Every politician attempts to be relatable; very few succeed.
Erstwhile governor and 2020 presidential hopeful John Kasich posted a video on Saturday, announcing that he had just completed his first day of yoga lessons with his wife, Karen Kasich. He summarized the exercises briefly then discussed the importance of remaining young-minded and looking towards the future. The 66-year-old former Governor of Ohio has never been known for these types of videos or topics and, as such, it drew a significant response. While many of the posts were supportive of his efforts, the consensus seems to be that it has an unflattering resemblance to another 2020 candidates attempt at relatability.
On New Year’s Eve, Democratic presidential primary candidate, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a brief video to Instagram in which she said “I’m gonna get myself a beer,” with her husband and promptly had one. The moment felt so disingenuous, awkward, and contrived that even progressive outlets, that have a history of defending her, lampooned the obvious stunt. The most popular comment in response to Kasich’s video made a direct reference to it.
Not exactly Elizabeth Warren's drink a beer moment but just as obviously shallow….
— brockasso (@itsmebrock) February 10, 2019
Kasich may also be attempting to demonstrate more than relatability.
At 66 years old, he is far from the oldest potential presidential candidate for 2020. In fact, President Donald Trump is 72. However, as many outlets have noted, Kasich is aggressively trying to expand his appeal with Millenials. During the 2016 cycle, he received significant praise from this demographic. He was often perceived and the kind counterpoint to the more aggressive then-candidate Trump. In one widely shared moment, a young millennial asked Kasich for a hug during a public forum to which the Governor consented. It is possible Kasich believes that if he can muster strong support with Millennials and then appeal to moderate women who voted against the Republican party in 2018, he could form enough of a coalition to mount a 2020 primary challenge of Trump. Sadly for him, attempts like this yoga clip are not the way in which this is achieved.
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