Tag Archives: John Kasich

You go, John Kasich

I’ll be brief.

John Kasich was my favorite Republican running for president in 2016. Had he won the GOP nomination, he likely would have gotten my vote over Hillary Clinton. Tonight he affirmed precisely why I admire the former Ohio governor.

He didn’t swill the Donald Trump Kool-Aid after losing to the eventual GOP nominee. He stands on the principle of good government.

He said he supports Joe Biden for president, even despite the men’s disagreements on policy. “That’s all right,” he said tonight in remarks to the Democratic National Convention. “That’s America.”

Yes it is, Gov. Kasich. Thank you for standing on principle.

On second thought, Mr. Vice President …

I’ve already trashed the idea of Joe Biden considering — prematurely, I must stipulate — whether he would select a Republican to run with him on a 2020 presidential ticket to defeat Donald Trump.

It’s far too early. Biden appears to be pandering to GOP voters … you get my drift.

On reflection, though, I think it’s OK to play this out briefly.

Suppose Biden emerges as the prohibitive favorite to be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee. Suppose, too, that he is serious about looking for a Republican to run with him. A name does pop into my head: former Ohio Gov. John Kasich. 

  • Kasich ran in 2016 against a large field of Republican presidential contenders. He was among the last of them to fold under the Trump juggernaut. Kasich emerged as my favorite GOP candidate.
  • The man’s got serious policy chops. He ran the House Budget Committee in the late 1990s. He worked with President Bill Clinton to balance the federal budget.
  • He also comes from Ohio, a state that becomes a battleground for Trump and Biden.
  • Kasich also has endorsed the idea of impeaching Trump, which the House has done; Trump is awaiting a trial in the Senate.

Those all are positives. But … and you know what comes next; it’s never a positive statement.

Kasich is a white male. So is Biden. The conventional wisdom has been all along that Democrats aren’t going to nominate a ticket with two white guys running against Trump and (presumably) Vice President Mike Pence. The 2020 Democratic ticket more than likely is going to include a white male along with a male or female “of color.”

I’m just offering some food for thought here. We’re still a long, long way from pondering the party affiliation of anyone being considered by whomever the Democrats nominate as their presidential candidate.

Large field broadens the scope of quality candidates

I said during the 2016 Republican Party presidential primary campaign that the GOP field was deep and full of highly qualified individuals.

My favorite in the field of 17 became then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a man of considerable legislative accomplishment during his years in Congress, particularly as chairman of the House Budget Committee when he worked with Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Clinton to produce a balanced federal budget.

He didn’t make the grade, of course. GOP voters settled on the carnival barker/reality TV celebrity/phony self-made real estate mogul Donald Trump.

The GOP winner is now running for re-election as president of the United States.

He faces an even larger field of Democratic challengers, not to mention at least one challenger from within his own Republican Party.

The big Democratic primary field is full of talent, too.

I am officially undecided on who I prefer to see nominated to run against the “stable genius” who masquerades as POTUS.

None of the heretofore unknowns has yet to bust through the glass, surprising the nation with his or her political strength. Yes, we have a former vice president in the field; he is holding on to a large lead among the candidates seeking to run against Trump.

We also have a 2016 primary also-ran in the Democratic field.

There’s the small-town mayor, a few U.S. senators, a couple of governors, some (current and former) House members and a smattering of candidates who, to be candid, I don’t know what they do during the day.

But . . . they all have assorted skills and experience that I am quite sure commend them for the toughest job in the world.

I won’t go so far out on that ol’ limb to suggest that any of dozens of Democrats would be preferable to the incumbent.

However, a lot of them fit the bill. I want to hear more from them this time, just as I wanted to hear more from the GOP field in 2016.

My hope is that the consequence of this large field of Democrats only shortens the odds of a quality challenger emerging to defeat Donald Trump a year from November and send him out of the White House as quickly as humanly possible.

Please, let there be no repeat of the hideous mistake that Republican Party primary voters made when they nominated the huckster in chief.

Pay attention to me, Gov. Kasich

Ohio Gov. John Kasich still wants to be president of the United States and says he is considering taking another run at the nation’s highest office in 2020.

I’m usually not in the mood to offer campaign advice to Republicans, but I believe Gov. Kasich, whose time in office ends in December, is an impressive fellow. I wanted him to win the GOP nomination in 2016. I well might have voted for him had the choice been Kasich or Hillary Clinton.

OK, now for the advice.

If he’s going to challenge Donald Trump for the GOP nomination, he needs to avoid the trap of being lured too far to the right. One of the more undersold aspects of Kasich’s 2016 candidacy was his role as chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee in forging a balanced federal budget in the late 1990s.

How did he do that? He worked with the Democratic president, Bill Clinton, in crafting a balanced budget that actually built surpluses during the final three years of Bill Clinton’s presidency.

Yes, Kasich was a key player in achieving a stellar budgetary accomplishment. He chose not to tout that aspect of his public service career because it would have revealed his bipartisan tendencies. That ability to reach across the aisle is anathema to the hard-core, right-wing loony birds who call the shots these days in the Republican Party.

Are they going to keep calling the shots in 2020? I haven’t a clue at this moment in time. I hope not. Even if they do, though, I want to encourage John Kasich to shout it loudly and clearly: He believes in good government, which requires compromise and cooperation with everyone regardless of party affiliation.

I want this man to run yet again for president. He was one of the few GOP grownups running in 2016.

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


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


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


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?


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


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.