Keep an Eye on Kasich

If you could imagine the dream Republican presidential candidate, you’d probably want him to have been or be a governor; have good communications and media skills; be attractive physically; have a good fiscal record and clean personal living; keep to Christian values; and come from a crucial state.
In John Kasich we have all of these. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s not running in 2012.
Still, the 59-year-old Kasich (pronounced K-sik) is a good person to have waiting in the wings. Judging from what he’s doing in Ohio, he will make a formidable foe.
Yesterday he signed a budget that “is the one they said couldn’t be done,” according to Kasich. It’s a game changer all right. He managed to push through some terrific changes that should help Ohio regain jobs and personal freedoms.
The bill balances the budget, fixing an $8 billion deficit without raising taxes. In fact, it even eliminates the estate tax starting in 2013. It privatizes prisons. It has a plan to separate violent criminals from the petty ones in community corrections. It expands charter schools and doubles vouchers. It mandates that districts getting federal Race to the Top dollars institute merit pay for teachers. It changes the state run liquor program begun in the 1930s and turns it over to a jobs creation program. It fixes Medicaid and deals a blow to the nursing home industry making it easier for mom and dad to stay in their homes and be cared for. Even AARP is on board with it.
Kasich wants to keep more businesses in Ohio. He saw that a lack of capital investment was harming business. With the legislature he instigated a program that gives a 10% credit for investing in small business in Ohio. Already the state has jumped ahead of eleven others states in a ranking of business friendly states.
All this was done without a single Democrat vote.
They should have joined him. Kasich has a record of success. He served in the House from 1983 to 2001. As chairman of the House Budget committee after the Republican takeover in 94, Kasich was responsible for the balanced budget act of 1997. He was the only one since 1969 to take a budget from a minus 163 billion to a surplus of 236 billion.
Aside from his legislative abilities, Kasich is media savvy as well. He hosted “Heartland with John Kasich” weekly on Fox News from 2001-2007. He has written several books. His latest, “Every Other Monday” was n the New York Times best seller list as was a previous one, “Courage is Contagious.”
Kasich narrowly beat incumbent Governor Ted Strickland last November and knows how to fight and prevail in a campaign.
Along with Scott Walker, Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels, Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, the GOP has a great stable of future candidates. But keep an eye on Kasich.

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