The man who has emerged as my favorite Republican presidential candidate continues to struggle.
He cannot get traction among a GOP primary electorate that favors bloody, red meat over cool collegiality.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich reportedly was the biggest loser at the fourth Republican debate, according to Politico. This hurts my heart. Honestly, it does.
Kasich is the one Republican candidate who can stake a unique claim to fame among the current crop of GOP candidates. He is the only one of the bunch who has demonstrated an ability to work with Democrats to craft a policy that is good for the nation.
When did he do that? He did when he chaired the U.S. House Budget Committee in the late 1990s and worked hand in hand with House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Bill Clinton to balance the federal budget.
Gingrich, of course, is a fellow Republican. Clinton was that dreaded Democrat in the White House. Kasich showed an ability to hammer together a budget that met everyone’s expectations by providing a balance that eventually worked its way into a substantial surplus by the time President Clinton left office in January 2001.
That doesn’t sell, though, in today’s political climate. GOP primary voters aren’t interested in working with the other side. They have been infiltrated by the TEA Party faction, the folks who think government is evil and who see any effort to use government as a tool to push policy forward as an ideological capitulation.
Kasich won’t buy into the Donald Trump notion of deporting every one of the 11 million illegal immigrants. That, too, has produced scorn among the right wing of his party.
Good grief! The man knows how government works. He has executive experience now as well, running a state government in a large and diverse state such as Ohio.
Is it too late for my favorite Republican to catch fire? Technically, probably not. However, the pundits are saying that the game might be up for the likes of Kasich and other so-called “establishment Republicans” seeking to make a dent in the armor that’s protecting the outsiders — Trump and Ben Carson, to be specific.
Trump keeps pounding on that insane idea of rounding up every illegal immigrant and sending them back to their home countries. How he intends to do that, well … that’s to be determined later — if ever!
And Carson? Someone will have to explain to me how his training as a brain surgeon has prepared him in any way for the complexities of becoming head of state and government of the world’s most powerful nation.
For that matter, Trump’s career as a real estate mogul and reality TV star leaves him equally unprepared.
Meanwhile, candidates like Kasich — with actual government experience — continue to languish, flail and flounder.
Oh … my.