Sunday, November 22, 2015

Should Johnny come marching home?

If Gov. Kasich's presidential campaign had been a light comedy  with a Broadway stage in mind,  the warmup production would have closed in Boston long before heading for the Big Apple. The reviews have been uniformly awful.

From his snappish behavior in the last debate to his most recent goof that he would create a federal agency to beam Judeo-Christian values around the world, he has lost ground.  The agency notion drew so many boos that within 24 hours he said never mind. He conceded it wasn't necessary after all.  There were other ways to reach pagan countries, Kasich said, with,  say, the Voice of America, which  reaches 188 million people a week around the world, but wasn't really getting the story of American values across.

He doubtless had kicked up a fuss with conservatives who weren't buying the idea,  Judeo-Christian values or not.  For them, another government agency was an unspeakable  sin in itself.  On the liberal side, columnist Joe Conason referred to  Kasich as a "useful idiot".

It didn't help him to knock  a rival who is leading Kasich in New Hampshire by 20 points and with far more than enough millions in campaign cash.  Donald Trump, no slouch at bombast himself, huffed that Kasich was "irrelevant"   and not worth wasting money on TV ads to point that out. So fancy that, Guv.

In all of this,  you have to wonder how Kasich,   who  brags  that (figuratively) he can  land an airplane to show his skill at leadership, decides  on his talking points each day.  Do his advisors caution him that for a guy who was in Congress a couple of decades ago, there are some things that don't work in the modern era of politics.  Or is it possible  that he is so brashly confident of his own brilliance that he doesn't need calm advice?

From all appearances, he is running a theocratic tough guy  campaign with a disposition that glowers but seldom glows. He doesn't consume his daily bread with nuance.

I would think that from all of this, the  time has arrived  to lower the curtain on his road show,  pack up the scenery and head back to Columbus  to manage some  lingering odds and ends: The disgraceful cheating and  mismanagement of Charter schools that have already led to the resignation of  the husband of your campaign manager; your fumbling of a plan to control  carbon emissions; your non-Judeo-Christian  outburst to deny admission of Syrian migrants to Ohio.

Don't get me started.


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