New York Magazine is reporting that John Kasich, governor of Ohio and 2016 presidential candidate, will challenge President Trump in 2020.
“One year after his failed run at president, John Kasich is plotting his path to another, his third, for 2020,” writes Lisa Miller in the in-depth article.
Miller spent several days with Kasich, observing him and commenting on his past. She asked him about everything from his musical tastes to the 2020 election.
Commenting on the past election, Kasich said, “I wasn’t pitching myself. I was being myself.”
Kasich has been apart of Republican politics for a very long time. He ran for state legislature when he was only 26. By 30, he was elected to Congress.
He found his niche in Washington pushing for a balanced budget. He presented his first budget to Congress in 1989; it received only 30 votes. But that wasn’t the end for Kasich; he rose in power with Newt Gingrich in 1994.
At 42, he became chairman of the Budget Committee and a member of the Republican leadership. As apart of Gingrich’s Contract with America, Kasich worked for a balanced budget, which Clinton vetoed. In April 1996, he eventually hammered out a budget both sides could live with.
“Kasich 2020 is not just a media proposition,” wrote Miller. “Kasich is a sitting governor exploring a run against a president of his own party—a starkly unusual circumstance. He retains a skeletal campaign staff, and they are helping him to think through his options: Should he run as a Republican in the primaries or as an Independent in the general election?”
Kasich wants to run as a centrist. His vision of the future of the Republican Party is pro-environment, pro-immigration, and progressive on education.
“I think we need to be pro-environment. I think we need to be pro-immigrant—of course we need to protect our borders. I think we need to completely redo education. Every piece of education now is behind the times and a hundred years old. Look, I loved Ronald Reagan. I met Ronald Reagan. But Reagan was then. Now we gotta move on.” He came to his point: “I have a right to define what it means to be a conservative and what it means to be a Republican. I think my definition is a lot better than what the other people are doing,” declared Kasich.
He also wants to change what he perceives as the approach of the Republican Party. He wants to see a party of compassion.
Miller adds, “Kasich talks about his contrasting vision as a ‘revival’; he has a yearning to restore to American citizens the ‘basic principles of caring, of love, of compassion, of connectedness, of a legacy … There has to be a fundamental change, in my opinion, with all of us. I’m willing to be part of that. I want my voice to be out there. I want it very, very much.’”
Later, Kasich adds that it’s not President Trump’s administration that bothers him. Rather, it’s the secularization of society.
“What bothers me is when people across our society begin to say, ‘Values don’t matter.’ Or, ‘I don’t believe in God.’ That’s what bothers me. It’s depth.”
He also spoke to Miller about how he’d like to enact change. He’s not focusing on laws. Rather, he thinks a change will take time.
“You want to wave a wand and make it go away. It’s like, if you get to be fat, you didn’t get to be fat overnight, and you won’t get skinny overnight. You got fat over a period of time of doing things that are unhealthy. It doesn’t get fixed overnight. That’s what’s so frustrating to people who yearn for a better situation, and that’s why when I say there’s no magic to it, this really bothers some people.”
Still, Miller admits, Kasich has not declared he’s running. Everyone who she spoke to responded in hypotheticals; so much could change in two years.
“Look,” said Stuart Stevens, a strategist who advised Mitt Romney on his 2012 run. “We could be at war with Iraq. We could be at war with Iraq and North Korea. We could be at war with Canada. Who knows?”
If Kasich does run, then it will be an “open GOP rebellion, the declaration of a secessionist movement,” writes Miler. A primary challenge to an incumbent president is generally seen as destructive. When Reagan challenged Ford, it led to Carter’s win. When Ted Kennedy challenged Carter the following election, Reagan won. If Kasich were to run as an independent, it would still put a wrench in the two-party system, handing the election handily to one side or the other.
Do you think Kasich will actually run? Let us know in the comments.
In other news, Kevin Spacey was accused of seducing a fourteen-year-old boy, leading to a revelation about his sexual orientation.