Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Does slow and steady win the race for John Kasich? Why July will pose a big test to his political career

Here's one way to look at John Kasich's soon-to-launch presidential campaign: When Ohio's governor formally announces his candidacy July 21, he already will have outlasted his last White House bid by a full week.

Kasich ended that unappreciated and underfunded endeavor July 14, 1999. The first votes of the 2000 election would not be counted for another six months.

These timing comparisons are not perfect. Sixteen years ago, Kasich technically never took the "exploratory" label off a campaign that began in February. But, poor fundraising notwithstanding, he was running just as hard as George W. Bush was.

The landscape ahead of 2016 is much different. Kasich is, too.

Most serious GOP contenders – and there are more this cycle than any in memory – already have entered the race. Kasich might be last to the starting line. For all of Kasich's impetuous tendencies, his 2016 rollout is a study in deliberative politics.
A strategy so cautious carries some risks.

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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Ohio Gov. John Kasich to announce presidential plans July 21 at Ohio State University

Ohio Gov. John Kasich will formally launch his bid for president July 21 at Ohio State University, sources close to the Republican said Sunday.

Kasich, 63, has been laying groundwork for a national campaign for months, following his landslide re-election victory last November.

His travels, paid for by his allies at the nonprofit political group New Day for America, have taken him to early primary states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina. Last week he made his first foray into Iowa, the first caucus state. And he recently tapped two experienced GOP operatives -- strategist John Weaver and ad man Fred Davis -- to help chart his course as a White House hopeful.

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Friday, June 19, 2015

Police-community tensions: A pressing issue that most presidential candidates don't like talking about

The many candidates running to lead America are saying little, if anything, about how they would handle one of America's most pressing challenges.

A string of deadly police encounters in cities across the country -- including in Cleveland, where Republicans will gather next year to officially select their presidential nominee -- demands questions about race relations and criminal justice reforms.

But national reporters covering the crowded 2016 field have at times seemed more preoccupied with whether White House hopefuls would attend a gay wedding or, with the benefit of hindsight, whether they would have invaded Iraq in 2003.

The asks are few. The answers are even fewer.

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Democratic presidential power rankings, June edition

The most interesting thing you can say about the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is that each month seems to bring a new “Not Hillary” wild card.

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Republican presidential power rankings, June edition

David Letterman is gone, but the top 10 list lives. And the one Fox News will make in seven weeks is one that all Republican presidential hopefuls are determined to crack.

The cable network is limiting participation for the first GOP debate – set for Aug. 6 in Cleveland – to the 10 highest polling candidates, based on recent national surveys.

Under this threshold, it’s possible that Carly Fiorina, the only prominent woman in the race, won’t make the cut. John Kasich, a battleground state governor whose allies at the Ohio Republican Party are co-sponsoring the debate, is on the bubble, too.

Not that the pollsters or powers that be at Fox News have asked us, but here at the Northeast Ohio Media Group, we can make a top 10 list as well as anyone. It’s time for our monthly GOP power rankings, which we base on a candidate’s likelihood of being the last standing at next year’s Republican National Convention, also in Cleveland.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Here's where things stand in John Kasich's not-quite-official campaign for president

Soon – perhaps within the month – Gov. John Kasich is expected to officially launch his bid for the Republican presidential nomination.

Yes, Kasich has been interested in the race for months, if not years.

And, yes, at times that interest has seemed little more than a tease.

But the last seven weeks have shown just how serious Kasich is about 2016. Beginning with the April formation of a national political organization, Kasich's inner circle – a network of longtime Ohio advisers and trusted allies from his days in Congress – has been working to turn the governor into a legitimate contender.

Conversations with more than a half-dozen Republicans familiar with Kasich's game plan say the preparations at this stage focus on roughly five goals or variables. So long as Kasich feels comfortable navigating these competently, he will run.

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