Friday, February 20, 2015

John Kasich's South Carolina strategy illustrates the challenge in his hard-to-get 2016 strategy

COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Here in the home of the nation's first Southern presidential primary, Republican leaders like to brag about which possible candidates have been ringing them up for advice or flying in for grip-and-grins.

It's the type of state where, on short notice and in unusually frigid weather, top activists think nothing of driving an hour or two to get a look at a new prospect.

Even taxi drivers here soak up the politics.

While taking a fare from the airport here Wednesday, a cabbie reminisced about Herman Cain, a passing fad of the 2012 campaign, and speculated about Sarah Palin. He lit up excitedly when told Ohio's governor would be in town that evening.

"Oh, Scott Walker," he nodded.

This case of mistaken identity so perfectly sums up the challenge that John Kasich, Ohio's actual governor, faces as he weighs a White House run. Others, like Walker, who presides over Wisconsin, are doing more legwork and attracting more interest.

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