A Take on John Kasich: GOP Presidential Candidate Comes to Mississippi

by Emily Hussey

opinions editor

Admittedly, I am a bit of a political nerd. When I heard that Republican presidential candidate John Kasich was going to be speaking at Mississippi College, I knew that I had to attend. Hearing a presidential candidate talk is an opportunity of a lifetime (even if it means skipping class, which I did.) Although Kasich is one of the more moderate candidates seeking the GOP nomination for president, he is no Donald Trump or Ben Carson; his name ID is severely lacking. He is a seemingly ordinary guy, which makes him unmemorable. His comments in the national debates get swept under the rug. Ironically, the man presenting Kasich at Mississippi College introduced him as “the next president of the United States.” I thought this was a rather ambitious statement, considering I asked five of my (educated) peers if they knew who John Kasich was prior to attending the talk, and the answer was a unanimous no. As Kasich pointed out himself, the nomination is not based on national polls or name recognition. But it can’t hurt.

If you are searching for a Republican candidate who is not an ex-neurosurgeon or rich guy famous for being rich (both with no political experience), here is some info about Kasich:

Kasich is the current governor of Ohio, which is the seventh largest state. He began his talk with an anecdote about how he met President Richard Nixon as an 18-year-old freshman in college after writing him a letter. He then began his bit tailored directly to Mississippi College students and faculty, referencing “blessings” and the “Good Lord.” (Mississippi College is an extremely conservative Christian school.)

Kasich claims that his reason for running for president is because he has “too much experience and too many blessings not to.” It’s true; Kasich became a Congressman at 30 years old, and he has been politically involved ever since. Being both a Congressman and a governor means that he has seen both sides of the spectrum.

Throughout his talk, Kasich reprimanded elected officials for “wanting to save themselves.” He argued that officials should go into the office with the intention to get a job done in one term without worrying about re-election. He said, “The harder you work with the risk of losing your job, the better chance you have of keeping your job.” Kasich mentioned this idea again later, saying that too many people are only living for themselves.

Although the talk was called “Balancing the Budget with John Kasich,” Kasich spoke little of balancing the budget. He mentioned the need to do so— to strengthen the economy and create jobs— without going into the logistics. A Mississippi College student did earnestly ask him for his tax plan, to which Kasich chuckled and retorted, “What’s your favorite tax plan?” Do not misinterpret this: I believe he did not answer these questions because there was a lack of time to properly do so (it was only an hour-long talk.)

All in all, Kasich is an excellent public speaker and an apparently tame and competent candidate for the GOP. Even if you do not support Kasich, I encourage all readers to research the other Republican candidates besides the hot-button people infiltrating the media. There could be a diamond in the rough of 15 GOP candidates. Plus, it is always good to be informed.