Today John Kasich announced his 88 County Statewide Leadership Team for his campaign for Govern......er, Recharge Ohio.
Not bad for a guy just 'flirting' with running for Governor, eh?
Now, some cynics may say Kasich was pushed into making this announcement. To those folks let me say this:
Announcing a statewide leadership team for ALL 88 counties is a monster task. It requires serious preparation and pragmatism. This isn't something one rushes into. Each county has their own political gamesmanship to consider and selecting the wrong person as Chairman can cause discord countywide. The last thing one wants to do is ruffle feathers this early.
On top of it, the team Kasich has put together reads like a who's who of Ohio Republican leadership. The County Chairmen of the three most populous counties, Doug Preisse (Franklin), Alex Triantafilou(Hamilton) and Rob Frost(Cuyahoga) are all on board.
This goes back to what I was saying yesterday. The Kasich team clearly is out in front and well prepared for a run for Governor.
I'm sure the new complaint will be, "that's all well and good, but why isn't he filing so he can begin to officially raise money?"
If that was a worry, don't you think they would have done it by now? Clearly, Kasich must have committments at a level that doesn't raise any concern in his camp. The fact is, once he makes his official announcement and creates his official campaign Committee, the spotlight will be on him. Yes, that means he'll be able to raise money, but it also raises complications that aren't necessary at this stage in the game, namely:
- Increased media scrutiny - The fact is, John doesn't need it right now. Yes, he is behind in the polls, but to think one needs to start increasing name recognition more than a year before the PRIMARY is insane.
- Provides Strickland a target - Right now, despite his numbers, the Governor is doing plenty to give the GOP ammo for the general election. Let's keep the focus on Strickland as long as possible so Ohioans can be sure who is to blame for our situation come 2010. If he has an opponent to focus his energy on, the Governor will be able to shape the debate away from his own shortcomings.
- Campaign hangover - Ohioans were hammered for the past 2 years with politics. They need a break. One of the great things about Kasich is he helps voters forget their cynicism. That would be much more difficult if he was seen as just another politician throwing his hat into the ring too early.
- Fox - The earned media John receives everytime he appears on Fox News as a guest host or contributor is like red meat for the conservative Ohio base. That goes away the moment he announces. Plus, it gives me another excuse to watch out for Megyn Kelly without my girlfriend getting suspicious.
Things are right on schedule.
And the campaign ninja takes no prisoners.
UPDATE: Thanks to Redstate for linking to the post. Makes me wish I had taken more than 10 minutes to write it. Ha.
For those interested in helping John, please sign up at Recharge Ohio and join the facebook group.