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Saturday, January 09, 2010

John Kasich for Governor: Ex-Lehman Bros. Exec Offers History Of U.S. and "The Shirt Off Our Backs"

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The immigrants gave us the phrase "the shirt off our backs." That was John Kasich's explanation in February 1999 when he announced he was running for president, a very short-lived run in a campaign that went nowhere. Kasich ended up working for Wall Street investment house Lehman Bros., which did know how to take the shirt off people's backs. Lehman's collapse in 2008 helped unleash the Great Recession. Ohio and the U.S. are still feeling the effects. In fact, there are millions of people who can't afford homes, who can't afford to retire, who can't afford college let alone shirts.

Kasich's 1999 presidential announcement speech that threw his shirt into the ring still lives on in cyberspace. His history lesson about how America was settled involves shirts, or lack of them. Read on:

"Your grandmother and your grandfather were living somewhere over in Europe a couple generations ago, and your grandpa told your grandma 'We're going to America.' Your grandma said, 'We're going where? I don't want to go.'
Maybe grandpa had a doubt in his mind, and grandma said 'We're going to America.' But together they made the decision to get in a small boat, it probably leaked, imagine the food, very little water, I would imagine; and they floated across the ocean to a place they didn't know.
And when they landed, they didn't know where they were. When they started traveling across America, they had no clue where they were going to end up, unless they had a relative that made the journey before them.
And you know what they were pursuing? They were pursuing freedom, personal responsibility. They were pursuing rugged individualism and at all times they were compassionate. Because they were the first ones to turn to the person next to them that didn't have anything and said, 'How can I help?' That's when we got the phrase 'the shirt off our backs,' from these immigrants that came across that ocean in search of the American dream. "

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