by Ed Wallace – 3/19/2016
There were no protesters. No riot. Not even a lone Trump sign. The only hint that this was a political rally were the ‘Kasich Works’ signs and the line of cameras. Oh, and a few recognizable politicians. It was a decent-sized crowd (1,000?) that sat patiently while country and rock tunes like ‘Rock Me, Baby’ and the Rolling Stones ‘Start Me Up’ played. If it wasn’t for the music, you might think you were at a church service with people talking quietly while they waited respectfully for the service to begin.
Then, a small parade of local dignitaries lead by Saint George Mayor Jon Pike came in and the crowd applauded. Mayor Pike gave a short speech and then introduced State Senator Steve Urquhart who then introduced District 74 Representative Lowry Snow who then introduced ex-everything Mike Levitt. Each of them spoke highly of Governor Kasich and endorsed him. Finally, Mike Leavitt introduced the Governor and the crowd came to their feet and applauded as he walked in.
Governor Kasich began by praising Mike Leavitt and Mayor Pike and then commented on the beauty of our little slice of Heaven. He talked about his upbringing and mentioned a few things that I’ve heard numerous times during his campaign: balancing the budget, budget surpluses, etc., etc, and the 3 issues he is most focused on – jobs, jobs and jobs. He mentioned returning control of education to the states and went into detail about the issues of insurance and medical costs. I expected this to be the standard broken-record stump speech…. it wasn’t.
He talked about his belief that everyone has a purpose. A touching moment came when he spoke directly to a young woman in the audience and told her that she was created unique and special and there wasn’t anyone else like her, and never would be. This brought the girl to tears and the two then embraced.
After his remarks, he took questions from the audience. He was asked about the importance of the Constitution. He’s for it. He didn’t know much about the land issues here in Utah but did know that 88% of our land is controlled by the federal government. He stated that his instincts told him to return a lot of that power back to the people and the State and promised to read the thick binder of information that was given him.
The questions then turned to foreign affairs and military force. He listed problems we faced around the world and advocated boots on the ground to destroy ISIS, and then leaving that country. He also stated he would tear up the Iran agreement, arm Ukraine, and place more sanctions on North Korea. He displayed an impressive working knowledge of world affairs.
A question was asked about the role of spirituality and morality as they related to government service. He told a story about being advised to mention God more in his talks. He refuses to do that because it would cheapen his beliefs in order to buy votes.
This is a good man. He was comfortable and approachable throughout the meeting. He knows how to tell a joke and he knows how to work an audience while showing respect for them, and for himself. He never seemed reserved or uppity and spoke like a normal, laid back, intelligent and capable person. He is more ‘establishment’ and not as conservative as I would like him too be, but, I could vote for him. I wouldn’t even need to hold my nose.
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