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Political Scientists React To Presidential Candidate Kasich's State Of The State Speech

Jo Ingles/The State of Ohio- Ohio Public Television
University of Akron Political Science Professor John Green (left) and University of Cincinnati Political Science Professor David Niven (right)

Since he’s running for president, Gov. John Kasich’s State of the State speech yesterday had a feel of special importance. But while he called for accelerated income tax cuts and an end to the current method for congressional redistricting, political pundits who watched the event say don’t expect his performance in Marietta to make a big difference in the presidential race.

University of Akron Political Scientist John Green says he noticed something unusual.

“The traditional Kasich speech is he reads a couple of sentences then he ad libs for a while and then he tries to find his place. But he did very little of that.” 

Green says the speech didn’t get much national attention but it showed Kasich as a compassionate conservative, something that plays well in the presidential campaign. David Niven, a political science professor at the University of Cincinnati, says there might be a good reason for the decision to hold the speech in a venue far away from major media outlets.

“I think that was what was intended. When you think about the timing and the location of this speech, it’s almost like they put the State of the State in a witness protection program.”

Niven and Green say Kasich may have gotten more attention if he had held the event earlier in the year, before he got so far behind in the delegate count.