Best Two Arguments for Kasich
Posted on July 23, 2015
(This originally appeared in the Wall Street Journal's Think Tank)
John Kasich is perhaps the most intriguing candidate to throw his hat into the 2016 GOP ring.
Unfortunately for him, he is also the last one.
Most Americans aren’t familiar with Mr. Kasich, even though he is governor of a key swing state and for years hosted a television show on Fox.
So as he introduces himself to voters, his approach has to be extraordinarily disciplined.
Discipline, however, is not his strong suit. That’s apparent from more than his rambling announcement speech Tuesday. He has a history of saying things he shouldn’t, inadvertently insulting people, and otherwise getting off message.
But Gov. Kasich is also a passionate leader who knows how to get things done.
Alone among the Republican presidential candidates, Gov. Kasich has participated in balancing the federal budget. He made a name for himself as chairman of the House Budget Committee. When congressional Republicans forced then-President Bill Clinton to accept their plans to put Washington’s fiscal house in order, it was Mr. Kasich’s show. Many millennial voters are too young to remember those budget battles ending with a huge victory for Republicans.
More recently, Mr. Kasich has helped lead a dramatic economic turnaround in the Buckeye State, which was in sad shape before he was elected governor.
Mr. Kasich’s leadership and approval ratings are far more impressive than the records of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Mr. Walker gets credit for surviving three elections in a blue state, but one of those elections was an attempt to oust him midterm in a recall. Nobody has tried that with Mr. Kasich, who is popular in Ohio.
Mr. Kasich balanced Washington’s budget and created jobs in Ohio–these themes are a good track record to run on and set him apart from his fellow Republican candidates.