Republican John Kasich quits US race

    Kasich announced he was running for president in July 2015 [Reuters]
    Kasich announced he was running for president in July 2015 [Reuters]
    There were times during the early Republican candidate debates when John Kasich got angry. It was almost like he couldn't believe the things he was hearing from people who wanted to be president.
    He seemed to think they were underqualified for the Oval Office, making promises they knew they could never keep.
    In a battle with the showmanship of Donald Trump, the radical idealism of Ted Cruz and the sheer bluster and aggression of Chris Christie, the Ohio Governor offered something different. Here was an old-style conservative who could balance budgets, work with democrats to get things done and win important swing states like his own.

    READ MORE: Is it too late for Cruz and Kasich to stop Trump?

    Kasich was late to the race. He announced he was running for president in July 2015. Only one other candidate jumped in later. But it turned out to be a smart move, the early interest and momentum winning him enough support to get a place on the main stage of the first debate.

    He wanted everyone to know about his father, the mailman. He mentioned him so often it became a running joke in the press room: "Hey, does anyone know anything about Kasich's dad?". He was burnishing his working-class credentials.
    He essentially skipped the Iowa primary, believing he wouldn't play well with the evangelical voters in the state, and instead concentrated more on the second nominating contest in New Hampshire. That seemed like a better fit. He was right. He came second. A long way behind Donald Trump.
    But he wasn't organised enough to take advantage of the momentum. He had no real operation in South Carolina and he finished fifth there. In fact he finished behind Jeb Bush, who dropped out.

    Ohio delivered
    Kasich continued believing his home state would be a turning point. After all, he'd become Ohio Governor in a tight election and then won re-election with an increased majority (albeit against a candidate who was considered very weak).
    And Ohio delivered for the mailman's son. On Super Tuesday he beat Donald Trump into second place. He insisted that night the electoral map was changing. But it wasn't and Kasich never came close to winning another state.
    There are those who think his decision to accept Medicare expansion in Ohio, as part of President Obama's signature Affordable Health Care Act, hurt him deeply. Republicans generally despise the law which has become known as Obamacare and for a Republican Governor to play any part in helping it was almost considered Conservative heresy.
    He held town halls across the country. I watched him a few times. He won people over with his manners, his corny jokes and his sane approach to solving problems.
    But the biggest problem was that in 2016, that's not what Republican voters were after.
    And in the end, he didn't know how to solve that.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera



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