- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) - Potential president candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich first got to the Oval Office as a teen after writing a persuasive letter.

The Dayton Daily News reports ( https://bit.ly/1zNEGCI ) the full details of the letter that earned the Ohio State University freshman a visit with President Richard M. Nixon. Kasich has told the story of his 1970 visit before, but the newspaper recently obtained the entire letter and documents related to the meeting between Nixon and the current second-term Republican governor who’s considering entering the 2016 presidential race.

OSU’s president had rejected Kasich’s request to tag along on a visit to the White House, but agreed to deliver a letter from him.

The handwritten three-page letter tells Nixon it might be “a ridiculous request,” but that a visit “would be a dream come true.” Kasich assures the president that his parents would allow him to fly to Washington, and that his college grades wouldn’t suffer. Kasich wrote that after learning that Ohio State President Novice Fawcett was meeting with Nixon, he told him he’d pay $1 million to be in his place.

“Since I don’t have a million dollars, I am relying on your grace,” Kasich wrote.

“I think that you, as far as I can judge, are not only a great President but an even greater person,” Kasich wrote. “I say an even greater person because you sacrifice your political future for the good of the country. No American could ask more.”

Kasich’s letter also told Nixon he worked for his 1968 campaign and correctly predicted “a big ‘Nixon Victory’ in 1972,” although the Republican president’s landslide re-election would be followed by his resignation in 1974 amid the spreading Watergate scandal.

The Daily News reported that Nixon wrote back to Kasich the day after receiving his letter, saying: “I would be happy to have the opportunity to welcome you to the White House at some time in the not-too-distant future.”

In less than three weeks, Kasich had a 20-minute midday meeting with Nixon, immediately ahead of one the president had scheduled with national security adviser Henry Kissinger.

Kasich’s Dec. 22, 1970, visit came just after one of the most famous White House meetings - Nixon had hosted singer Elvis Presley the day before.


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