Kasich’s big 2020 strategy: Move left, pretend to be hip, attack Trump

· April 5, 2018  
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Governor John Kasich
Alex Wong | Getty Images

John Kasich still wants to be president, and the failed 2016 candidate now thinks gun control, amnesty, his relationship with the “elites,” and Millennial voters can take him to the White House. In other words, he’s delusional.

The term-limited Republican governor of Ohio visited New Hampshire (insert big red 2020 flag here) this week and gave an unbelievable interview to Henry Gomez of BuzzFeed News. Kasich’s 2020 pitch, according to Gomez, will be framed around young people. The 65-year-old Kasich sang the praises of Millennials and strove to show how cool and hip he is because he likes pop music and uses social media.

Kasich loves the millennials, a term he uses liberally, seemingly to describe anyone under the age of 40. He sees potential voters who are embarrassed by Trump and open to a responsible conservative who’s moved, as Kasich has in recent months, to the left on gun control in response to deadly mass shootings.

Kasich’s new conversation pieces range from HQ, the mobile trivia game, to YouTube celebrity Logan Paul (who entered the wider public consciousness after he filmed a video inside a Japanese “suicide forest”). He also wants you to know he listens to Justin Bieber, dropping the pop star’s name too often (a statehouse press conferencea New York Magazine interviewa ride-along with the Weekly Standard) for it to be a coincidence.

“This social media is really fascinating to me, whether it’s YouTube, whether it’s some sort of YouTube channel, I don’t know,” Kasich said as he promised to step up his Twitter game. “I have a million Twitter followers, which I think is really cool.”

In Kasich’s telling, young people are not “cynical” like the adults. They are not attached to the two-party duopoly. And Kasich really likes that.

“I kind of think of the political parties today as two great department stores in downtown Manchester,” Kasich told a crowd that trended older than college-age in Henniker. “One’s red and one’s blue, and the customers show up, and neither department store has anything to offer, so guess what happens. The millennials are saying, ‘I don’t like either of those, so you better give me something I like.’ And that creates a dynamism inside of our country that to me is really exciting. So I believe in the Gen X’ers, and I believe in the millennials.”

But he’s not pandering to Millennials solely by identifying with their sense of alienation from the two-party system or by touting his love for Justin Bieber. Kasich is also adopting their leftist positions. BuzzFeed News noted that following the surge of anti-gun activism among students, Kasich recently removed pro-gun messaging from his political website and is now promoting expanding background checks, banning bump stocks, and other gun-control measures. Kasich is also publicly challenging President Trump on amnesty. When the president tweeted “NO MORE DACA DEAL” on Easter in response to a “caravan” of Central American migrants headed towards the U.S., Kasich tut-tutted at the president on Twitter.

Kasich happily told BuzzFeed News that his constant attacks on President Trump are egged on by media “elites” and other people with “influence.”

Kasich’s main calling card has been his criticism of Trump. He’s on national TV often because of it, and a CNN crew shadowed him for much of his New Hampshire trip. He said he receives encouragement “from lots of people who have influence, lots of elites” but also hears from plenty of “staunch Republican Trump people” who wish he’d go away.

“So that must tell me I’m doing something right,” he said.

Kasich then paused, pleased with himself: “That’s a good quote.”

Gag.

So let’s get this straight: Kasich is pinning his 2020 ambitions on a group of young people who historically don’t vote. To appeal to these Millennials — who don’t vote — he’s taking leftist positions on gun control and amnesty. And Kasich seems to think that what he’s doing is great because the mainstream media has him on the teevee and “lots of elites” are calling him to congratulate him on his latest attacks on Donald Trump.

And it’s these factors together that lead John Kasich, the self-described “prince of light and hope,” a laughably pathetic candidate who won only one state in the 2016 Republican primary, to believe he has a real shot at beating Donald Trump, a man who is president because he campaigned in strong support of the Second Amendment, against amnesty, against the elites, and against the media.

If Kasich is serious, he’s out of touch with reality — and he’s still just a failed outgoing governor and a disgraced former conservative.


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Author: Chris Pandolfo

Chris Pandolfo is a staff writer and type-shouter for Conservative Review. He holds a B.A. in politics and economics from Hillsdale College. His interests are conservative political philosophy, the American founding, and progressive rock. Follow him on Twitter for doom-saying and great album recommendations @ChrisCPandolfo.

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