name has popped up. That’s an interesting pick, too. An all-woman Democratic ticket? You go, girls!

But now it seems quite possible that Sen. Sanders — who’s been battle-tested and proven to be up to the fight — might be the right kind of No. 2 to challenge Trump and whomever he selects as his running mate.

Sanders already has pulled Clinton to the left on some of his pet issues: income inequality, war in the Middle East to name just two.

At one level, he’s already won the ideological fight within the Democratic Party. Indeed, if he’s not chosen, I truly can hear Sanders making a “the dream shall never die” speech at the Democratic convention, echoing the stirring address given by vanquished Sen. Ted Kennedy at the 1980 convention that re-nominated President Carter.

However, if Clinton picks Sanders as her VP nominee, then he’ll continue the fight forward.

One obvious drawback is his age. He’s 74. He’d be 79 at the end of a first Clinton term. There might be a commitment to serve just one term as vice president if a President Clinton were to seek re-election in 2020.

Of course, only the candidate knows who she’s going to pick.

As for Trump, he said he’s narrowed his list to “five or six” individuals. He vows to pick an actual Republican and someone with “political experience.” He, too, has a list of former rivals he might consider, although at least two of them — Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich — have all but told Trump to jump in the proverbial lake before asking either of them to run with him.

The mystery of who’ll be running for president in the fall has just about been solved.

Now we’ll await these important choices for the No. 2 spots.

I’m starting to “feel the Bern.”