(Jewell, IA) The locally-popular band struck up their three-part harmony.
“I don’t know where I’m gonna go tomorrow. I don’t know if I’m comin’ back again,” the “Nadas” sang, fitting lyrics for the backyard barbecue honoring Ohio Congressman John Kasich who dropped out of the Republican party’s presidential race last week.
Kasich returned to the Iowa campaign trail this past weekend, appearing at events his staff had booked when he was still actively seeking higher office. The final event was to be a Sunday afternoon coffee, hosted by the parents of one of his college-aged staffers. Once Kasich was out, the Young family decided to go all out: burgers, beers and the band.
Grant Young first saw Kasich on television several years ago, then read Kasich’s 1998 book, which Young said made him cry twice. After college adjourned for the summer, Young worked as a southwest Iowa field staffer for the Kasich campaign.
“It’s kind of like watching your favorite baseball player and getting to be a bat boy for a day,” Young said.
Grant’s mom, Janet, told the three reporters who showed up to cover the event she is disappointed Kasich has ended his campaign.
“He’s young. He’s energetic. He has a good attitude just toward everything but he doesn’t have enough deniros to finish out the campaign, but I think we’ll see him doing something in the future,” Mrs. Young said.
Her sentiments were echoed by many in the crowd of about 40.
“I think he’s got a lot of what I call charisma because of his personality…he’s like one of us,” said Wayne Bayliss of Cedar Rapids, who expects Kasich to run for president on down the road.
Others expressed hope George W. Bush would choose Kasich as a running mate.
“I like his independent strain,” said Robert Nielsen of Garwin. “I like his attitude toward fiscal responsibility. I like that he’s willing to stand up to people even in his own party.”
Kasich showed up for his good-bye party wearing shades, shorts and a t-shirt. He wouldn’t rule another campaign out, but shared no specific game plan for the next few months or years.
“There’ll be other days,” Kasich said of his now-ended presidential campaign. “There will be a future. I just don’t know what it’s going to be all about. We’ll just have to see.”
Kasich said he plans to stay in touch with the Iowans who supported his candidacy, primarily through the Internet and perhaps by returning for speeches.
“I think I’ll be coming around. I’ll be a has-been probably next January, but who knows,” Kasich said with a wry laugh.