When the news broke that faux-Republican John Kasich would be speaking at the virtual Democratic National Convention next month, the media went nuts at the so-called slight against Trump, and the implications of a so-called Republican speaking at the DNC.
Kasich is one of several Never-Trump “Republicans” speaking out in support of Biden this year, and the media has used each of them as an example of Biden’s alleged bipartisan appeal, and potential to woo moderate swing voters.
Don’t buy the hype. If opposite-party endorsements carried as much weight as the media suggests they do, Barack Obama would have never been president.
In December of 2007, Senator Joe Lieberman endorsed John McCain for president over a large field of Democratic candidates, including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Lieberman, who, eight years earlier, was the Democratic Party’s vice-presidential nominee, would go on to speak at the Republican National Convention.
In his speech, he trashed Barack Obama as an inexperienced partisan. “Eloquence is no substitute for a record,” he said. “Not in these tough times for America.”
How right he was. Barack Obama tried to spend our way out of a recession, delivering the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Lieberman knew that Obama was just a young extremist who could read a script, but not lead a country.
“In the Senate, during the three-and-a-half years that Senator Obama has been a member, he has not reached across party lines to get accomplish anything significant, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party to get something done,” Lieberman continued.
Lieberman’s warning about Obama turned out to be spot on. Barack Obama proved himself incapable of reaching across party lines, despite campaigning as a uniter. Sure, he could read off of a teleprompter, but that wasn’t enough to unite our country. Coming into office with Democrats controlling the House and Senate, he never had to reach across the aisle, and once he lost the majority in the House, he simply “governed” via executive action.
It’s impossible to overstate the significance of a former Democratic Party vice-presidential candidate speaking at the Republican National Convention warning voters against supporting Barack Obama. Sadly, it wasn’t enough, and according to exit polls, Barack Obama still won with moderate voters.
So why does Kasich matter? Sure, he ran for president in 2016 as a Republican, but he was liked more by liberals than Republicans. He refused to attend the 2016 Republican convention and has previously threatened to leave the GOP. Who cares what he thinks? If Joe Lieberman warning Democrats about Barack Obama in 2008 wasn’t enough to coalesce moderate voters behind John McCain, Kasich won’t do anything to move the needle for Biden either.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis