Ohio governor is a fringe candidate
After Tuesday’s Republican primary in Wisconsin, Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s batting average continues to nosedive. Kasich is now 1-38 after finishing with only 14 percent of the vote in Wisconsin, less than what he polled before the vote. His only win in the GOP presidential contest was his home state of Ohio. In Ohio he only won a plurality of the vote despite a reported 70 percent approval rating in polling in that state. The Daily 202 said this week Kasich is “fading”. Bill Kristol, editor of the Weekly Standard, a leading conservative publication, said, “Almost as important as Cruz’s defeat of Trump is the weakness of Kasich.” The Washington Examiner is a conservative newspaper serving D.C. and the surrounding metro area. Philip Klein of The Examiner says that Kasich has become a “fringe candidate.” Florida Sen. Marco Rubio who suspended his campaign on March 15 has a half million more Republican primary votes than Kasich and even more delegate votes than Kasich. A lot of good Republicans in Mississippi misplaced their faith when they endorsed Kasich before our state’s GOP primary. Even if there is a deadlocked convention, why should Republicans turn to Kasich as their nominee? They shouldn’t and they won’t. I still agree with Leon Wolf who recently wrote, “Kasich is one of the most notorious jerks in the history of Washington, DC, which is a town full of jerks.”
John Kasich has only one hit in more than 30 at bats
I received several emails this week from Gov. John Kasich’s campaign asking for a contribution because he claims to be the only Republican who can defeat Hillary Clinton this fall. That won’t happen because Kasich, despite his refusal to drop out of the Republican presidential contest, has no chance to win the GOP nomination. If the primaries and caucuses thus far were a baseball game, Kasich would have been sent to the minor leagues a long time ago. So far he has only one hit in more than 30 at bats. Kasich’s only win was in his home state of Ohio. While he made a big deal of winning Ohio, the fact is despite his reported popularity in Ohio, he still had less than 50 percent of the vote in the GOP primary. Kasich also had a very poor showing just over two weeks ago in Mississippi. This came despite the fact that no Republican candidate, including Jeb Bush, son of one president and brother of another, had a more impressive list of endorsements in Mississippi than Kasich. Led by highly regarded Congressman Gregg Harper, Andy Taggert, a host of legislators, other state elected officials and many prominent Mississippi Republicans, Kasich bombed in Mississippi. This week was no different. Kasich pulled only 16 percent of the Utah vote and just 10 percent in Arizona. In Utah he even ran behind Sen. Marco Rubio who dropped out after the Florida primary. Kasich should do the same. RedState is one of the nation’s leading conservative blogs and conservative news sources. RedState made the following comments about Kasich: “One of the most nauseating and transparently fake things to come down the pike in a long time is John Kasich’s nice guy act. Kasich is one of the most notorious jerks in the history of Washington, DC, which is a town full of jerks. John Kasich is not the dopey, benevolent uncle he is currently pretending to be on the campaign trail. He is an unrepentant a**hole whose only shot at the nomination is convincing the RNC to rip it away from Trump and/or Cruz and give it to him in spite of the fact that he’s been in dead last almost everywhere.” The jerk opinion of Kasich is the same I have after working for 14 years on Capital Hill and five more years in D.C. during the time Kasich was a member of Congress.
“The campaign of John Kasich is a joke.”
The nation’s leading conservative journal, National Review, founded by William F. Buckley, Jr, said this about Kasich in its online edition: “The campaign of John Kasich is a joke, and not a particularly funny one, unless you like humor at the expense of the GOP and conservatism. Yet the media and GOP establishment has largely failed to call Kasich
National pundits are right. It is a two-man contest.
Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are in Mississippi on Monday as they have been previously. John Kasich was in Jackson last week. Marco Rubio was scheduled to be in Rankin County on Sunday but that visit was cancelled so Rubio could go home to focus on Florida. It won’t do Rubio any good. The smaller number of states voting this past Saturday perhaps had more influence on the race for the Republican nomination than the results of Super Tuesday on March 1. In The Daily 202 political report on Sunday morning, writer James Hohmann had the following headline: “Super Saturday results show Rubio collapsing, Trump stoppable and Cruz gaining momentum.” Hohmann writes, “The biggest story line out of last night, though, is calamity for Marco Rubio. It was his worst showing since the New Hampshire primary – and arguably more damaging. The floor appears to be falling out from underneath the Florida senator: Not only is his win-loss record now 1-18, but he took just 17 percent in Kansas despite canceling events elsewhere to campaign in the state and receiving endorsements from Gov. Sam Brownback, Sen. Pat Roberts and Bob Dole. He got 16 percent in Kentucky, 11 percent in Louisiana (with ex-Gov. Bobby Jindal’s support) and just 8 percent in Maine—where he finished fourth behind John Kasich.” I agree. Sunday morning I also heard one commentator say that he liked Rubio and named a number of very number of positive things about Rubio as a candidate. He then added that for some reason Republican voters just don’t like Rubio. That is also very true. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is another matter. Despite a very impressive list of endorsements from prominent and respected Mississippi Republicans, led by well-liked Congressman Gregg Harper, Kasich is not going anywhere. Why can’t Kasich do the classy thing and end his campaign like Jeb Bush did when he finished fourth in South Carolina? As someone commented Sunday to me, Kasich is “delusional.” Like most politicians Kasich has a big ego, but from my almost two decades in Washington, D.C., during the time when Kasich was a member of the U.S. House, I have always viewed Kasich as someone who not only thinks he is smarter than anyone else, he also thinks everyone else except him is stupid. Trump should thank Kasich every day for staying in the race. Kasich should have called it quits like 13 others who were in the original GOP field. Like Rubio in Florida, Kasich is
Prominent Mississippi Republicans support Bush and Kasich, but they are stuck in reverse
There’s a lot of anger in America. Especially among Republicans, there is a lot of anger. A lot of this anger explains why Donald Trump is leading in polls among candidates for the Republican nomination for president. In turn, Democrats should not feel any anger. The Republican circus should make Democrats feel joyful about their prospects in 2016, even with a polarizing candidate such as Hillary Clinton. In Mississippi, most prominent Republican leaders have signed on to support either Jeb Bush or John Kasich. Sen. Thad Cochran headlines the Bush supporters and Congressman Gregg Harper and former senator Trent Lott, although now a resident of Florida, headline the leaders supporting Kasich. The problem for Bush and Kasich is nationally, both are stuck in reverse. Republican majorities in the House and Senate will be wasted if the GOP can’t take back the White House. They won’t take the White House if Trump is the nominee. The opportunity for a win must not be wasted when the 2016 Republican nominee won’t be facing an incumbent and the probable Democrat nominee, Clinton, has a lot of baggage of her own. There is an even more important reason Republicans need to win the presidency – future vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court. I think this is just as important as not having a Democrat in the White House who can veto Republican legislation. If Trump is the nominee, the GOP can prepare to lose next November. In a way, the Trump candidacy, without the racism, reminds me of when Alabama Gov. George Wallace ran for president three times and made an especially strong race for the Democrat nomination in 1972 before being shot. Wallace also took advantage of voter anger and frustrations. Some are suggesting if Trump fades, the nomination could be a battle between Sen. Ted Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio. Cruz is a tea party darling and his poll numbers are moving higher. Cruz battles his Republican colleagues in the Senate almost as much as he takes on Democrats. As a senator he has favored disastrous government shutdowns versus responsible governing. Cruz would not only lose against Clinton, his nomination would also bring GOP losses in both the House and Senate. On the other hand, Rubio would have a good chance to win the presidency. A lot can and probably will happen between now and the Republican National Convention. Let’s hope Republicans don’t take the route of a death wish and blow a great opportunity to take back the White House.
