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Kasich for VP?

Rich Lowry and Michael Novak over at the Corner wonder whether John Kasich wouldn’t be a good pick for McCain as VP. I like it. I like it because I have always liked Kasich but, more important, I like it because it recognizes the crucial Ohio vote and the importance of getting someone young (o.k., younger) and fresh. Kasich won’t be a tired or anti-climatic choice because his name has not been tossed about as openly as Romney, Palin, Jindal, and Pawlenty.

Discussions - 24 Comments

Have you ever personally met Kasich?

We don't hang out, no.

Kasich has always struck me as a bit off. I love OH, but really there is no OH potential right now-neither Portman or Kasich cut it. Geography really isn't the best way to pick a VP anyway.

I did.

He's got an attitude; I looked the guy dead in the eye, just me and him, no crowd, and I didn't like the vibes I was getting.

We can do better.

If you're interested in picking a fellow from the Buckeye State, {and I've no prob with that}, then expand the orbit of expectation, and look at a certain radio host, who is knowledgeable, and not unknown to the base, ---------------------------- Hugh Hewitt. He's got the education for the job, and he's spent the time necessary preparing for the job, by seriously studying the issues.

As for Kasich. Forget about it.

It's a rare thing to meet a politician (or any busy man who considers what he does to be important) and "like the vibe" you get from him. If that's the standard then I don't think we've probably got anyone. Radio hosts included.

No, that's not the standard, but that should inform the judgement.

As for Hewitt, who I also met, he gives off the aura of the academic, but he can focus. He can take those eyes, seemingly intent of some abstract point, and in a nanosecond focus them, and focus them on YOU. When he does that, his eyes begin to gleam, and gleam with passion and intellect.

Kasich's eyes gleam too, but that's from looking at himself, and being over enraptured by what he sees. My meeting with Kasich wasn't of a moment. And the vibe I picked up wasn't that exuded by a "busy man."

Kasich failed the test of walking "with kings," but not losing "the common touch."

We can do better.


Subject to the caveats raised (not decisively, I think) on this thread, I do think Kasich is worth a serious look. The combination of relative but not excessive youth, seriousness, idealism, experience in the Gingrich House, working-class background, and favorable geography does add up. While one can criticize any potential veep nominee, Kasich may well deserve to rank in the small top tier of a problematic lot. My only other comments at this juncture would be: 1) Pick the veep as soon as he can be vetted. And get him on the campaign trail. The psychology of this election, on our side, needs to improve ASAP. 2) Romney is understandably a risk, and understandably is not exciting to a large segment of the base. But who, really, is exciting? Anti-Mormon bigotry (let's not coddle these people; it's bigotry, and I say that as someone who thinks the word is vastly overused) is a factor. Anti-business bigotry (ditto) is a factor. But so are Mitt Romney's transparent decency, vigor, money, and talent. We could do much worse, people. If he's the pick, let's hold off on the raspberries until the election is over.

Yes, Kasich would be good.

It should be somebody we're willing to throw away, because if McCain is elected his VP will become radioactive. I'm against Palin and Jindal on that basis.

Kasich is running for Governor in 2010 against Strickland. He is not interested in being VP.


I never cease to be amazed at how you neocons can look into a person's eyes and see their souls, like Bush did with Putin. Only with Dan it is vibes. I completely trust Dan and his interpretations. I will now vote accordingly to the vibes I see him report on this site.

I'm not a Buckeye, but do play one on TV. Actually, we're (my wife and I) planning on moving to Ohio in a few years to be closer to family, so we've a vested interest in keeping John Kasich, a good man, in Ohio.

As for McCain's Veep somehow being "radioactive," that's only in the eyes of the rabid Left, and it only applies to Dick Cheney.

That said, McCain needs someone by his side who is young, conservative, has ideas and real experience, and who can bring some excitement to the ticket.

Two come immediately to mind: Bobby Jindal and Sarah Palin.

Stertinius, --------- that would be a wise move on your part, not trusting your political instincts, and instead trusting mine.

And GW isn't a "neo." Nor am I.

When you toss around terms like "neo," why not use it accurately. Richard Perle is a "neo." Eliot Abrams, Norman Podhoretz, Irving Kristol, those are "neos" because they're former Libs and Democrats. I've never been a former Lib, certainly not a Dem.

I'm a Conservative and a member of the Grand Old Party, and I'm not a "neo."

I've watched too many of Kasich's shows on cable news where he sometimes comes off as something less than the brightest bulb in the package.

I'm leaning toward Palin or Ridge.

As for McCain's Veep somehow being "radioactive," that's only in the eyes of the rabid Left, and it only applies to Dick Cheney.


Once it dawns on Republicans just how liberal McCain is, anyone associated with him will be radioactive. At least on the right. I'm sure the left will have no problem with them, and will welcome McCain with open arms when he formally joins the Democratic party.

Although on second thoughts McCain is more useful to the left while he pretends to be a Republican, so maybe they'll ask him to continue the deception.

Anti-Mormon bigotry (let's not coddle these people; it's bigotry, and I say that as someone who thinks the word is vastly overused) is a factor. Anti-business bigotry (ditto) is a factor.

Bah. The Mormon thing is a non-factor, and the "Anti-business bigotry" is a reasoned and informed rejection of Big Business Rockefeller GOP.

I actually think Romney will be the man, and it will be yet more evidence (as if we need any more) of what the GOP (McCain included) is really all about...

