Vote Clinton; Vote Kasich

Gov. John Kasich, R-Ohio, speaks at the Republican Leadership Summit Saturday, April 18, 2015, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

On April 19th, New York State votes in two presidential primaries.

Hilary Clinton has many faults, which this column has not been backward in documenting, but her opponent, Bernie Sanders, is not suitable for the White House. For all his admirable stands on social issues, Sanders is motivated by his passion for economic issues. He has been comprehensively wrong on those issues. The free-trade consensus – which Bill Clinton, more than anyone, forged – has been an enormous boon to the world. In the last 25 years extreme poverty has fallen by three quarters. Without NAFTA and the Uruguay Round, which Sanders opposed, that would not have happened. 

If the alleviation of mass poverty had come at the expense of the American worker, as Sanders and Trump both claim, this would give us pause, but it has not. Employment is growing. Low skill jobs have been lost more to technology than to trade.

Clinton has wobbled on her support for the Trans Pacific Partnership – which she negotiated as Secretary of State – and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, but it is the fervent hope of Common Sense that she would pursue them as president. Sanders certainly would not. Her husband’s administration was also the last one in which the federal government grew more slowly than the economy as a whole. This is the only sustainable path for the future.

The Republican primary is more complex. If you had a preferential vote, my endorsement would be Kasich, Cruz, Trump. But you may only vote for one. Trump is finally on the defensive. The only candidate who could conceivably overtake him by the convention is Cruz, but it is now more likely than not that the convention will be contested. In the past contested conventions have often looked past the two leading candidates for a compromise. If Kasich wins some more states – so far he has only triumphed in Ohio, where he is the current governor – he could be that compromise choice.

Kasich is the best prepared non-incumbent candidate in generations. He is governor of a major state. He chaired the House Budget Committee – one of the most important committees in Congress. He, more than Bill Clinton or Newt Gingrich, deserves credit for the balanced budgets of the 1990s. 

Kasich has vision, strength and experience. He is starting to find the discipline and voice as a candidate, which he should have shown from the beginning. If elected, Kasich would be a fine president. While Cruz is in a better position to win the Republican nomination, it is far from clear that he could be effective in office. He has proved incapable of building alliances and coalitions. Cruz is certainly a very intelligent man, but he has no experience of executive leadership, and his role as a legislator strongly suggests he would fail in such a role.

Donald Trump has executive leadership experience, and it shows that he is a failure. He inherited a fortune. If he had invested it on the stock market and spent his entire life preening in front of a mirror with his succession of pretty wives he would be richer now than he actually is. But he is worse than a failure. He is a lazy, ignorant, bigot. He knows nothing about the job of president and is determined not to learn. 

 Vote Clinton; Vote Kasich.

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Quentin Langley is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Bedfordshire Business School as well as a freelance columnist published in the UK and all parts of the US. He blogs on social media and crisis communications at brandjacknews.com

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