The Spectacle Blog

Kasich for Veep?

By on 7.1.08 | 11:48AM

I already am on record, multiple times, as favoring Chris Cox for Veep. I stand by that. I also like Paul Ryan, at least to consider carefully, and to a lesser extent Mark Sanford, Jim Demint, and Rob Portman. Frank Keating might not be bad, and neither would Mike Pence -- and I would now really consider Rep. Thaddeus McCotter and former Gov. John Engler. I would now also consider Rep. Candice Miller. (Do you notice a definite Michigan angle here?)

But what I don't get is why nobody in the McCain camp seems to be strongly looking at former House Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich. Hey, when I worked in the House, Kasich wasn't my favorite, because he was a bit of a glory hound. But politically he is superb and substantively he is almost entirely solid. He was Budget Chair when they balanced the budget for the first time in something like 35 years, for goodness sakes. He's pro-life. He's quite clearly acceptable to conservatives of just about all kinds, but with the demeanor, working class background, and even the ethnic name that will help with moderates, independents, Reagan Democrats. Here's a guy who can help both in Ohio, which he represented, and in Pennsylvania, where he grew up the son of -- I believe -- a mailman. He has terrific people skills and speaking skills. He helps in Ohio more than Portman does -- he's better known, and represented Ohio longer -- and he is SO much more blue-collar, so much less boringly "white bread," than Portman that the difference is stark. He is better known nationally, too due to his regular hosting of a show on Fox News Channel and due to two reasonably well-selling books.

Because of his geographical and working class roots, he is PERFECTLY positioned to help McCain exploit Obama's weaknesses in the rust belt and probably Appalachia as well. He's the perfect age, 56 -- old enough and experienced enough clearly to do the job and to outshine Obama's thin resume, but plenty young enough to balance McCain's age and to reassure folks that there will be more than enough energy at the bottom of the ticket as well as the top. Politically, he would be a home run. He deserves very very very strong consideration.

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