Kasich Staying in

Via The Columbus Dispatch:  Ohio Politics Now: Kasich resists calls to drop out of race, comes in 5th in Nevada

Ohio Gov. John Kasich continues to ignore calls to drop out of the presidential race saying in Georgia Tuesday, “I would hope they would be clearing the decks for me. I’ve spent the least amount of money and am rising in the polls. I can win my home state. Why would I clear the decks for them? They ought to be consolidating around me.”

Which is precisely what one would expect from someone who thinks they should be POTUS.   The amount of ego needed to run for that office is tremendous. Of course, it is disconcerting (even as it is quite obvious) that the process requires such a level of self-delusion  in the first place.*

Heck the most recent Quinnipiac Poll has Trump ahead in Ohio.  No doubt the possibility of winning Ohio is a major motivation for Kasich, but if that is not enough (and may not be attainable).

*Whenever I think about the ego needed to run for President, my mind invariably goes to this quote from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy:

The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarise: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarise the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarise the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

Also:  Donald Trump is pretty darn close to Zaphod Beeblebrox.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, US Politics, , , , ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. John Peabody says:

    “Zaphod Beeblebrox”…migawd, you are right! Trump would survive the Total Perspective Vortex, easily.

  2. @John Peabody: Indeed.

  3. Slugger says:

    I don’t see much downside to staying in the race. The candidates generally are not using their own money. A regional governor of even a large state such as Ohio gets lots more press than staying home in Columbus. Even losing gives one the status of being a contender. There are probably a lot of deep pocket people who will be favorably disposed toward a responsible person who doesn’t sound totally over the top. You can’t win if you don’t play. A simple analysis would favor staying in.

  4. Gustopher says:

    He has a plan. It’s not a plan that has ever worked in the past, but it is a plan.

    Also, who would want to admit defeat to a Racist Carnival Barker, a Sociopath and an Empty Suit? Being defeated by someone halfway decent wouldn’t be so bad, but being defeated by these guys?

  5. Moosebreath says:

    “Donald Trump is pretty darn close to Zaphod Beeblebrox.”

    And the net effect is making me feel too much like Marvin.

  6. Tillman says:

    @Slugger: Remember when Scott Walker dropped out and urged others to do the same for the good of the party? Haha, that was a merry notion.

    The Republicans have a super-rational problem on their hands. All rational analysis says each “establishment-lane” candidate should stay in because they might win it. If they all stay in, they fragment the vote enough for Trump to win. Presumably Kasich doesn’t go on beyond Super Tuesday, but after that depending on performance Trump might have such a lead as to be insurmountable.

  7. Gromitt Gunn says:

    Frequent contributors to academic journals heavy in Game Theory analysis must be beside themselves right about now. A few dozen folks are going to make tenure off of this.

  8. Gustopher says:

    @Tillman: IIRC, Kasich plans on winning the nomination by dominating the northeast, midwest and perhaps the west coast — all areas that won’t have voted until after Super Tuesday.

    So, if he sticks to the plan, he’s in for a while.

    Like I said above, it’s a plan. Not one that has ever worked for anyone before, but a plan. And, to a certain extent, I agree with the plan — why let the south dominate the nomination process?

    I expect that if we have Trump as nominee, we will see the primary calendar get completely reworked for 2020 — less front loading, less of a solid south voting early, less of everywhere Trump did well voting early.

  9. Hal_10000 says:

    Donald Trump is pretty darn close to Zaphod Beeblebrox.

    OK, Taylor. This time you’ve gone too far. Zaphod has some redeeming qualities. When he met the man who ran the universe, he concluded it was in good hands. He invented the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. And no one would describe Trump as a hoopy frood.

    Although … I do sometimes have some trouble learning to distinguish between Trump pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he can’t be bothered to think and wants someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually doesn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.

  10. PJ says:

    Trump has promised Kasich to pick him as VP if he stays in.

  11. C. Clavin says:

    The longer Kasich, and anyone else not named Rubio, stays in this…the more of a lock Trump becomes.
    So yeah…PJ is probably right…Trump is paying him something.

    Purely speculation….I bet Clinton-45’s researchers are having a field day with Trump’s background. It’s not like the primary campaigns have properly vetted him.

  12. Bookdragon says:

    Props for the Zaphod reference!

  13. grumpy realist says:

    @Tillman: It’s the Prisoner’s Dilemma on steroids…..

  14. grumpy realist says:

    P.S. Am glad to find other Hitchhiker’s Guide fanatics. I dressed up one year for Halloween with a “book with the title in large friendly letters” and a towel draped over my shoulder and NOT A SINGLE PERSON at work got the reference.

    Very depressing.

  15. Slugger says:

    I am willing to bet that that Jindal, Santorum, Palin, Huckabee, Carson, Christie, and even JEB have a higher net worth and recognition factor today than five years ago. Fiorina has a record of poor business sense; so I’m excluding her. If I were a natural born citizen, I’d run for president. Why wouldn’t Kasich stay in? The greater good of the GOP seems like a pretty abstract goal for which to forego personal gain.

  16. @Gromitt Gunn:

    Frequent contributors to academic journals heavy in Game Theory analysis must be beside themselves right about now. A few dozen folks are going to make tenure off of this.

    At a minimum it will go in the catalog of teaching examples, to be sure.

  17. @Slugger:

    The greater good of the GOP seems like a pretty abstract goal for which to forego personal gain.

    On one level, sure (see my comments about ego in the first place).

  18. Franklin says:

    @C. Clavin: Good old Mitt-47 is expecting there to be a bombshell in Trump’s taxes … assuming he ever releases them.

  19. Kylopod says:

    I think I remember reading that Douglas Adams originally intended Zaphod to be a Reagan parody. In the 2005 movie of Hitchhikers (which came out four years after Adams’ death, though he was involved in the early stages), I had the sense that Sam Rockwell’s Zaphod was an attempted Dubya parody.

  20. @Kylopod:

    I think I remember reading that Douglas Adams originally intended Zaphod to be a Reagan parody.

    The radio series first came out in 1978, so…

  21. Jeremy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Zaphod > Trump.

    Any day of the week.

  22. Kylopod says:

    Reagan had run in 1976 and by 1978 was considered the front-runner for 1980. I’ve never read or heard the original radio program, but I have seen the 1980 miniseries, the Infocom text adventure (which is what first got me into the series as a kid), and the 2005 movie, in addition to reading the book several times (I’m a huge fan), and one thing I can say is that Adams did something different with each adaptation to a new medium. For all I know, the Bushian Zaphod in the movie might have been his idea (even though he died only about six months into Bush’s presidency). He adapted to the times.

  23. @Kylopod: Not that it really matters, but I am having a hard time seeing a run in the US of a losing candidate influencing a British writer at the time.

    And, really, I don’t find Zaphod to be especially Reaganesque, but more a commentary on politicians in general (and as inspired by Socrates’ admonition against wishing to govern for either wealth or glory in The Republic–indeed, the whole bit with the man in the shack smacks of the ultimate philosopher-king. Adams went to Cambridge, so I suspect that interpretation is not too far-fetched).

    I have been a huge HHG fan since I heard the radio series on NPR in the early 1980s.