April 16, 2015


John Kasich good for GOP, good for U.S. (Nolan Finley, 4/16/15, The Detroit News)

The Ohio governor is a middle of the road Republican from the nation's middle. Should he decide to run, he'll bring to the campaign qualities that should appeal to voters weary of Washington gridlock and partisanship: Pragmatism and a "willingness to solve problems with legitimate compromise that makes America stronger," as Kasich described his governing philosophy to the Detroit Economic Club earlier this week.

He also talked about values -- and not the ones being mouthed by the GOP's hard right. The governor says he stands for personal responsibility, teamwork, family and faith.

He wears his faith on his sleeve, but before you place him on the religious right stack, here's how Kasich described his core belief: "Love your neighbor." He then laid out a reprise of compassionate conservatism: meeting the needs of the poor today while preparing them to take care of themselves tomorrow.

His speech was absent vitriol and stridency, offering instead the mix of economic conservatism and social moderation the majority of American voters identify with, and urging common sense rather than ideological solutions to divisive issues such as immigration reform. "We don't have enough buses to ship 12 million people across the border," he said.

Kasich has a resume to match his message. Under five years of his leadership, Ohio has built a $2 billion budget surplus while cutting taxes by $3 billion and adding 350,000 jobs. He won re-election last fall by 30 percentage points, picking up 26 percent of the minority vote and nearly two-thirds of women. For those who say the nation's changing demographics disadvantage the GOP, Kasich would seem to have found an answer.

He's appealed to Ohio's African-American voters, who helped deliver the state twice for President Barack Obama, by "doing my best every single day to make sure every single person in my state feels included." In practice, that meant forming one of the first state commissions on police/community relations.

Perfect man for the times, right? 

Posted by at April 16, 2015 2:53 PM

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