By Tom Ballard
Throughout the muckraking and mudslinging of the current Republican presidential election, it is easy to oversee a candidate whose virtues shine through as a welcoming reminder that politics do not have to be cruel and violent spectacles. Ohio Gov. John Kasich — who only polls at 7 percent of support of likely Republican votes, according to analysis from FiveThirtyEight.com, a website focused on opinion poll analysis published on Sunday, March 6 — is the best choice for the Grand Old Party’s (GOP) presidential nomination.
With the recent withdraw of Ben Carson from the presidential race, the field of nominees for the GOP now stands at four from the original 17 candidates, according to a New York Times article from Friday, March 4. What was once a circus of GOP contenders is now reduced to businessman Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Kasich. While Trump and Cruz are seen to cater to the conservative base of the party, Rubio and Kasich are seen as more moderate voices whose viewpoints are more in line with the GOP’s standpoints.
Kasich is an experienced candidate — the most experienced one left in the GOP field. He served nine terms (18 years) representing Ohio’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Six of those years (1995-2001) he served as the chairman of the House Budget Committee following the “Gingrich Revolution,” in which Republicans swept control of the U.S. of Representatives and elected Newt Gingrich as the speaker, according to a PBS “Newshour” article from Wednesday Feb. 10. As chairman of the committee, Kasich was seen taking on not just Democratic lawmakers, but also fellow Republicans. He played a fundamental role in passing the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, which received bipartisan support, and was known to work with the administration of President Bill Clinton in order to help reduce the deficit, according to an Aug. 9, 2015, article from Politifact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political fact-checking website.
In 2010, Kasich went on to be elected governor of Ohio and was re-elected in 2014. As governor, Kasich supported the expansion of Medicaid included in the Affordable Care Act, despite criticism from fellow Republicans, saying that it was important for Ohio residents to receive the additional medical coverage, according to a PBS “Newsroom” article from July 21, 2015.
In comparison with his GOP rivals, Kasich has almost three decades worth of political experience in comparison to his current challengers, which includes two first-term senators and a real estate magnet that has never served in public office.
Kasich has proven that he has the willingness to reach across the political aisle in order to do what he believes is right and he fights for the betterment of the American people.
The Ohio governor is also known to be a compassionate person — not known to take political shots at his opponents, but willing to show people that he cares about them. According to a CNN article from Thursday, Feb. 18, Kasich hugged a supporter from the University of Georgia at a town hall in South Carolina after he told Kasich about recent hardships that he has endured, such as the suicide of a man who was like a father figure to him and his father losing his job.
The presence of Kasich in this race to crown the GOP’s nomination has brought a human element to the competition. While his competitors often attack each other over matters of flip-flopping on political issues to petty fashion issues, Kasich is a candidate committed to taking the high-road and discussing the issues that matter to Americans, such as taxes and the environment.
Not only is Kasich the best candidate for the White House, but he is also the best-situated Republican to compete with Hillary Clinton in the general election. According to a Suffolk University/USA Today poll from Wednesday, Feb. 17, Kasich would defeat Clinton in a hypothetical presidential matchup with the largest margin being 49-38 percent.
While I may not agree with Kasich on every issues, his record of being a leader willing to compromise is a needed trait to get things done in Washington, D.C., and is a trait that no other candidate on the GOP side seems to be willing to claim.
On Nov. 23, 2015, the Pew Research Center released a report that showed that only 19 percent of Americans, or roughly one out of every five, trusts the government. America needs a president that they feel they can trust. America needs a leader with an experienced and proven record of compromise that benefits the people. Americans need a president who is able to connect with them at a personal level. America needs John Kasich.
Although his humbleness may pale in comparison to the flamboyance of Trump and his humility may seem quiet amongst the GOP contenders who try to flaunt that they are the most conservative Democrat-despiser of them all, Kasich is an experienced candidate that hugs the country with authentic and genuine kindness.
Students share opinions around campus
Have you heard of Kasich?
“(No)… There’s a lot of candidates in the race… (Such as) Hillary (Clinton), Bernie, Trump and Ted (Cruz).”
“(No)… I think that there is a lot of attention on Trump… for reasons not regarding the presidency.”