Ohio Gov. John Kasich hinted in a sort of, kind of, if they beg me way this week that he could run for president in 2020. Previously, Kasich dismissed such speculation, suggesting that he appears on a talk show every three minutes merely because he wants what’s best for the country.
“Here’s what I know: I don’t know what I’m doing at the end of my term. I know this will sound to some of you a little bit wacky, but the Lord will decide what I’m going to do. I’ll get a sense of what my responsibility is,” Kasich said Wednesday at the Associated Press Ohio meeting in Columbus. “There is no openings for that job and I don’t really sit around thinking about it. But I am around thinking about these issues. I do want to be a voice in favor of Immigration, I do want to be a voice in favor of trade, I want to be a voice in terms of getting this country back together again and stopping all the fighting.”
But on the program CNN Newsday Tuesday, Kasich said: “If my country called me and it was practical, I would have to very seriously think about it. But, right now, I’m not out there trying to create delegates in the states or anything like that. I don’t know what the future is going to bring. I want to be a voice to help our country come together, because that is when we are strongest … It’s in the hands of the Lord.”
If Kasich runs as a Republican, he’ll join a list that includes Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan, Ted Kennedy and Eugene McCarthy — candidates who challenged presidents from their own party.
But if, as some believe, he will run as an independent, that would mean he carries his challenge through all the primaries, the conventions and into November.
That’s a whole lot of talk shows.
Here are some notable independent challenges over the past several decades:
- 1948: States’ Rights Democratic Party (otherwise known as the Dixiecrats) candidate Strom Thurmond ran in the famous Dewey v. Truman race that had the Chicago Tribune erroneously declaring Dewey the winner. Thurmond wasn’t a huge factor, but he did win four southern states and 39 votes in the Electoral College.
- 1968: This election is widely seen as turning the deep south into a conservative stronghold. American Independent candidate George Wallace won 46 Electoral College votes from five states — Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas — and reeived 9.9 million votes overall. Republican Richard Nixon beat Democrat Hubert Humphrey in the election by 500,000 in the popular vote.
Sen. Strom Thurmond, R-S.C., reacts with a clenched fist to the chant six more years, as he prepared to address the South Carolina Republican Party state convention Saturday, May 4, 1996.