Ohio Gov. John Kasich at a media event
in 2013 for the Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
When his Sunday show segments are compared to his many fewer appearances as state CEO last year, after losing his second run for the White House in 2016, it shows he values the national spotlight over lesser venues back home.
In a tally of where he spends his time these days, the Dispatch noted that Kasich took 62 times at bat on various national TV networks in 2017, compared to just 54 events back home in his adopted State of Ohio.
It came as no surprise to Kasich watchers that he "bristled" when asked what his appearances on Sunday shows like "Meet The Press" was designed to do. Students of the former 18-year congressman, Fox News TV talk show host and Lehman Brothers banker know him to have a hair trigger when it comes to media asking him questions he doesn't want to answer, because answering them would give away his game, honed and crafted over four decades in elected public office.
In 2014, when he was running for reelection against a Democratic challenger who imploded with media aiding by pumping up careless indiscretions to oversized proportions, Kasich knew all along that he would mount a second run at the White House, this time with state resources. When media failed to press him on it, after he told them to stop asking questions he wasn't going to answer, Kasich knew he had reporters and editorial writers right where he wanted them.
Where he wanted them was beholding to him for access on the campaign trail, where he spent the greater part of 2016 along with a crew of state highway patrolmen safeguarding the governor and members of his family and inner circle who traveled with him on occasion. Kasich and his administration has refused to reveal to Ohio taxpayers how much has been spent to protect him on a job voters didn't election him governor in 2014 to pursue in 2016. Had he come clean then and said he would run for president if elected, that would have been the kind of truth telling he's not known for. Meanwhile, those costs—which one reporter calculates in the millions—remain a closely guarded secret. Ohio statehouse media know not to ask for the data, so they don't.
National TV pundits like him because he's their anti-Trump dancing bear, ready to sound off with the same phony, baloney gibberish about his concern for so-called "Dreamers" or dysfunction in Washington or one of his favorites, "people living in the shadows." He took credit, as Chairman of the House Budget Committee following Republicans' rise to power after the "Contract For America" in 1994 elevated him and then Georgia Congressman Newt Gingrich to leadership positions. A favorite Kasich talking point on the campaign trail and in Republican debates was him taking credit for balancing the federal budget for the last time since men walked on the moon.
"I'm going to continue wherever I can to raise a voice as long as my friends and as long as the Lord gives me a voice to talk about things that I think are not just or fair. We're all screwballs, including me. I'm going to make mistakes. But when I see this, I've got to say something about it," he said, according to the Dispatch, a life-long Republican legacy newspaper that endorsed him every year he ran for congress and in each of his two elections for governor.Curiously, while Kasich likes to raise his voice on Trump, foreign and domestic policy, that voice is silent when it comes to the many scandals on his watch that have largely gone uninvestigated. Wasting billions every two years on for-profit charter schools, Ohio pension retirement funds spending exorbitant fees on Wall Street hedge fund managers who deliver little in returns, signing 20 bills into law that make women's health rights harder to achieve, raising sales taxes and other fees to pay for billions in income tax cuts that favor the state's wealthiest, suppressing voters or falling behind the national average in job creation for 61 months are stories Kasich has nothing to say about.
Gov. Kasich's wing man and presidential campaign strategist, John Weaver, told the Dispatch the governor is not out to promote "Kasich for 2020."
"It's about keeping that voice, which is sadly underrepresented, in the marketplace," Weaver said, the Dispatch reported. "You don't see him on TV talking about running for president. You see him passionately talking about issues and common-sense solutions."And that's the simple but fake news ruse. Kasich doesn't have to overtly talk about running for president, because everyone today knows he's dying to run for president again in 2020, just like everyone knew as back in 2010, that if he got elected twice, he would pull out all the stops to run for president as the "popular ... moderate" governor of a battleground state candidates had to win if they wanted to move into the White House.
The Quixotic, petulant leader whose time on the political stage will end when 2019 starts, is using the same tired but predictable excuses to deflect attention from his plan to be in the presidential hunt again in 2020 if at all possible.
While media continues to buy his lines that he doesn't know what he's going to do tomorrow, they have taken little notice of him turning down a golden chance to remain relevant by taking on and defeating two-term U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, following the vacuum created when lead GOP war horse, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, bowed out.
The opportunity to defeat a popular populist like Sen. Brown would show Kasich is not only still popular but has the political chops to defeat the last Democrat elected statewide. Senator Kasich would have six years to impact public policy, which he says he knows so much about and is so good at. He could run from cover in 2020 as a governor-turned Senator from a Rust Belt state, and still have four years to capture daily headlines if he lost his third run for POTUS since first trying in 2000.
The National Chaplain who hates Obamacare but defends one of its best social safety net programs, Medicaid, evades questions by invoking his master, The Lord, someone he leans on for guidance when circumstances call for divine intervention, like when questions are hurdled at him he has poor answers for. The Lord, to whom he once wanted to go in service to until he found politics more to his liking, appears to have left him in the lurch following two massive defeats for president, and who has apparently convinced him he can't beat a rugged, career politician like Sen. Sherrod Brown.
Otherwise, the Wizard of Westerville would take on and beat Brown. By doing so, Kasich could prove he's the messiah the GOP has been waiting for to move Trump out of the Oval Office and back to Trump Tower in New York City.