|Ohio Gov. John Kasich at the Ohio|
Statehouse at a bill signing ceremony
To show just how confused about which, if any party candidate the outbound governor is endorsing, Kasich's two-term Lt. Gov, Mary Taylor told Republicans in Clermont County in southwest Ohio, two starling facts.
One, she's not spoken with her boss, who lost 49 GOP state contests and won exactly one Electoral College vote, in a year. Second, she thought her boss for the last eight years had endorsed her rival team of Attorney General Mike Dewine and Secretary of State Jon Husted. Taylor, a CPA, has been misinformed of the facts, even though CPA's can't be as forgetful or ignorant when it comes to federal or state tax law.
Talk about mixed messages, which candidate(s) Kasich likes this year, and which of those candidates wants his endorsement, reflects why so many Republicans in no rush to court him this year even though they backed his run for president two years ago. The sanctimonious supply-sider, who can't talk about anyone but himself for more than ten seconds, spent most of 2016 campaigning out of state for a job voters didn't elect him governor to pursue.
"She said it’s widely known that Jon Husted and Mike DeWine have been endorsed by Gov. Kasich," Greg Simpson, a township executive for the Clermont County Republican Party, told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "I about fell off my chair, because it’s widely known that John Kasich had endorsed Mary Taylor."
To clear things up for Taylor, Husted, who was awaiting to address the same audience, engaged the services of Apple's famous information concierge.
"Siri, who did John Kasich endorse in the governor's race?" Husted asked his iPhone, already knowing the answer, the Enquirer noted. "An article from The Enquirer popped up, titled 'John Kasich backs Mary Taylor for Ohio governor. Will it help?'"Spokesmen for Taylor and Kasich added even more confusion, saying the other candidate's statements were wrong. Kasich's PR guy said Taylor and Kasich have spoken by phone, while Taylor's PR guy said she hasn't seen him, ostensibly in person, for a year.
Despite media portrayal of Kasich as both popular and a moderate, history, based on the policies he's endorsed and the bill's he's signed into law, show he's not popular and not moderate. Spending more time on DC-beltway Sunday talking-head political TV shows than he does back home in Ohio, Gov. Kasich is the perfect anti-Trump dancing bear who will reliably invoke God as his heavenly wing-man about what his purpose in life is, and why he hasn't found it yet, including whether he'll mount a third run at the Oval Office.
What Kasich has found to his liking over the decades, is that dedicating himself to the Lord, as he once wanted to do as a young Catholic boy in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, wouldn't have brought him the fame—18 years in Congress and years on Fox News—and fortune—somewhere between $9-22 million—he enjoys now.
On the outs with Trumpworld, and with his well-known abrasive relationship with just about everybody else, including members of his own political party, John Richard Kasich will soon be put out to pasture. He'll have to graze, maybe in the media again, for another three years until the presidential merry-go-round gets cranked up again in 2020.
Until then, his role, or lack thereof in the Republican race to succeed him, will be a carnival ride to watch. Candidates like Taylor, whose claim to fame is not being a third term for Kasich because she'll be even more conservative than he's been, should cause average, hard-working Ohioans to pull out their political worry beads should she win the office and dispense with Medicaid or rally the Right-to-Work crowd. For DeWine and Husted, not having Kasich endorse them might be the daylight they've been looking for to distance themselves from his poor record on jobs, poverty, opioids and for-profit charter schools, at least in words if not deeds.
For Democrats who think the much talked about blue wave will cascade into the Buckeye State this fall, don't fill up too much or too fast on Blue Wave Kool-Aid. It might be a real factor in other states but maybe not in ruby-red, gerrymandered Ohio, where Republicans control the legislature by veto-proof margins and Republicans rule the Ohio Supreme Court.
Gulp up the good times, but don't chug too much too soon.