Stand For Something:
The Battle for America's Soul,
by Rep. John Kasich
(Click for Amazon book review)
BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:
John Kasich is the governor-elect of Ohio, an important state on the electoral map. That makes him a strong contender for a V.P. slot in 2012. He was a weak contender for President in 2000, which means he already suffers from "presidential fever". Kasich wrote this book in 2007, after he had retired from nine terms in the US Congress and before he planned to run for Governor. In 2007, he did not seem interested in running for president or vice-president, according to the book -- but his Governor status may change that for 2012 or 2016.
The back cover blurb cites the Washington Post saying, "It's hard to argue with much of what John Kasich says." That's true, but only because so much of what he says is just platitudes and pabulum. Who can argue with being honest at golf? (long stories on that topic, pp. 11-6, pp. 22-3, pp. 119-20). Kasich cites things like Mom and Apple Pie -- so of course it's hard to argue. Kasich would be well-served to hire a ghost writer just to cut down on the platitude count. Here's a particularly bad passage, regarding the national debt on p. 29:
Wow, Kasich dives so far off the deep end with mixed metaphors that my head is spinning to the point where I'm bent out of shape. Maybe that's a Midwestern speech pattern that us elitist Easterners just don't appreciate. And that's the political point: Kasich wants to appeal to the red-state, core-conservative, Christian-value crowd, who consider platitudinous metaphors clean summaries rather than targets for grammatical pedantry. However, that political niche is already heavily populated for the 2012 race, with Gov. Sarah Palin, Gov. Mike Huckabee, and Sen. Jim DeMint, before the race even gets formally started. Hence we predict that Kasich instead fills the niche for the vice-presidential short-list: a popular leader, with a history of bipartisanship, from a swing state, who would balance the ticket if a Tea Party candidate gets the top slot.
It's downright depressing if we don't look at the bigger picture, and the bigger picture is this: What goes around comes around. For every valley, there's a peak. Everything's on a pendulum, folks, and it's only a matter of time before fate and fortune swing back in our favor. We need to look no further than our recent history to remind ourselves that such swings are the nature of the American beast. Everything old is new again.
Kasich writes a lot about the Bible. In fact, Kasich CARES a lot about the Bible. And cares a lot about sports. And applies lessons from sports to politics. And all of those things are distasteful to elite pundits. Which is why Kasich is important: a non-elitist, non-pundit, non-Tea-Party governor. Keep your eyes peeled in 2012 and 2016 for the Kasich whirlwind, sallying forth from Ohio onto the national bully pulpit.
-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, Dec. 2010
| OnTheIssues.org excerpts: (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy|
Bill Clinton: OpEd: 1995 shutdown led to first balanced budget in 40 years.
George Bush Sr.: OpEd: Bush budget was terrible but Dems budget was worse.
John Kasich: 1989 had 3 budgets: Democrats'; President's; and Kasich's.
John Kasich: 1995 shutdown led to first balanced budget in 40 years.
John Kasich: Sarbanes-Oxley deters legitimate American business.
John Kasich: Made speech in high school to ease tensions during race riot.
John Kasich: Refuse to celebrate the drug-filled lifestyle.
John Kasich: Our broken public school system is beyond fixing.
John Kasich: Competition is what's missing from public school monopoly.
John Kasich: Not enough money for public schools? Aw, give me a break!
Energy & Oil|
Ronald Reagan: Nuts to ask Americans to wear sweaters & bike to work.
Families & Children|
John Kasich: Being a father is all about setting an example.
John Kasich: Yesterday's R movies have become today's PG fare.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: 1990s: Worked with Bill Clinton on African debt relief.
Bill Clinton: 1990s: Worked with religious leaders for African debt relief.
Ronald Reagan: In Berlin: Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
John Kasich: Limited government supported by our Judeo-Christian ethics.
John Kasich: 1970s: No judge pay raise until state employee pay raise.
John Kasich: Money affects ability to honestly assess policy situation.
Dick Cheney: 1980s: Supported squadron of 132 B-2 stealth bombers.
John Kasich: $1B per plane for B-2 is a colossal misuse of money.
Newt Gingrich: 1980s: Supported squadron of 132 B-2 stealth bombers.
Ron Dellums: Worked with John Kasich (R-OH) to kill the B-2 Bomber.
John Kasich: Cheap Hawk: Strong on defense; tight with a dollar.
John Kasich: Walked out when preacher opined against missiles in Europe.
John Kasich: Fire professor who said 9-11 victims brought on attack.
John Kasich: Post-Sept-11 open-door melting-pot is essentially intact.
Principles & Values|
George W. Bush: OpEd: Will be remembered for standing tall in 9-11 ashes.
John Kasich: I don't care what you stand for, but stand for something.
John Kasich: Catholic Church has been unaccountable on sex abuse charges.
John Kasich: Always carries copy of St Augustine's "Confessions".
John Kasich: As college student, wrote to Pres. Nixon and then they met.
John Kasich: 1970s: Beat entrenched incumbent state senator 56%-44%.
John Kasich: 2004: If Kerry OR Bush wins, America will be fine.
John Kasich: 2000: Ran for president until money ran out.
John Kasich: I can't figure out how anyone gets along without the Bible.
John Kasich: Built relationship with God after parents died in car crash.
Richard Nixon: 1968: Endorsed by only one college president, from OSU.
Ronald Reagan: Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant.
John Kasich: More 18-year-olds believe in UFOs than in getting Soc.Sec.
Bill Clinton: OpEd: Broke campaign promise by tax rise & no spending cuts.
John Kasich: 1970s: In Ohio Senate, unwilling to raise taxes.
Tim Penny: 1990s: Quit Congress when Pres. Clinton broke budget promise.
John Kasich: Journalists should ask, "Am I reporting or pimping?".
John Kasich: Do better job labeling movies for graphic content.
The above quotations are from Stand For Something:
The Battle for America's Soul,
by Rep. John Kasich.
2010 Election Analysis:
- Against All Odds, by Scott Brown
- The Obamians, by James Mann
- Power to the People, by Gov. Tommy Thompson
- 2010: Take Back America, by Dick Morris
- 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida's Future, by Marco Rubio
- Courage and Consequence, by Karl Rove
- American Conspiracies, by Gov. Jesse Ventura
- Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
- The FairTax Book, by Neal Boortz and Rep. John Linder
- The Test of our Times, by Gov. Tom Ridge
- Saving Freedom, by Sen. Jim DeMint
- Giving, by Pres. Bill Clinton
- Going Rogue, by Gov. Sarah Palin
- Slouching Towards Gomorrah, by Robert Bork
- Abortion and the Conscience of a Nation, by Pres. Ronald Reagan
- Third World America, by Arianna Huffington
- Hopes and Prospects, by Noam Chomsky
- Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, by James Mann (March 2004)
- Earlier election analyses