To The Daily Sun,
The 2016 presidential election will be one of the more important elections in our country's history.
Critical issues are at stake. Do we rein in the out-of-control spending that is burying us and future generations in a tsunami of debt? Do we dramatically reduce the gargantuan size of the bureaucratic mess that our federal government has become? Do we return money and power from Washington back to the states and local governments to do the things best planned and managed at the local level? Do we secure our borders and address in a fair and appropriate manner the circumstances of illegals who have become part of our society? Do we simplify and overhaul our tax laws? Do we nurture an environment in which small businesses can thrive and new jobs can be created? Do we guarantee that people appointed to the Supreme Court believe in the importance of adherence to the principles of government and the rights of individuals contained in our Constitution? Do we make the national security decisions necessary to maximize our safety at home? Does our country return to its longstanding role of leadership in the very dangerous world in which we now live? The answers to these questions are dependent on the outcome of the 2016 election.
Because of our first-in-the-nation primary, we the people of New Hampshire will have a larger voice than the citizens of most states in deciding which candidates make it to the final contest. Since our contest is the opening primary tussle, it gets spotlight news coverage and extensive commentary. Our results have impacted big in the past.
On the Republican side, only two candidates in the last 30 years have attained the Republican presidential nomination without winning the New Hampshire primary. On the Democratic side, it has also been extremely important. In 1992, an unexpectedly strong showing by Bill Clinton breathed life into what had been a real underdog campaign and propelled him to the Democratic nomination and to victory in the general election.
If you agree with me that the Republican Party offers the best path to the changes needed in Washington, the outcome of the February primary is of vital significance. When we vote, we need to get it right. We need to select a candidate who is not only well-qualified to lead our country and to inspire the changes so desperately needed in Washington, but also one who is electable. All is for naught without a win at the polls in November.
In making the right choice, we must be mindful that neither one's qualification to be president nor one's electability is measured by bombastic rhetoric, glib one-liners, clever tweets or showy debate performance. A president has to be more than just a talker. We have seen over the last seven years that talking without leadership equals disaster.
In choosing a person to perform the critically difficult tasks that face a president of the United States, we need to take a hard look at what the candidate has accomplished in the past that directly evidences an ability to do the things necessary to lead this country, both domestically and on the world stage, and to inspire the changes that are so needed for the future success of our nation. Any of us who might be faced with some delicate and potentially dangerous surgery would want to know that our doctor had experience doing the sort of surgery in question and had been good at it. Nothing less should suffice in the selection of a presidential candidate.
When one examines each of the candidates regarding the experience and past performance relevant to the many things our president should be able to do, Governor John Kasich stands heads and shoulders above the rest from both parties.
In his 18 years in Congress, he was a leader who got things done. He championed such initiatives as welfare reform, including lifetime limits on cash benefits, work requirements and flexibility for states to design their own relief programs, and elimination of waste and excessive spending in Washington, including the closure and consolidation of a number of military bases. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, he was chief architect of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, the last time our nation had a balanced budget. He has extensive experience in matters of national security, having been a prominent and active member of the powerful House Armed Service Committee for his entire congressional tenure. In short, Governor Kasich has from the beginning of his political service been more than a talker — Governor Kasich has always been a doer.
After departing from public service for 10 years, Governor Kasich answered the call to return to public service in 2010, when his home state of Ohio found itself in economic shambles. He defeated an incumbent Democratic in a very hotly contested race. In his first term, Governor Kasich turned the state's economy around. More than 300,000 private sector jobs were created, industries returned to the state, taxes were cut by $5 billion, a projected $8 billion budget shortfall was avoided and a $2 billion surplus was realized.
A cornerstone of the Kasich tax cuts was a very significant reduction in the amounts paid by low- and middle-income Ohioans. To accomplish all of this in four years is strong evidence of Governor Kasich's ability to lead and to get the job done. The people of his state agreed. They gave him a grade of A-plus by re-electing him with an overwhelming 65 percent of the vote, carrying 86 of the state's 88 counties. In 47 of the counties, he polled in excess of 70 percent. This election performance was not unlike the success he had in his various congressional races. In the eight times he sought re-election to Congress, his victories were always in the 65 percent to 80 percent range.
This track record in the pivotal swing state of Ohio speaks loudly to the important issue of electability. It also evidences the sort of leadership we need for our country — a leader who brings people together rather than dividing them and who in doing so is able to accomplish important results. And as a not-so-insignificant footnote to the many talents that Governor Kasich brings to the table, all of us who want to bring significant change to Washington in the next presidential election, should be mindful that no Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying the State of Ohio.
If you believe a Republican victory in November is vital to the future of our country, Governor John Kasich should be your candidate. He has proven himself a winner and a leader. Moreover, from his previous experience and accomplishments, we can be confident that he will be ready to lead from Day One.
Belknap County Commissioner
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