Where Are They Now? John Kasich's Denver
In this installment of the series known as "Where Are They Now," we take a look at former congressman John Kasich.
DENVER - When we ran into former GOP congressman John Kasich of Ohio inside the Pepsi Center, we wondered if maybe he had had some sort of radical transformation and joined Republicans for Obama. He was known, after all, for having a wild streak when he was a House member. (Remember the time he was kicked off stage at a Grateful Dead show?)
But no, the irascible, boyish-looking (and acting) former chairman of the House Budget Committee still has his conservative constitution intact. He's definitely supporting John McCain for president and is here at the Democratic National Convention working as a pundit for Fox News.
Not everyone was thrilled to see the conservative politician hobnobbing around the convention this week. When he accompanied the Sleuth into the Colorado governor's suite inside the Pepsi Center, one aide working the door said, "What the [expletive]?"
When Kasich ran into Gene Sperling, who was President Bill Clinton's economic advisor when Kasich chaired the Budget Committee, Sperling jokingly yelled, "Police! Police! Take this man away!"
Though it was clear Kasich and Sperling had a very cordial relationship: they hugged after Sperling called the cops on Kasich. Sperling, who served as chief economic adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign, is now advising Barack Obama.
Kasich enjoyed the attention, as usual. Several folks around the convention halls stopped him and asked to have their photos taken with him. Maybe they were from Ohio and know that Kasich has designs on the governor's mansion.
The former congressman was coy about whether he's running for governor of Ohio in 2010 as rumored. "I can neither confirm nor deny that," he said, with a smile that hinted he most certainly is.
He regaled the Sleuth with tales of days gone by, including the time the Washington Post wrote a story about him in 1991 the day after he got booted off stage at a Grateful Dead concert at RFK Stadium. (Kasich claims he was invited to go on stage by Dwight Yoakam, who was opening that night for the Dead. But clearly the Dead's stage security didn't get the memo.)
Still a Deadhead, Kasich says his favorite band these days is Radiohead. Maybe when he's governor he can get away with charging the stage at one of their concerts.
Mary Ann Akers
August 26, 2008; 6:12 PM ET
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