Tag Archives: John Kasich

“But I’m not that kind of Republican”

Every time I talk with a Vermont Republican (which is happening more frequently now, by design), I hear a variation on the same tune: “I’m not that kind of Republican.” Meaning, I’m not like those extreme conservatives on the national level; I’m a moderate, Vermont kind of partisan.

Well, maybe, but what do they mean by that?

It seems to be roughly this: they don’t share national Republicans’ extreme views on social issues, which is a no-brainer; espousing the creeds of the Christian Right is a sure loser in Vermont. They don’t deserve much credit for tolerance on reproductive rights or marriage equality.

Things get fuzzier when it comes to fiscal issues.

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Kevin Mullin Is Disappointed In You

Poor, poor State Sen. Kevin Mullin (R-Oatmeal). He might just have to relinquish his spot in our delegation to the Republican National Convention. And it’s all our fault.

Mullin, last seen trying to sneak pro-gambling language into a couple of unrelated bills, and seen before that loitering incuriously outside the room that Norm McAllister “shared” with his teenage “assistant,” says that if Donald Trump keeps winning primaries, he won’t be a party to Trump’s coronation in Cleveland.  He told VPR’s Mitch Wertlieb:

“… after Tuesday night, I’m not so sure that there is an alternative path. We’re still trying to assess the numbers to see if there is a way to try to get to a brokered convention and have some sanity prevail,” he says.

You know the Republican Party is in bad shape when “sanity” equals “a brokered convention.” Where someone other than the top two vote-getters would be parachuted into the nomination, perhaps without winning a single vote in the primaries.

See, Mullin doesn’t like Ted Cruz either. His hot ideas: John Kasich, who still trails Marco Rubio in delegates, or Paul Ryan, who didn’t run and says he won’t accept the nomination.

In other words, Kevin Mullin is hoping that his party overturns the will of its voters. Because, I suppose, the Republican Wise Men Know Best.

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Former politician does something irrelevant

Well, well. Look at what the Sunday Times Argus brought me.

Former Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas has endorsed Republican John Kasich for president.

Wow. That’s… uh… that’s… useless.

How useless? Douglas issued his endorsement on Tuesday. As far as I can tell, the Times Argus was the first* media outlet to even mention it.Five days later. 

*Update: Seven Days’ Paul Heintz reported the endorsement in a longer piece last Wednesday about preparations for the state Republican convention.

That’s how you move the needle, folks.

Douglas’ endorsement came the day after the New York primary results put yet another nail in Kasich’s coffin. Which begs the only interesting question about this:

Why now? And why not before, when it might possibly have made a little bit of difference?

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Nice going, VTGOP

Last week, a whole bunch of Vermont Republicans (including Phil Scott) issued a mass endorsement of Marco Rubio, forswearing their perceived favorite, John Kasich. They argued that Rubio was best positioned to block the establisment Republican bete noire, Donald J. Trump.

In doing so, they well and truly shot themselves in the foot.

The Vermont primary results: Trump narrowly beat Kasich, while Rubio was a distant third and failed to win a single delegate. It’s hard to imagine a worse outcome for the state’s Republican establishment.

And it seems obvious that if Vermont Republicans had stuck with Kasich, he would have won the state. He trails Trump by less than three percent, while Rubio took almost 20 percent.

In the long run it makes no difference, but it would have saved the VTGOP the embarrassment of being one more state in the Trump column. Vermont Republican leaders made their distaste for Trump abundantly clear; now, he is their standard-bearer, and they could have avoided that fate if they hadn’t been too clever by half.

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A trip down Memory Lane (and a turn into Nightmare Alley)

Hey, remember when Donald Trump held a rally at the Flynn Center? And the Vermont Republican Party took pains to distance itself?

Just to refresh your memory, here’s the statement released before the Trump event by VTGOP Executive Directory Jeff Bartley:

We learned late today through media reports that Donald Trump will be making a brief campaign stop in Vermont The Vermont Republican Party did not invite Mr. Trump and has no role in his event. Like all presidential candidates, he is welcome to share his thoughts with Vermonters. We hope all candidates will articulate, in a responsible and respectful Vermont way, their ideas for helping to make our state and or nation more affordable and prosperous for working class families. And we look forward to the outcome of the primary campaign between our very diverse group of candidates.

