-By Phil Arway. Phil is a retired Columbus Ohio high school teacher and life-long Irish freedom activist.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, is the quintessential establishment Republican candidate for President. His six years as Governor of Ohio has taught him to balance his conservative philosophy with governing a “purple state.” His candidacy should terrify the Democrats.
There is no question in my mind that he would easily carry Ohio for the Republicans in 2016 if they chose to nominate him. There is also no question in my mind that, short of a political lobotomy, the GOP will not pick Kasich.
But having said that, if they did, it would be virtually impossible to defeat him. New York Times endorsed Kasich because he seems the most moderate of the GOP candidates, “Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, though a distinct underdog, is the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race.”
From our perspective in Ohio living with Kasich as governor for six years and a ten term member of Congress from central Ohio, we know he is a conservative, but he also came from an ethnic (Slovak-Croatian) working-class family.
While in Congress, Kasich (a super-hawk) had no problem working with Ron Dellums (D-Oakland Ca) to eliminate the B-2 bomber. Kasich also worked with Ralph Nader to eliminate corporate tax loopholes. He received an F rating from the NRA, at least one of the years he was in Congress.
He is not the run-of-the-mill Republican. The NRA endorsed incumbent-Democrat Ted Strickland in the 2010 Ohio Gubernatorial election over Kasich.
Kasich won governorshp and promptly overreached. He attempted to pass a controversial anti-Union smorgasbord called SB5. It outlawed collective bargaining and strikes by Teachers, Nurses, Firefighters and police. Kasich who won 1,880,000 votes in his race for governor, was slapped down the following year, when 2,200,000 Ohioans voted against Issue2 and repealed the antiunion SB5 law. Nurses, teachers, police, firefighters joined forces and with the support of all organized labor (from the IWW to AFL-CIO), Ohio did what Wisconsin failed to do! They put the anti-union crowd in their place! Kasich backed away from the anit-Union campaigns (including Right To Work) after the Issue 2/SB5 fiasco. When faced with the deadline for implementing Medicaid expansion (Affordable Care Act) and failing to get his Republican leadership in the legislature to go along, Kasich tripled the size of the Ohio Medicaid program through Executive Order.
When asked about Right To Work, “We don’t have any disruptive labor situations” in Ohio, so a push for right-to-work isn’t necessary, he told an Cincinnati Enquirer reporter.
NO Republican has EVER been elected President without Ohio. The only Democrats ever to win without Ohio were JFK(1960), FDR (1944) and Grover Cleveland.