On election night in 2010, governor-elect
John Kasich addresses Republicans in
He represented the 12th Congressional District close to nearby Columbus in Washington for 18 years. After resigning to run his first failed campaign for president in 2000, Kasich spent most of the next decade either working for Lehman Brothers on Wall Street or hosting his own political talk show on Fox News. The crusty 64-year's eyes are still set on winning the White House.
Kasich mounted a second campaign two years ago to win the hearts and minds of GOP primary voters, but like 15 other candidates, he fell far short to New York real estate magnet and reality TV star Donald J. Trump. Kasich had never tasted defeat in a real political race until then, when he only won one state--Ohio--and collected only one Electoral College vote, leaving him 269 votes short of becoming the 45th President of The United States.
From the day he bowed out of presidential contention in 2016, having stayed the longest of any other candidate in the race even though he had little money and less support for voters, Kasich's new reputation is built around criticising the president.
In his role as critic, Kasich relishes cameo appearances on national TV pundit shows as the dancing bear who will criticize Trump. As a sitting governor for a few months more, Kasich receives the respect he so desperately needs from pundits who keep him on their list of guests because they know he has to keep the notion alive that he will challenge Trump in 2020 and be successful at it. But with Trump winning the support of 80 percent or more of Republican voters, as polls show he has, the disgruntled Kasich seeks media attention wherever and whenever he can.
Now that President Trump has been announced as the keynote speaker at the Ohio Republican Party's main event later in August, betting has already started on where the two politicos will sit when POTUS comes to town to rally his faithful and bash his critics, among whom Kasich has a front row seat.
While Democrats are poking Kasich on Trump sucking all the oxygen out of the room, for this very reason, Kasich may not even be there. Look for the petulant state CEO to be in New Hampshire, where he finished a distant second to Trump, drumming up support in this tiny libertarian-leaning state. And if he's not in the Granite State, Kasich, who's been auditioning for a media gig post being governor, will be on a national TV show doing analysis of what's going on back home in Columbus.
There is one thing that is certain. When 2020 arrives and Trump launches his re-election, which has already started, Kasich will be forced to run as either an ant-Trump Republican or gin up an independent run for Commander-in-chief.
Based on history from 2016, Kasich will assure himself a place on the list of failed candidates who mounted campaigns outside their party or as independents. Others pundits, like Ramesh Ponnuru writing at Bloomberg News, have multiple reasons why Kasich and his Master (The Lord) won't be showing up for work in the Oval Office.
Just like so many other failed candidates, from recent losers like Gary Johnson or Bill Weld or Jill Stein to older attempts by Jon Anderson or Ross Perot, who won about 20 percent of the vote in 1992, John Richard Kasich will have an asterisk next to his name in the graveyard of politicos who couldn't make the grade.