- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 24, 2015

“I’m John Kasich. I’m an unorthodox politician because I’m normal. I’m a normal guy that has big job. I don’t think of myself as anything particularly special. I’m a happy person. I like myself. I’m comfortable with myself. And I’m pretty normal in an abnormal profession.”

So stated Ohio Gov. John Kasich to a group of reporters Tuesday during his two-day, five-event journey through the New Hampshire grass-roots gauntlet — a must for any presidential hopeful, declared or undeclared.

The press gaggle was assembled to watch the man go through a candidate’s paces at a welcome lunch, a business speech, a meet-and-greet, and a televised, breakfast-hour appearance in Manchester. Some trailed along for the ride to Concord, where the governor appeared at a late afternoon “Politics and Pies” event at the old Snowshoe Club just outside of town.

The locals liked what they saw, according to several press reports. Mr. Kasich talked about balancing the budget, flat taxes, a sound economy and other fare that might appeal to a Yankee audience. He also recalled his visits to the Granite State during 1999, during another presidential bid.

There was an interesting note of civility, too. The governor was critical of those who disrupt appearances by President Obama — or any other public official. “That’s a disgrace for America. We’re all Americans,” Mr. Kasich said.

But civility was not evident elsewhere. The Democratic National Committee was also waiting.

“We know Kasich would be like in Washington because he’s already been there As a congressman, he was an architect of the original government shutdown in the 1990s, calling it ‘one of the greatest moments of my career.’ Kasich was a Republican obstructionist before it was cool to be a Republican obstructionist,” observes Holly Shulman, the committee’s national press secretary.

JUST MAKING SURE

“Never, never, never, never, never? So, that’s never, never, never, never?”

— Fox Business Network host Neil Cavuto to Mitt Romney, asking whether he was absolutely sure he would not run for the White House ever, ever, ever again.

JUST A REMINDER

“As candidates begin announcing their intentions, we call on presidential aspirants to make fixing the debt a top policy priority,” says Maya MacGuineas, director of the Campaign to Fix the Debt, an interest group that has launched a noisy public outreach program as the 2016 presidential campaigns get rolling.

“No matter who takes office in January of 2017, he or she will inherit a mounting federal debt that is twice the historical average relative to GDP and threatens our economy and unduly burdens future generations,” adds Ms. MacGuineas. “We believe a test of candidates’ seriousness will be whether they are willing to show leadership by putting forward ideas on how — as president — they will address the debt.”

We can’t address this without first consulting with the U.S. Treasury and the exact “total debt outstanding,” to the penny, which the federal agency tracks each day. Here is the latest number: $18,152,382,569,585 — and 32 cents.

ON THE RADAR

To be released Wednesday by the National Urban League: “The State of Black America 2015,” which includes an Equality Index and much data for these complicated times. The report “compares the status of blacks against whites (and Hispanics against whites), across a variety of indicators including education, economics, health, civic engagement and social justice,” advance notes say.

The report will be introduced at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. The many authors include D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

“We cannot expect to successfully move forward when we are leaving so many behind,” says Marc H. Morial, president and CEO of the Urban League.

See the findings for yourself at StateofBlackAmerica.com

HOLA, SENOR CRUZ

Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, has first in the nation status — the first Republican to declare his intention to run for the White House, anyway. His announcement Monday has been followed with nonstop criticism from many sectors.

“The race for president is going to feature a new media sport: Cruz Crushing,” writes National Review columnist John Fund, who says the announcement “unleashed a vat of vitriol and skepticism” about the lawmaker. And it continues.

“Cruz is fair game, and certainly his filibuster that became part of the 2013 government shutdown was tactically questionable. But is it is surprising how much he rattles fellow Republicans into joining liberals in questioning his qualifications,” Mr. Fund continues. “On one level, it’s refreshing to see political correctness cast aside and see Cruz criticized so openly despite his Hispanic heritage. On another level, I wonder if the media would be quite as eager to give the critics a platform if the candidate they wanted to trash was a liberal Democratic Hispanic.”

AMEN, CRUZ

“Fast and pray like you have never fasted and prayed ever before, because all the guns are coming out for this guy; all of the guns.”

Glenn Beck, in a message to his radio audience, asking them to pray for Sen. Ted Cruz

MR. CRUZ AND MR. STOSSEL

Ever in touch with the grass roots, the aforementioned Ted Cruz returns to New Hampshire on Friday to address Young America’s Foundation, the longtime haven for conservative students.

“No successful movement will ever succeed without the support of young people. President Reagan understood this importance, as does President Obama. The future of the conservative movement and restoration of America’s founding principles lie in reaching and educating young people,” points out a spokesman.

Joining Mr. Cruz in Nashua: Fox Business News host John Stossel; author and columnist Katie Pavlich; Steve Lonegan, director of American Principles in Action; Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch; and Alex Marlow, editor-in-chief of Breitbart News.

POLL DU JOUR

64 percent of Americans say they are “bothered a lot” when they feel corporations don’t pay a fair share of federal taxes; 52 percent of Republicans, 64 percent of independents and 75 percent of Democrats agree.

61 percent overall are bothered when they feel wealthy people don’t pay their fair share of taxes; 45 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of independents and 72 percent of Democrats agree.

44 percent overall are bothered by the complexity of the tax system; 53 percent of Republicans, 49 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats agree.

27 percent are bothered a lot by the amount they pay personally; 36 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.

20 percent are bothered by the feeling that some poor people don’t pay their fair share; 33 percent of Republicans, 17 percent of independents and 14 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Research Center poll of 1,504 U.S. adults conducted Feb. 18-22 and released Tuesday.

Small talk, big ideas to [email protected]; follow her @HarperBulletin.


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