August 21, 2014

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The Two Sides Of John Kasich

Including one you didn't hear as much about as the other.

A month into his four-year term as governor, John Kasich certainly can make headlines...intentionally or otherwise.

A lot of times he can make news...good and bad...simply with his emotions.

Last week, Kasich appeared before a group of public employees, discussing the collective bargaining bill which, this week, brought out large numbers of unionized workers to the Ohio Statehouse.

During that meeting, he used the word "idiot" to describe a state trooper who pulled him over near Columbus a couple of years ago.  Someone was there with a video camera (it didn't look to me like it was a TV photographer), and the video with the remark was placed on the internet. Shortly after the Ohio Highway Patrol released a dashboard camera video of the pullover, the governor apologized to the trooper.

What was covered by the media, but didn't get nearly as much attention this week, was an appearance the governor made in southern Ohio, for a meeting on the prescription drug abuse problem.

A parent of a young woman who died from prescription painkillers got up to speak, but the words barely started to come out when the parent broke down in tears.  According to several media, including the Columbus Dispatch, Kasich took her hand and held it all through her address at the meeting.

Kasich has one thing in common with his predecessor, Ted Strickland: he can wear his heart on his sleeve.  One of the books he has written is called Stand For Something, whose message is that, in order for us to make a difference, we have to at least occasionally take a stand, even if it is unpopular.

Governor Kasich's emotions can sometimes get the better of him, as evidenced in the earlier incident.  They can also show he has a heart, as he proved in the prescription drug meeting.  But with the spotlight on him now more than ever, he has to somehow show the latter more than the former.

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