Or one thing I like about him, anyway.
The Washington Post has a (rather belated) profile of the governor, starting with a time when there was a great deal of racial strife at his high school in McKees Rocks, PA. An excerpt:
It all came to a head one night in January 1970, during Kasich’s senior year at Sto-Rox, as 400 students and parents met to hear complaints from blacks that they were being subjected to de facto segregation. Shortly after midnight, when a black leader demanded at least one African American teacher be hired, ugly epithets were hurled, tables overturned, and fistfights broke out.
Kasich, a scrawny kid who at that time was known for his lifelong desire to be a priest, decided he had had enough. Using speaking skills he had developed at church, he walked to the front of the school cafeteria, where the school board was trying to oust a black protester, and seized the microphone.
“This has got to stop,” Kasich said, according to the account of his friend David Cercone, now a federal judge. “We can’t be doing this, being at each other’s throats.”
This was the unlikely moment that Kasich’s childhood friends say they realized their pal Johnny was shedding his dreams of the priesthood and donning the cloak of politician. When they hear him today pleading for civility among his fellow Republican presidential candidates, friends say they recognize the words that he uttered as he came of age in this hardened city on the banks of the Ohio River…
It’s an interesting piece.