I thought it’d be timely to revisit those words, now that The Donald shattered his “glass ceiling” in Nevada with 46 percent of the caucus vote. With each passing day, he looks more and more like the irresistible force, while the other candidates are decidedly movable objects.

Meanwhile, the obvious choice of Vermont Republicans, John Kasich, “won” 3.6 percent of the Nevada vote. Even before the results came in, he was the subject of a juicy headline Monday morning at Politico:

GOP to Kasich: Get out

A string of elected officials, GOP insiders and prominent donors officially threw their support behind Rubio on Monday, calling him their last chance to take down Donald Trump. Their statements had another common theme. Some explicitly called for Kasich to quit, while others sent the same message by saying the Ohio governor’s ongoing presence is holding Rubio back.

The story is especially poignant in these circles, since it came only two days after Vermont Republicans couldn’t stop grinning while they shared a stage with Kasich.

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One more thing about the “adult in the room”

After his Town Hall meeting in Colchester, Ohio Gov. John Kasich gave a few minutes to the assembled media. A helpful portion thereof was posted online by the Burlington Free Press. Helpful, because it’s one more piece of evidence that Kasich’s “reasonable” “moderate” act is just so much Foxy Grandpa malarkey.

He was asked about whether President Obama should, you know, do his Constitutional duty by nominating someone to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. And Kasich’s answer was a disasterpiece of Republican passive-aggressiveness.

He blamed it all on, you guessed it, Obama.

We’ve had a situation in Washington where nobody’s going to get confirmed. You know, the President passed Obamacare, he rammed through stuff with his executive actions, and it’s just polarized everybody.

So, look, he’s going to send somebody, they’re not going to be confirmed. And what I like is the idea that the American public’s going to have a two-fer. And what do I mean by that?

We’re going to elect a president, and we’re going to determine the direction of the Court by the presidential election. And I think that could serve as a sort of a healing in our country without all these fights goin’ back and forth.

Yeah, that’s the ticket. If Obama hadn’t been such a hardass, ramming stuff down America’s throat for seven years, then we could let him appoint someone to the Supreme Court. As it is, he shouldn’t do it because it will further divide the country. In fact, for the good of the nation, he should voluntarily give up one of his presidential powers.

Yuh-huh. The Republicans and the conservative media, according to John Kasich, have absolutely nothing to do with the polarization of our politics. It’s all Obama’s fault!

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Foxy Grandpa snookers the rubes

The relief on their faces was palpable. “Finally,” they were obviously thinking, “a presidential candidate who’s not a complete bozo!”

The cream of Vermont’s Republican crop was on hand — and visibly on stage — for yeseterday’s Town Hall meeting for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. There’s a wonderful photo by the Burlington Free Press’ April Burbank, showing a handful of top Republicans gazing toward Kasich with the sort of giddiness usually seen on the face of a kid with cancer who’s meeting a star athlete through Make-A-Wish.

Can’t say I blame ‘em. The prospect of running on a ticket with the likes of Donald J. Trump or Ted X. Cruz has to give people like Phil Scott the heebie-jeebies. Kasich, unlike the rest of the Republican Clown Car, offers the image of a reasonable, moderate conservative willing to work with all parties and feeling genuine concern for society’s poor and unfortunate. Couple of problems, though.

First, they’re jumping onto a leaky lifeboat. On the very day of his triumphal visit to Vermont, Kasich was getting his butt handed to him in the South Carolina primary, coming in fifth place behind a guy who “suspended” his campaign as soon as the results were posted, and barely ahead of Dr. Sleepytime, Ben Carson.

How did Kasich characterize his own campaign?

Ohio Gov. John Kasich probably could have used a better phrase for his plan to consolidate establishment voters than “we’re going to keep struggling” in an appearance on Sunday’s “Face the Nation.”

So the VTGOP came out strong for a candidate who’s hanging on by his fingernails, hoping against hope that a first-place finish in Vermont or Massachusetts and maybe second in Michigan will keep his campaign out of the ICU for another week or so.

Second, there’s the Inconvenient Truth about Kasich’s actual record, as previously chronicled in this space. He is not a moderate; he is not, when the rubber hits the road, compassionate. He is one of a number of Republican governors who have advanced the ALEC/Koch Brothers agenda as often and as hard as they can.

And there’s no reason to believe that President John Kasich would be any different. Quite the opposite: his record suggests his current persona is a sham, a Foxy Grandpa act designed to snooker gullible centrists yearning for a candidate who’s not a complete embarrassment.

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