When Bush 1 said he was a kinder and gentler conservative, and Bush 2 called himself a compassionate conservative, they were trying to differentiate themselves from regular conservatives, like, say, Ronald Reagan. Bush 3 promises more of the same. He’s said he’ll risk losing the primaries because of it, but he’s so passionately compassionate he’ll take the chance. Real conservatives, Reagan conservatives, have watched a total of twelve years of this kind of conservatism, under Bushes 1 and 2, so we’re quite familiar with it. And we are determined, dedicated, to prevent it from happening again. This is one of the principal reasons Jeb! will not get the nomination.
At some point, as first Walker, then Christie, and, eventually, Bush 3 fade from view, Kasich will be anointed as the establishment, or moderate candidate. He will have completed the first step of his three step dance to the Presidency. The second step is his claim to the Reagan legacy. He lucked out in ’76, and got a chance to drive the Gipper around at the Republican National Convention. He got into politics very young, as a full bore Reaganaut, and can talk conservative with the best of them. He was a Reagan man when he was elected to Congress, and stayed a Reagan man the eighteen years he was there. He governs Ohio just as Reagan governed California. He will resurrect the Reagan program which turned the economy around, gave us roaring economic growth, and launched a nineteen year long bull market.
The knock on Kasich is medicare expansion. This will be thrown at him again and again. His answer has improved, but I think he needs to go on offense. Explain that his obligation as Governor of Ohio is to the people who elected him. Not anyone else. The political culture of Ohio, Ohio values, led him to take the federal money, and help his people. Other states, and other governors, made different choices, in accordance with their political culture. That’s as it should be. That’s federalism, which he intends to do everything in his power to promote when he’s President. In the job he seeks, the Presidency, he will not be making such decisions on behalf of the people of this country. Rather, he will be devolving that power back to the states, and the people.
I don’t think I’ve heard much about federalism from the candidates. I think this is something Kasich should be in front of the pack on.
I didn’t get to go to the ’76 Convention. The Ford forces, led by Sen. Ted Stevens, beat us at the State Convention by one vote. My district, Spenard, a blue collar Democrat part of town, had sent a solid Reagan delegation, under my leadership. Sen. Stevens’ personal secretary was from this district, and when I refused to make her a delegate the Senator let me know that he’d remember me. And he always did. He had a good memory.
The man’s been dead for five years and I still can’t stand him.