Tags: Battle '10

Kasich’s Book Appeals to Social Conservatives


In an election that’s otherwise been dominated by economic issues, it might seem surprising to see a Republican candidate return to God, country, etc. However, that may be John Kasich’s strategy for shoring up base support and winning some religious independents here in Ohio. Strickland may be winning an upper hand because of his economic-populist rhetoric, but he faces a rather harder time controlling social issues, given that Kasich has just published a book on the subject:

John Kasich, with Daniel Paisner, wrote the account and published it amid Kasich’s campaign for the Republican nomination for governor of Ohio. He won the nomination and will be on the ticket in November. A former congressman, he has also tested the waters, particularly in 2000, in hopes of becoming president.

Often called the Bible guys, the men meet, with Kasich as a fixture, in Columbus for their broad discussions, which can include small-talk as well as weighty spiritual matters. The book would be a good template for others who would like to form a group to discuss everything from Noah building an ark on dry land to the puzzle of why God allows bad things to happen to good people.

The writing is is somewhat pedestrian. Some of the wording can annoy; for instance, not all readers will relish hearing God called “the Big Guy.”

Commissioning the writing of a book is a common practice for those who run for office. It can be an effective campaign tool and a major income source. Presidential hopefuls through the years have done it as well as others with political aspirations. Kasich, a well-known conservative, may hope the book will propel him to the governor’s office and beyond.

This is a fairly shrewd move. George W. Bush won Ohio twice on the strength of a combination of a pro-Christian cultural/social message with an economic policy focused on tax breaks. Kasich is doing pretty much the same thing. Kasich is no Bush (whatever Strickland’s attack ads say), but the strategy could still work in Ohio.


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