Greenville, Ohio — Have you heard that John Kasich’s dad was a mailman? If not, then you’ve probably never been around Ohio’s Republican governor. “My father carried mail on his back for 29 years,” he says on March 14, at a Whirlpool factory here. Kasich abandons a podium, descends from a platform, and walks into a seated crowd of about 400 workers. “Growing up the way I did, I’m really one of you,” he says to them.
That’s the idea Kasich wants to convey: He’s just a regular guy — a blue-collar kid from a little town near Pittsburgh called McKees Rocks. He might be working the day shift too, except for the fact that he spent nearly two decades in Congress, made a small fortune with Lehman Brothers, and hosted a television show, all before becoming the governor of a big state in the industrial Midwest.