Why a second place finish in New Hampshire is still a win for John Kasich.

While many Republicans around the country may be reeling from the selection of Donald Trump as the winner of the New Hampshire primary, there is a silver lining to his victory — the ascendency of Ohio Governor John Kasich as the second place runner-up.

Kasich is the only candidate at the head of the Republican field who reminded us that it’s okay to be nice. In a campaign season defined by saber-rattling rhetoric and offensive xenophobic language, Kasich did his best to keep the voters grounded, forging a middle path against the extremes of anger and aggression. Through his nature, he strived to bring voters together  — and that, precisely, is what is needed in a president.

Although it took some time for John Kasich to catch on, his (relative) victory in New Hampshire will launch a turning point in his run for president. Kasich’s run is also marked by a spirit of cooperation and willingness to work with others who don’t quite share his beliefs, making him popular among both Independents and center-leaning Democrats. But in a Republican field meant to polarize and divide, Kasich has been a quiet voice of reason in a sea of turmoil.

Kasich’s victory in New Hampishire proves that a candidate can gain traction and win success not through explosive caustic words, but through patient listening, understanding, and a healthy dose of reflection. In his second-place-victory speech, Kasich described his finish as the turning of a page on a dark part of American politics and invited his voters reflect on the nature of healing and helping others. To Republican candidates still lagging in the field and seeking to connect with more voters around the country, take a page out of the John Kasich For President playbook, and just be nice.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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