Kasich getting the cold shoulder in his own home state?

The 2015 Defending the American Dream Summit is coming up two months from now and it’s going to be a big deal for a few reasons. It’s a cattle call for GOP donors and it provides a chance for politicians – including presidential candidates – and thought leaders to address the conservative base. Two additional factors are at play this year, though. The summit is being held in the critical swing state of Ohio and will be going on during the same time period as the beginning of the presidential debates. The precise location is Columbus, which should make it really convenient for likely presidential candidate Governor John Kasich to drop by for his speech. But first we should probably take a look at the confirmed speaker list.

Guy Benson
Jeb Bush
Ted Cruz
Ryan Houck
Ajit Pai
Rick Perry
Rob Portman
Avik Roy

Oops. There seems to be a name missing from the list. How is Kasich not taking the lead here? Part of the answer may be that the event is being hosted by Americans for Prosperity and is at least somewhat tied to the Koch Brothers. And as we pointed out earlier this month, the Governor has had some problems with in those particular political circles, possibly resulting from his inability to control his temper at times.

Apparently this isn’t exactly a secret. One local blogger (admittedly a lefty who wouldn’t have much love for Kasich to begin with) has been tracking some of his exploits for a long time and noted a pattern.

Followers of Plunderbund shouldn’t be surprised by the news that Kasich is a jerk.  We’ve been writing about it for over 7 years while the rest of Ohio’s media outlets ignored the issue.

The only exception was the Other Paper. In 2010 they published a piece containing a long list of occasions on which John Kasich was a dick to other people.  Among other things, Kasich threw a coffee cup at his campaign manager during his last run for president and he was thrown off stage for acting like a jerk as a Grateful Dead concert…

Kasich has been an arrogant, temperamental  jerk his entire life, but Ohio’s political reporters seem to have been hesitant to report on it recently for fear of risking access to the governor’s office and his campaign.

You might write this off as stones being tossed from the left side of the aisle, but it’s not only coming from there. I have a couple different contacts inside of Ohio Republican politics and this is hardly the first time I’ve heard about The Kasich Way. A couple of Party members there have offered colorful descriptions of the Governor including phrases such as, a real ass and a total jerk. One officer in the Ohio GOP responded to a request for comment off the record.

There is no wiggle room for disagreeing with John. If you don’t spew his talking points, you are marginalized.

Someone else who is rather high profile in the state GOP was willing to go on the record. John Adams is a former Majority Whip of the Ohio House and is currently running for State senate. When reached for a comment on Kasich and his national aspirations, he responded:

As the base gets to know his Obama like record, they will reject him soundly.

It’s going to be a hot summer in Ohio. They will be the focal point of significant national attention as we kick off the first full leg of the 2016 election and bored political writers are sure to make hay out of any internal disputes. While he’s talking about a presidential run, Kasich may be privately thinking that he’s actually a frontrunner in the veepstakes, particularly given how badly the GOP needs to take Ohio. But is he really? That formula hasn’t been much of a winner for a while now. (Heck, even Al Gore couldn’t carry his home state when he was at the top of the ticket.) And with all eyes on the diversity question, people like Nikki Haley might be a much more appealing decision. (Or Carly Fiorina if she can’t break into the top 3.) But if nothing else, it’s going to be entertaining as Kasich wades deeper into the mix.