Disease spreads to the University of Maryland
Byrd Stadium is the name the 50,000 seat football facility at the University of Maryland. Last Friday, the school’s board of Regents, following the recommendation of Maryland President Wallace Lob, voted to change the name of the stadium. Harry “Curley” Byrd was president of the University of Maryland from 1936 to 1954, a pretty long tenure for most
Meltdown, mob rule on a university campus and “men with souls made of cotton candy”
Everyone is familiar with all the incidents at the University of Missouri that resulted in the resignation of the school’s president and chancellor. The national publicity really went into high gear when 32 Mizzou football players said they would not practice and boycott football games until the president stepped down. The best commentary on the events were in the lead editorial of The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. I suggest you read that editorial, “Bonfire of the Academy.” Here are just a few of points made in the editorial. “By bonfire of the academy we mean a conflict of values about the idea of a university that now threatens to undermine or destroy universities as a place of learning. Exhibit A is the ruin called the University of Missouri.” The editorial noted that a root cause of the dispute was the decision by the school administration to cut health-care coverage for graduate students. Grad student Jonathan Butler listed this among the reasons for Butler’s hunger strike. Butler said the students were “being robbed of their health insurance.” The WSJ noted, something ignored by most of the media, that the health-insurance “cutbacks are the explicit result of the Affordable Care Act. ObamaCare’s regulations forbid employers, such as universities, from paying for their grad students health insurance.” The WSJ correctly said that “adult leadership” is missing at many colleges and universities, both by school officials and their boards of trustees. National Review Online, in comments about the Missouri situation, said, “Hysteria needs to be stood up to, not cravenly fed with acquiescence. When men with souls made of cotton candy wilt in the face of this sort absurdity, it encourages it.” Graduate student Butler threatened to starve himself to death. Nobody wanted to see that happen. However, in this day of 24-7 news, how long is it before a Jonathan Butler copycat takes action? Could someone threaten a hunger strike at Ole Miss if the Confederate statue in front of the Lyceum is not removed? Will someone threaten a hunger strike at Mississippi State if President Mark Keenum does not remove the state flag from campus? Note a headline on my website’s home page: “How Missouri inspired other campuses.” Dozens of other schools, from coast to coast, have seen walkouts and rallies in the wake of the incidents at the University of Missouri.
WORST “TWEET” OF THE WEEK AWARD – Goes to Clarion.Ledger reporter Sarah Fowler. Regarding the situation at the University of Missouri Fowler “Tweeted” the following: “In love with our current college generation The flag came down across MS campuses because of students and now the @Mizzou pres. Awesome.” I think Ms. Fowler should listen to the editors of National Review: “University of Missouri students need to grow the hell up and start acting like adults. Life is hard, and it’s harder if you’re stupid.”
In reality, there is only one statewide race that will be competitive this November. That contest is between Republican challenger Mike Hurst and Democrat Attorney General Jim Hood. The seven other incumbent Republicans holding statewide office face only minor Democrat, Reform Party or Libertarian Party opposition. None of those races is expected to produce an upset. Hood easily defeated his Republican opponents in his three previous races for attorney general. Some Republicans feel Hurst could, by far, be Hood’s strongest opponent he has faced. There’s also a feeling Hood could be more politically vulnerable than he was in his previous races. Hurst was highly regarded when he was on the staff of former congressman Chip Pickering, and his reputation was enhanced as an assistant U.S. Attorney until he resigned to become the Republican nominee for AG against Hood. He did not have primary opposition.
Obviously Hurst must raise the necessary money to make a competitive race against Hood. That’s where incumbent Gov. Phil Bryant comes into play. When Bryant was elected governor, he was more or less in the big shadow of his predecessor, Haley Barbour. If Bryant goes full steam politically to support Hurst, he can do something Barbour could not do. Barbour was very successful in making sure that Republicans Al Hopkins in 2007 and Steve Simpson in 2011 had the financial resources to make a strong challenge to Hood. The efforts went for naught. Many Republicans feel if Bryant makes sure Hurst has similar campaign resources like Barbour gave to Hopkins and Simpson, 2015 could result in a different outcome for Hurst and Republicans. At the end of July Bryant had more than $2.8 million cash on hand for the general election against surprise Democrat primary winner Robert Gray. While no politician should ignore any political opponent, if Bryant spends only a fraction of his almost $3 million he will defeat Gray. Contrast this with Haley Barbour. Nobody has ever questioned Barbour’s capacity to raise huge amounts of campaign money, both for his own races and other Republicans. In 2007 Barbour had a well funded Democrat opponent in John Arthur Eaves. In 2011 term-limited Barbour was