Dark and early on Friday morning, John Kasich’s team was preparing an elegant town hall at The Hall Senate’s End: a beautiful brick building, with lots of Southern charm, mostly rented for weddings or formal parties.
The hall-style room was set up for an intimate meeting with the motivated, yet obviously tired, Governor from Ohio, who pointed out that he had spilled coffee on his shirt and slacks while getting ready.
Editor’s note: This is an in-depth series of Meyer’s accounts as a military spouse and veteran hitting the Presidential Campaign Trail in South Carolina. Read from the beginning or discover her experiences with Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or skip to her final thoughts.
There were several media outlets staged to the left of a circle comprised of white wooden chairs, three rows deep, surrounding a water bottle atop a single stool. By 10 a.m., the room was filled with approximately 150 people, who genuinely and lovingly supported Kasich for president of the United States.
Fellow squadron spouse, Jacklyn Raulerson Dicks rolled with me to Columbia. I was so thankful for her support and willingness to come along because her background in journalism and media relations helped me to feel more assertive as the morning unfolded.
Her calm, easygoing demeanor, and 6’ stature makes her hard to miss; brains and beauty rolled into one. Having this pro accompany me gave me a greater sense of confidence. Her early morning pep-talk while roller brushing my black coat, calmed my nerves and gave me the courage to once again raise my hand in hopes of raising a question.
Kasich’s humor and ease of person delighted as he weaved responses between the serious and the lighthearted to questions asked. He happily paid intense attention to those who spoke with him, took questions easily, and even when a grey-bearded man with a wavering voice who had no question; but rather, a heartfelt plea for Kasich to remain in the race despite current projected polls, remained steadfast.
The candidate was kind enough to answer two of my questions — the first more personal than the second. I wanted to know how he’d appeal to the moral compass of voters, and secondly, how he might fix a broken and disheartened military with aging aircraft.
Kasich described how “some of the aircraft being flown was older than the pilots that fly them,” an issue that resonates with military spouses who are a part of the aviation community. Not only was that a concern with pilots but also those in maintenance that work overtime, nights and weekends to just keep wings and choppers in our airspace.
Near the end of the event, Raulerson Dicks leaned over and sincerely commented to me, “Kasich would take my husband’s life into consideration more than most candidates and would first make moral decisions over political decisions when dealing with the thought of war.”
Kasich ended with a plea, pressing each voter to call 10 friends and ask them to vote for Kasich on primary election day. And with that, I quickly jumped from my seat to thank him before he departed to his next engagement. And of course, to snap a selfie for documentation purposes.
Watch our exchange with Kasich around the 29-minute mark:
This is an in-depth series of Meyer’s accounts as a military spouse and veteran hitting the Presidential Campaign Trail in South Carolina. Read from the beginning or learn about her experiences with Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or skip to her final thoughts.
About the Author: Rebecca Meyer, a veteran of the California National Guard, married to an active duty Marine Corps pilot, works part-time for GBX delivering curriculum to separating/retiring service members on behalf of the Department of Labor, writes a veteran’s blog with ACI Benefits, and most importantly is mother to a brilliant, sweet, tree-climbing, bike riding 4-year-old.
She grew up discussing politics around the dinner table and listening to talk radio on AM several nights as a family. She stepped into politics in the 8th grade after giving an award winning (Rotary Award) speech, firmly announcing that she would be the first woman president of the United States. She has fond memories of dancing around the room with her grandparents when Bush Jr. won the election in 2000. She remains an active part of the spouse community in Beaufort, South Carolina.