Opinion: Is Kasich Preparing to Run Again?

John Kasich speaking at the First- in-the-Nation Presidential Town Hall in 2016.
(Unmodified photo by Michael Vadon used under a Creative Commons license. http://bit.ly/1xMszCg)

John Kasich has been working with fellow Governor John Hickenlooper and a coalition of other governors to stabilize health insurance markets in their states. This coalition has garnered major attention for bridging party lines because its members, Kasich and Hickenlooper included, come from both parties.

In the Republican Party, this plan is controversial because it defies the current agenda to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Because of the attention that this has gotten, many have speculated that Kasich may be gearing up to run again in 2020, on a unity ticket with Hickenlooper.

NBC’s Meet the Press asked about those rumors in an interview, and while he initially joked about the potential length of a ‘Kasich-Hickenlooper’ bumper sticker, he firmly denied any possibility of a unity ticket.

However, another run by Kasich is not out of the question, as at the end of his 2016 candidacy he had left the possibility of a future run open. It is likely that his current work could give him the press coverage and name recognition that he desperately needed during the 2016 election, as he was not as well-known as many of the other candidates, such as Jeb Bush, or Donald Trump.

This would complement his already long and successful career in politics.

Kasich started his political career at the age of twenty-six in the upper house of the Ohio Legislature.

Soon after, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he served as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and eventually the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, holding his congressional seat for eighteen years.

As a legislator, he occasionally showed a willingness to work with members of the opposite party, such as when he supported a deal with President Bill Clinton to pass the federal ban on assault weapons.

Instead of seeking re-election in the year 2000, he instead campaigned for the Republican nomination to become President, later dropping out due to poor funding.

After a ten-year hiatus from public office, Kasich ran for and then won the governorship of Ohio in the year 2010, and again in 2014.

He attempted to run again as a Republican candidate in the 2016 presidential election, and was the last Republican to end his candidacy, making Donald Trump the presumptive nominee.

His work as governor solidifies his reputation as an effective executive, as the many examples of improved systems in Ohio under his leadership show.

For example, Kasich instituted an improved plan for criminal justice reform, which emphasizes reformation and rehabilitation for those convicted of minor crimes. Additionally, many credit him with balancing Ohio’s budget, moving from an $8 billion hole, to a $2 billion surplus.

His willingness to work with other parties may follow the trend that members of both parties are beginning to desire greater cooperation in the United States.

This could be based on the current administration’s generally divisive nature, with the rise of fringe groups, as was seen in Charlottesville, and the general distrust between parties, which alienates those who desire effective and cooperative government.

Kasich may be poising to take advantage of this shift, as he shows his willingness to work with governors on recommendations to Congress which, while they serve the interests of his constituency, go against his own party.

His experience and demonstration of ethical leadership when it comes to cooperation and compromise mean that come 2020, Kasich may possibly be a serious independent contender for the Presidency. If not 2020, a run in 2024 is almost sure to happen.

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