Once it dawns on Republicans just how liberal McCain is

Republicans ARE liberal, if you mean the GOP and it's leadership. If you mean "the base", then they are conservative to the extant that they recognize that their hopes and aspirations (i.e. conservative governance, or something resembling it) are not to be found in the GOP. Thus, "the base" can only be called "conservative" to the extant that they reject McCain in the first place. If this has not "dawned" on them yet, then it is a bit late and they can't really be called "conservative" if the term has any real meaning...

Christopher, good point on the rejection of Romney not being based on anti business bigotry but I differ with your interpretation.

Pointing to a businesss background is unlikely to help a Republican candidate with the general public. No one doubts that the Republicans are close with businesss, and putting your business experience at the center of your appeal tends to limit rather than expand your appeal.

But Democrats can do well by appealing to business experience (if they have any). The public fears that the Democrats don't appreciate what is good about business (job creation, efficiency, a focus on the "bottom line") so a business background can expand a Democrat's appeal without making him appear to close to business interests.

Romney was also hurt by his background as a "turnaround specialist". Thats a job that most people find hard to relate to, and it sounds like it has alot to do with laying people off. A turnaround specialist who is the son of a wealthy politician is even more remote.

Pete, you have a good point about electoral strategery and rhetoric. I was speaking to the substance of the man and the GOP.

That IS the problem with the GOP is it not: run conservatively and govern in another way?

The GOP is the party of deception, something the Dem's are not. They run to the left, and govern to the left. They are who they say they are, and back up their words with deeds...

Christopher, most Rpublican primary voters who did not vote for Romney, voted for McCain or Huckabee, who were to Romney's left on economic issues (Huck was pretty solid on social issues). This would put the fraction of "real conservatives" to be a small fraction of the Republican primary electorate (which is itself a small fraction of the general electorate). I'm willing to accept that conservatives as you define them are really that few, but that would point to another problem. The political problems that Republicans face are not caused simply by corruption (paging Senator Stevens) or individual acts of incompetence (Katrina, the Iraq War from mid 2003 until early 2007), or surrenders to Big Government (the prescription drug bill). A key problem of conservative politics is the ability to get the public to back small government conservatism.

Pete,

I think you read too much into this primary. For example, while Huck played the populist, he was in fact an instinctive conservative. This would have led him to trend toward a conservative economics, contrary to Romney who only plays an economic conservative on TV. He would in fact have governed as a Rockefeller. Also, the primary results are skewed due to the horrible choices, so you have most voters simply confused - trying to choose the least of evils.

It's not the public's problem exactly, it is more of a lack of conservative leadership. You say "The political problems that Republicans face are not caused simply by...." and then list exactly the political problems of the Republicans - NOT conservatives. The central "political" problem is that otherwise informed folks like your self persist on conflating "conservative" with the GOP, despite the overwhelming failure of this sort of thinking since at least Goldwater. If the total Republican failure since 94 does not correct this perception, what on earth will?

Christopher, I don't for a second conflate conservatavism with the Republican party. Its just that the Rpepublican party is the one that conservatives have the most influence over. The Republican party has its organizational problems to be sure, but conservatives also have a politcal problem in selling their policies to the country. As David Frum pointed out elsewhere, the President's prescription drug plan was popular. Conservative approaches to health care reform are not yet popular- in fact most people who are not political junkies are unaware of them. The Republican party bears some of the blame for this, but so does that large group of conservative writers and popularizers who shape public opinion. What was the fraction of articles, web posts, and minutes on talk radio spent talking about conservative health care proposals versus time spent mocking John Edwards' hair style? The example could be extended to other issues like middle class wage stagnation. The problem is that conservative elites (including, maybe especially including conservative opinion journalists) have not popularized a conservative program that the general public sees as both compelling and relevant to their current concerns. Twenty years ago, Rush Limbaugh was among other things a fresh reformer. He is still great when on the attack (whether against Obama or McCain)but he seems less sure when it comes to positive proposals.

I'm glad you brought up 94. 1995 is one of the most important years in the modern history of conservatism as a governing doctrine. The public revolted over a partial shut down of the government. Many Republicans concluded that there was a limit to how much economic conservatism the public could stomach. The last thirteen years have been an attempt to govern while keeping the lessons of 1995 in mind. Maybe the lessons of 1995 were misunderstood or poorly applied but in the three Presidential elections since (soon to be four) no presidential candidate of either party has prospered running on a small government platform. The only candidate to try running on small government (as opposed to low taxes - not quite the same thing)was Phil Gram in 1996. I was one of his few supporters.

Christopher, I don't think alot separates us politically. The big difference is that I believe that large parts of the conservative political program that has engaged conservatives for thirty years has lost its salience due to conservative successes (on income tax cuts, crime, and welfare reform). This is great for the country, but it has left most conservatives (both in the media and private life) with alot left to say. Conservative policy wonks have proposals for dealing with the problems of the day. Some I like, some not so much. The problem is that many conservatives are not really engaged in those issues yet. The problem isn't just that conservative leadership is too mixed up with the Republican party, its that conservative leadership is often talking about things the general public doesn't care much about anymore.

A definition of "the conservative leadership" would be helpful. I guess that's the same thing as a request for the definition of conservatism.

There's a large and influential bloc in the GOP which thinks that conservatism is best defined as "whatever the Chamber of Commerce wants", and that they are the conservative leadership.

It's not hard to see why this is so - the CoC has the money. There are no deep pockets entities committed to genuine conservatism on the right.

I can't speak to your experience, Dan. But now I can speak to my own. I met him on Saturday. I still like him. But you're all right. He's not going to be VP. But I do hope he becomes Governor.

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