With sixteen presidential hopefuls now in the Republican field, our friends in the DNC have launched their “Factivists” program, sending emails on each GOP contender and how evil they are. So when Governor Kasich threw his hat in the ring, their Factivist team asked me, as an Ohioan, how bad Kasich has been here. Because they asked me nicely, I replied with this:
“As a native and proud Ohioan, I stand witness to the travesties that John Kasich has done to this state. I remember the Strickland years very well. There was a consistent stream from Columbus about how unemployment was increasing along with the state’s debt. I remember Strickland’s promise to cure our state’s budget shortfall by appealing to Washington for more money. Obviously, self-reliance is a stranger to Democrats in office as well. And, I vividly remember Strickland touting himself as the “education governor,” as he simultaneously cut funding for public libraries. Oh, what happy and bright days those were!
Since 2011, however, things in Ohio have taken a bad right turn. Companies are coming back to Ohio to set up shop. Income taxes are lower, and while under Strickland the state budget was in the red, now Ohio is running surpluses. We all know that is the wrong take- President Obama’s enlightened leadership has demonstrated that $16 trillion (and growing) in debt is a good thing, and something to be proud about. To top that off, Kasich was one of the key figures behind Washington’s balanced budget in the 1990s. In other financial matters, while Obama’s financial policies have led to historic credit downgrades, Ohio has received upgrades from the three major credit bureaus.
President Obama’s reelection in 2012 was historic in that it was the first time an incumbent president had defeated a challenger with fewer votes than he had the first time. In that election, Obama lost two of the states that he carried four years earlier, and carried the rest with slimmer margins than in 2008. In contrast, Governor Kasich won reelection in 2014 by a sweeping landslide, with more votes than he had in 2010, even winning the Democratic stronghold of Cleveland. This was possible because of different electoral strategies between the two. In 2008, Obama ran as a uniter. In 2012, he utilized a divide and conquer strategy, dependent on a misogynist and demeaning attitude towards women. Kasich instead focused on the accomplishments of the previous four years, and sought to include everyone, and alienate no one. The result was that Kasich improved his standing with minorities by eighteen points, and won sixty percent of women in 2014.
The unemployment picture on the federal level remains gloomy. The numbers proudly displayed by the DNC do not reflect the many jobseekers- including this writer- that have given up hope, or are close to it. President Obama’s policies have also been the key reason why over a thousand Democrat politicians have lost their jobs at both the federal and state levels. While the Democrats and their president happily gloss over the true unemployment numbers, and readily forget about those who have given up, Kasich has not forgotten about “those in the shadows.” He bucked many on the right by expanding access to Medicaid, and has been active in luring companies to come to Ohio to bring jobs here.
While the promises of “hope and change” have disillusioned many and disappointed even more, Kasich has not. In just four years, it has become apparent to all that “Kasich works,” and that the governor of Ohio really is “one of us.” Overall, however, if there is one thing people must know about Governor Kasich, it is that his accomplishments outshine those of President Obama, and he’s only half way done.”
Of course, they’ll just disregard my thoughts, as those on the left are open minded and tolerant of everyone, except those with different opinions. But they did ask me to give my feedback to help them make sure Kasich doesn’t come anywhere near 1600 Pennsylvania. With Kasich’s accomplishments here in Ohio, they wouldn’t want him to come in to the Oval Office and overshadow Obama’s legacy, now would they?