Five Things That Would Indicate A John Kasich White House Bid


Photo: file

John Kasich

We know, we know, President Obama has not even taken the oath for his second term and we’re already speculating on who will run to succeed him in 2016.  But it’s fun!  And you know the potential candidates are at least thinking about it or secretly planning it.

Governor John Kasich has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate.  Of course he must win re-election as governor first, but here are five things that would indicate Kasich is laying the groundwork for a White House run.

1.  He meets with big Republican donors.   Um… this one he’s already done.   Kasich recently met with Las Vegas casino magnate  Sheldon Adelson.  Kasich downplayed the meeting, saying  he meets with “lots of people.”  But “lots of people” don’t have the ability to single-handedly finance presidential campaigns  like Adelson did with Newt Gingrich.

2. He starts appearing on FOX News and other national outlets trumpeting “The Ohio Miracle.”  The governor last week gave the phrase a test run in a brief meeting with statehouse reporters.  Democrat Mike Dukakis told the story of  the “Massachusetts Miracle”  and used his state’s economic recovery to win the Democratic nomination in 1988.  If we hear more about Ohio’s “miracle” economic recovery, Kasich could be using the Dukakis playbook, ignoring the chapter suggesting a ride in a tank.

3. He starts speaking to national conservative groups.  Not a clear indicator, but if John Kasich starts making frequent speeches to CPAC, ALEC and the Kemp Leadership Foundation as Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio did last week, speculation will intensify.

4.  He writes a new book.   The governor has already written three books:  Courage is Contagious (1998, a year before his last presidential run), Stand for Something (2006), and Every Other Monday (2010).   Writing a book immediately before a presidential run has become a prerequisite, if Kasich publishes a fourth, it could be another sign.

5. He travels to early caucus and primary states.  OK, this might be too obvious.  But what if the governor happened to take a ski vacation to New Hampshire’s White Mountains this winter?  What if he travels with good buddy OSU President Gordon Gee to cheer on the Buckeyes when they play in Iowa next October?  And if he decides to “hit the beach” in South Carolina, it may not be to get a tan.

In 2009, John Kasich started traveling to Lincoln Day dinners and other  Republican events in every corner of Ohio to prepare and clear the GOP field  for his successful 2010 run for governor.   If he wants to run for president in 2016, he’ll have to do something similar, and given the never-ending  campaign cycle,  he may not be able to wait until he wins re-election.


Join The Conversation