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Monday, February 22, 2016

In Praise Of John Kasich

I will never disparage anyone who runs for president in the United States with a relentlessly positive campaign. That's part of the essence of being American: optimism. Doesn't the optimist win every cycle? Maybe it's easier to be winsome when you are winning, but I appreciate the way this man is going about things. He's not winning, by the way. And he won't. That's all the more reason to appreciate it, and him.

Gov. Kasich hasn't gotten to speak in debates much, and it's also true that I have not spent a great deal of time watching all the debates, but when he does speak, it's worth listening to. Either to learn something (which is rare in this game), or to hear a person willing to risk turning down the rhetorical and emotional temperature in the debate venue, in a year we especially need it.

I read a conservative commentator who mocked Kasich for attempting to be the "Counselor-in-Chief," suggesting that the warm sentiment shared between John and his audiences wasn't relevant to the office he seeks. I must say, I disagree. In the last few years of George W. Bush's presidency, I came to appreciate the president's pathos in the face of countless tragedies. I started calling him the "Comforter-in-Chief," and not with sarcasm. Those are the human moments that can truly make a nation great again.

Frankly, I hope that he drops out soon, so that Marco and Ted can get about the business of slaying the dragon (let the reader understand). And we won't agree on the social issues, which has kept me from considering him in all but the most dire circumstances. But I remain thankful that he's reminded us of our better selves, and stood to be counted.

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