The Remarkable Renaissance of John Kasich

By Andy Kroll – Mother Jones May. 6, 2013 3:00 AM PDT

john kasich

John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, had hit rock bottom. It was March 2011, and Kasich was about to sign Senate Bill 5, the controversial anti-union legislation that curbed bargaining rights for cops, firefighters, teachers, and other public employees. Most Ohioans thought SB 5 was a terrible idea, and Kasich’s approval rating had sunk to a pitiful 35 percent. In a hypothetical revote, 55 percent of Ohioans surveyed by Public Policy Polling said they would choose former Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, Kasich’s 2010 opponent, over the guy they’d elected—albeit by a slim margin—only a few months earlier.

For much of 2011, Kasich, a former congressman,