Run, Gov. Kasich, run
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Please, John Kasich, please run for president. Suddenly headlines are lighting up with the Republican Ohio governor's name, and his late-to-the-game flirtation with a presidential campaign. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) lead the polls for the Republican nomination, and have been beating the early primary state pavement. Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulTwo Loeffler staffers test positive for COVID-19 Michigan Republican isolating after positive coronavirus test GOP Rep. Mike Bost tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (R-Ky.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus Bipartisan group of senators call on Trump to sanction Russia over Navalny poisoning Trump's new interest in water resources — why now? MORE (R-Fla.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP clears key hurdle on Barrett's Supreme Court nomination, setting up Monday confirmation Texas and North Carolina: Democrats on the verge? Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (R-Texas) started building machines and getting out there a while ago, as well. It might seem early to Kasich, but this race is on. He should get out there if he really means it. Let's encourage him.

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Kasich elicits chuckles; he is quite quirky and isn't seen as the best campaigner. So since he also seems to be merely toying with it, while others are launching serious operations, it might be hard for donors and activists to see him as a true alternative. But as he told The New York Times: "I'm the governor of Ohio, O.K.?" And that is key — he has been handily reelected on a strong record in a presidential battleground state: How could be not be taken seriously?

On several issues, Kasich is seen as out of line with the party's base. He accused the GOP of "waging war on the poor," has increased funding for mental healthcare in Ohio and expanded Medicaid. He still maintains that he is as conservative as anyone in the field, in his direct-and-won't-back-down style. As former House Speaker Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE (R-Ga.) described it, "He is very conservative. But he is very unorthodox. So if he does run, it will be interesting to watch him."

Even if it doesn't last long, a Kasich run would do wonders fleshing out other Republican contenders like Bush, Walker, Paul, Rubio, Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and former Texas Gov. Rick PerryRick PerryIs Social Security safe from the courts? Trump, Biden set for high-stakes showdown President Trump faces Herculean task in first debate MORE. We would learn far more about those likely candidates if Kasich were with them on the debate stage and the campaign trail.

Run, John, run.

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