The current issue of the New Yorker (Nov. 9) has a long piece by George Packer of the Republicans' painful beauty contest that we used to call a presidential campaign. While reviewing the entire landscape titled "The Republican Class War", Packer gets to Gov. Kasich in the New Hampshire precincts with some delicious paragraphs about the Ohio Traveler.
Some of the Kasich stuff we're heard many times before. He boasts that he knows how to land a plane, a metaphor of his skill when he gets to the Oval Office . There's his Sunday morning sermon in his dismissal of his own importance as a live primate among lesser primates: "We need to live a life bigger than ourselves. Life is not just about me, me, me, me, me."
He's just getting warmed up to the Good Book, Packer reports. "I am the most flawed in this room, but I at least know I give grace and every day I can start over and try to to something positive."
Kasich also returns to his family album by referring to his late father as a mailman. But now he introduces us to his late mother, too, saying: "My dad carried mail on his back. My mother was a blue-collar housewife. I understand anxieties about losing jobs."
And how would he chill those anxieties? Chapter one , bold face, in the Republican Playbook: The way to end anxiety is to cut the budget and deregulate business.
But, as Packer writes, Kasich "offerered no policy proposals to help the middle class."
Packer also stuck a an asterisk on Kasich's soaring boasts that he balanced the federal budget as a congressman. The writer noted that most of the credit "belonged to a booming economy."
If we're lucky, Kasich will drop out before he claims the ancient Egyptian Travel Bureau built the mighty pyramids to encourage tourism by the Assyrians.