Huh. Aki Soga has a new job title.
The former editorial writer for the Burington Free Press, and pretty much the Last Man Standing after a series of newsroom purges, is apparently now the Free Press Reader Engagement Editor.
Hock. Choke. Cough. [drinks glass of water]
Sorry, I always puke in my mouth a little when I see one of these new-agey media job titles.
Anyway, Mr. Soga posted a piece this afternoon, posing the musical question…
Is Vermont John Kasich’s Super Tuesday firewall?
I suppose I should explain a bit.
Soga’s musings are inspired by Kasich’s decision to hold a Town Hall meeting in Colchester on Saturday. Also by Vermonters’ constant search for validation, plus the fact that our presidential primary is certain to be a complete snoozefest. Bernie’s gonna win the Democratic race, and nobody gives a damn who wins on the Republican side because (a) Vermont’s so small, and (b) its Republican politics are so atypical.
That’s why Soga is grasping for any hint of significance.
He’s grasping, but his fists are empty. Vermont is fated to be nobody’s firewall. Especially not Kasich’s.
He put all his eggs in the New Hampshire basket. He’s got no resources or ground game going forward. He could swamp the field in Vermont, and it wouldn’t help him even a little tiny bit.
John Kasich has entered the “I’m not gonna win, but please don’t make me go home to Ohio” phase of his campaign. He’s not admitting it, of course; he claims he’s still got a path to victory. But he’s skipping not only the South Carolina contest, where he’s polling in single digits; but also the vast majority of Super Tuesday contests. He spent yesterday in Michigan, for Pete’s sake.
Soga points out that Vermont may be Kasich’s “best shot at scoring an out-and-out win before the primary rolls into his home state on March 15.” Which is probably true, but it won’t appreciably alter his trajectory. Indeed, for many Republicans nationwide, winning Vermont is probably a net negative. Maybe that’s why Kasich didn’t mention Vermont when outlining his campaign strategy. Which involves a strong finish in Michigan (March 8) followed by a big win in Ohio (March 15). And then he finds a magic lamp and the genie grants him three wishes.
So no, Vermont is not John Kasich’s firewall. Speed bump, yes. Firewall, no.
Postscript. For those interested in peeking behind the curtain of Kasich’s Wizard-of-Oz campaign, here’s a summary of selected lowlights form his tenure as Ohio Governor. It’s not pretty.