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Kasich's Bolt to Biden Will Have Little Impact, Historians Agree

Kasich's Bolt to Biden Will Have Little Impact, Historians Agree
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich in 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

By Tuesday, 21 July 2020 06:38 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Although considerable press attention was given to reports Monday that former Ohio Gov. and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich will endorse Democrat Joe Biden for president, historians and political scientists agree that Kasich’s support of Biden will have little impact on the fall election.

In fact, the same group who spoke to Newsmax agreed that Kasich, 68, follows in the path of past presidential hopefuls who broke ranks from their party to support a candidate from the opposition party when they were past their political prime.

“Biden may yet overwhelm Donald Trump in November,” said David Pietrusza, author of six critically-acclaimed books on presidential election years, “The jury will not file back into the courtroom until November. But the Democrats' showcasing of John Kasich, nonetheless, reminds one of Peggy Lee's songs—‘Is That All There Is?’”

Pietrusza contrasted Kasich to the best-known presidential candidate to back a presidential candidate of the opposition party—Democrat Alfred E. Smith, the Democratic nominee for president in 1928 and first major party nominee who was a Roman Catholic, who announced he was “taking a walk” and backed Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Republican opponents in 1936, 1940 and 1944.

He pointed out that “Kasich is also not a defection from Trump. Smith endorsed FDR in 1932. Kasich wrote-in John McCain in 2016.”

Donald Critchlow, Arizona State University professor and author and editor of 25 books on American politics, agreed.

“Kasich’s political career is over due to an overwhelming ego,” Critchlow told us, “He made a fool of himself in 2016 [by refusing to support Trump]. Perhaps he hopes for a cabinet post in a Biden administration, but he will find the Left not welcoming of his brand of so called moderation.”

Critchlow pointed out how “Trump undercut his hoped for working class base. Whatever happens, win or lose in 2020, the Trump base is not going away. But Kasich has relegated himself to a small footnote in history. The once golden boy with ears of tin.”

“Kasich’s endorsement of Biden as a stand-alone probably and will not make a significant difference,” said Dan Schnur, Professor at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications and the University of California – Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies.

But Schnur quickly added that “if it is part of a broader effort among Republican leaders, then it could have a much bigger impact.”

“By endorsing Biden, former Gov. Kasich is shutting the door on any further involvement in the Republican party,” said veteran North Carolina political analyst Marc Rotterman, “What little currency he had with Republicans has now evaporated and his endorsement of Biden in my view will change very few hearts and minds"

Other past presidential candidates who bolted to the other party were usually at the end of their careers and, excluding Al Smith, had faded into obscurity: Eugene McCarthy, who had led the anti-Vietnam War “Children’s Crusade” that helped convinced President Lyndon Johnson not to run in 1968, endorsed Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980; former Rep. Pete McCloskey, R.-Calif, who ran against Richard Nixon as an anti-Vietnam War insurgent in the 1972 Republican primaries; and 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman, who briefly sought his party’s presidential nomination in 2004 and backed Republican John McCain for president in 2008. Lieberman was beaten in the Democratic primary for his final term as U.S. Senator from Connecticut in 2006 and won as an independent. 

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
 

 

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Although considerable press attention was given to reports Monday that former Ohio Gov. and 2016 Republican presidential hopeful John Kasich will endorse Democrat Joe Biden for president, historians and political scientists agree that Kasich's support of Biden will have...
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Tuesday, 21 July 2020 06:38 PM
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