Earlier we discussed how Ted Strickland has proven himself too cautious of his own political future to make the tough decisions necessary for the state of Ohio.
Well, it seems John Kasich is ready to follow the trend recently rejuvenated by NJ Gov. Chris Christie. Doing what’s right.
If he wins on Nov. 2, the former Westerville-area congressman appears resigned to being an unpopular governor – and if voters kick him out of office after four years, that might be fine with him.
“I just want to fix the state and get the heck out of this as soon as I can,” Kasich, the 58-year-old former managing director for now-defunct Lehman Brothers, told me in October. He said he’d be happy to return to the business sector and, possibly, resume his gig as an on-air personality for Fox News.
Hence the reason a Kasich governorship is hopeful. Facing an $8billion deficit in the next two-year budget, Ohio’s governor will be forced to make drastic, even cold-hearted decisions that will be unpopular. Kasich is putting himself in a position to do so free from paybacks to special interests, beholden to no one but the state’s residents. Although Gov. Ted Strickland instantly would be a lame duck if he wins, it is questionable whether he would have the stomach to demand necessary systemic changes from public-employee unions, among his staunchest constituencies.
As Publius (better known as James Madison) wrote about in Federalist Paper No. 10, elected officials in a Republic have a duty to do what’s right, and not simply submit to what is supported by a majority or minority faction.
And that same standard should apply to elected state officials as well.
I’m happy to see at least one candidate in the Governor’s race with a proven track record of following the direction intended by our nation’s Founders.