CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Gov. John Kasich is about to launch a national political committee that would allow him to raise money and his profile as he considers a run for president in 2016, sources close to the Republican said Thursday.I think a lot of non-conservatives feel this way:
The effort, first reported on cleveland.com, has been in the works since Kasich's well-received visit last month to New Hampshire, which holds the first primary....
Honestly, Kasich is the one potential candidate who I think has a great chance at winning a general. http://t.co/BRb2qlQDtK— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) April 17, 2015
And there may be some truth to that. But I don't think he'll get that far. If he runs, plenty of people in the base are going to react the way Mofo Politics reacted when he put forth a plan to expand Medicaid in Ohio under Obamacare:
Kasich justifies his “very conservative” decision to expand Medicaid and implement Obamacare...
I mean, that’s what we’re supposed to do in life, right? Help our neighbor. Help people…that’s my whole philosophy in the state.On issue after issue, Kasich is severely conservative.
Medicaid is another one we did…making sure that people could get health care.
There’s a, kind of a big faith-based component of the conservative movement...so, to me, that’s very conservative.
Kasich received an “F” rating from the NRA after voting for Bill Clinton’s 1994 Assault Weapons Ban (AWB).
Kasich claims to be for lower taxes, but as Governor, he proposed “fee increases” on bank service, overnight trailer parks, bowling alleys, billiard parlors, hunting and fishing guides, racing events, and admission to museums, amusement parks, circuses, fairs, concerts, and sporting events.
On the topic of Obama’s Executive Amnesty, Kasich conceded that his immigration stance has “evolved” because he is “a little smarter now”...
The country needs healing...I wouldn’t ever be one to tell you that I don’t change my mind or that my thinking doesn’t evolve... I’m also a different guy than I was years ago.
This was accompanied by a subtle bit of Photoshop:
And here are a few skeptical Free Republic threads, in case you think that Mofo post is anomalous.
Meanwhile, as Joan Walsh has noted, many of the big-money boys don't like him either:
... why is [Scott] Walker still considered Bush’s top primary challenger, especially for the donor class, while Kasich can’t get started?Bipartisanship? Can't have that!
There’s an important glimpse of an answer in this dispatch from a Kasich meeting with big New York donors.
... Kasich left the crowd unwowed ... says the National Review’s Eliana Johnson....
Apparently Kasich turned them off with his “prickly” answer to a question from conservative intellectual powerhouse Avik Roy, about whether he wants to repeal Obamacare yet maintain its expansion of Medicaid. When pushed, Kasich defended Medicaid recipients: “Maybe you think we should put them in prison. I don’t. I don’t think that’s a conservative position. Because the reality is, if you don’t treat the drug addicted and the mentally ill and the working poor, you’re gonna have them and they’re gonna be a big cost to society.”
Another turn-off for the big New York money guys? “He also talked about the need for a renewed bipartisan spirit on both sides of the aisle, citing Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill, and Jack Kemp and Charlie Rangel, as models for contemporary lawmakers to emulate,” Johnson reports. She concludes: “At the dinner’s close, there was little appetite for a Kasich presidency among those who’d assembled to hear him.”
I don't know what's going on in the GOP. The fat cats cleared Mitt Romney out to make way for Jeb Bush, but now it looks as if Rubio, Christie, and Kasich will all run; they won't be able to dominate, but they will pick off votes from Jeb, thus possibly clearing the way for ... who? Walker? Cruz? Paul?
I know the thinking is that Kasich is running for VP because he's from electoral-vote-rich Ohio. But I think Jeb and Marco will be afraid to run with someone deemed a RINO, and, ideologically, Walker, Cruz, and Paul won't want to.
So I'm not seeing much upside for Kasich -- even though, yeah, he might win a general election, among non-crazy voters. (Though he does support the craziest idea ever, a balanced budget amendment, which would have made the New Deal illegal. So I'll be very happy if he's not on the ticket.)