John Kasich, the straight talkin', God fearin', Obamacare lovin' Governor of Ohio, is ready to be President but first he needs to climb over President-Elect Trump and the other 536 candidates in the field.
But don't worry guys, Kasich has a plan.
You see Kasich has this famously blunt way of saying sh!t. It has defined a political career that spanned almost 20 years in Congress and four in the Ohio state house. Kasich rose to national prominence by being an outspoken and soundbitey budget hawk who clashed with anyone that didn't agree with his policy beliefs, regardless of party. In DC, he was the outsiders insider.
But he also not afraid to really mix it up. He plays the compassion card well, using it to become the guy who butts heads with his own party over stuff like picking on poor people and the disadvantaged. As Governor, he became a tacit Obama ally in the health care debate by expanding Medicaid and creating a health exchange in Ohio.
Basically, John Kasich is the guy that Republicans can turn to as the maverick with a heart. He will be the ethical center of a primary that is currently being dominated by the ersatz performance art stylings of Donald Juarez Trump.
According to John Kasich, a vote for Kasich is a vote for the better angels of the Republican Party's nature.
There's just one thing.
Kasich joined Lehman's investment banking division as managing director in 2001, working there until the firm's collapse in September 2008 unleashed global panic and served as the catalyst for the financial crisis.
The fact that Kasich worked in finance at all between 2001 and 2008 is a very heavy political cross to bear in this anti-Wall Street environment. The fact that he did it at Lehman is perhaps crippling.
No one is saying that John Kasich was Dick Fuld's right hand man, and it's no secret that ex-politicos are often figureheads at big firms (ie former Lehman advisor Jeb! Bush), but this is politics so let's be honest and admit that Kasich is going to get hammered for "his role" in almost destroying the American economy.
During his rambling, often strange, and clearly teleprompter-less announcement speech today, Kasich dug hard at his moral strength and played up his good guy rebel image. But when it came to Lehman, he said this.
"I worked at Lehman Brothers and learned about businesses."
That's literally ALL he said about Lehman. In the speech, Kasich talked at some length about hanging out with African-American men at Wendy's, Ohio's holocaust memorial, drug-addicted kids and Obamacare, but he gave nine words to Lehman.
Something tells us that he'll have to craft a few more once his opponents get involved.