Arnold Schwarzenegger Endorses John Kasich In A Hilariously Awkward Video
In an new video posted to Snapchat, actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed John Kasich for president. The pair met up at a rally in Kasich's home state of Ohio, where they recorded the video before addressing the crowd. Kasich, the inimitable dad of the Republican race, ended the video with an awkward but funny "love ya man." As secondhand embarrassing as the video might be, it fits with his offbeat and decidedly paternal personality, so he gets a pass from too much mockery.
This is the latest in a growing number of high profile endorsements for Kasich. The New York Times' editorial board called him "the only plausible choice for Republicans tired of the extremism and inexperience on display in this race," a less than enthusiastic, but ultimately supportive statement for Kasich's bid. The Boston Globe echoed the sentiment, urging New Hampshire voters to choose Kasich over Trump just before the primary, which eventually, they declined to do.
Just like The Times and The Globe, it's unclear how much this latest endorsement will really help Kasich. California, where Schwarzenegger served as governor from 2003 to 2011, is an incredibly important state in the primary season. It hosts 172 Republican delegates in a winner-take-all election that could actually put Kasich in contention for the nomination if he can pull of a win there. However, there are three big problems Kasich has to tackle before that's even a possibility.
First, he actually has to stay in the race for that long. The California primary isn't until June 7, over three months away, and Kasich is really far behind in the delegate count — even if he won California right now, it would only and just barely put him ahead of Marco Rubio. Kasich has to increase his delegate count, or he won't be seen as viable enough to stay in the race. Second, He's got to jump the Trump hurdle. The latest polling data from California is pretty out of date because the primary is so far away, but like many other states, Trump is in the lead. New polls might be more optimistic for Kasich, but Trump-mania is sweeping the nation and California is likely to get caught up too. Unless Trump can be taken down a few pegs, Kasich isn't likely to accomplish what he's so far failed to do — defeat Trump in a primary.
Finally, Schwarzenegger might not actually be much of an asset in his home state. When he replaced former governor Gray Davis in the country's second-ever gubernatorial recall election, Schwarzenegger had no political experience, and proceeded to stomp on California's economy, driving up the deficit and failing to achieve substantial reform. He left office in the midst of a sex scandal with rock bottom 22 percent approval ratings, and Californians who have suffered through the aftermath of Schwarzenegger's administration might not be too trusting of a candidate who earned the former governor's endorsement.
Kasich's campaign is plugging along like the Little Engine That Could, and it could be sometime before he either makes or breaks. The winner-take-all primary in Ohio on March 15 could give Kasich 66 desperately needed delegates, so combined with some interesting endorsements, Kasich can't be counted out yet.