Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Ohio Governor Most Impressive

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Ohio Governor Most Impressive

Article excerpt

A week after the midterm elections, Republicans are still browsing through the jewelry store of their victories, admiring this bauble and that. Most of their Senate wins were predicted by the electoral map. The victories of many Republican governors, however, were impressive for extending the map.

There were Republican wins in Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois -- which amounted to dancing in President Obama's end zone.

But it is Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who deserves the award for best performance in a battleground state. It helps, of course, to have a flawed Democratic opponent. (How does one function in life for 10 years without a valid driver's license?) Yet Kasich won a majority of union voters, three-fifths of women voters, a majority of voters under 30, two-thirds of independents, and a quarter of African-American voters.

Politicians are supposed to pretend that a favorable verdict was perfectly natural and inevitable. When I raised the African- American vote with Kasich, he responded, "I'm flabbergasted by it."

Kasich told me in a phone interview that: "When I first started, my staff completely freaked out. How are you going to get any excitement without talking about Obama? We are too caught up in ideology and partisanship in this country. When I said (during the campaign) that we need to respect the president of the United States, the AP reporter nearly passed out.

"We need to show more respect, not anger. This is not a wrestling match. There have been too many hardened hearts in this country. You are my enemy, just because you don't think the way I think. I don't even know how we got here. At the end of the day, it means that my side is not always totally right and the other side totally wrong."

Kasich is an exuberantly orthodox free marketeer who has balanced budgets, reduced business regulations, privatized government services and placed a relentless emphasis on job creation. …

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