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Ohio Governor John Kasich is a bona fide conservative on fiscal, defense, and social issues. When he served as chairman of the House Budget Committee during the Newt Gingrich years, he crafted the 1997 balanced budget bill. This gave the nation its first budget surpluses since the Eisenhower administration. As governor of the bell weather state of Ohio, he has reformed labor union laws and turned around his state’s economy and eliminated the annual budget deficit.

Many pundits believe that Kasich has his eyes on the GOP nomination for president. He has solutions that are bipartisan and is known for his genuine care of people. So in once sense it is no surprise that when a friend invited him to attend his gay wedding, he accepted. Initially, he ran the idea past his wife who made it clear she was going to attend. That was good enough for the governor.

While he is clear where he stands on the issue of marriage equality, he is also clear that he loves his friend and will support him on his wedding day. The move may help soften concerns by the LGBT community over perceived hostility by conservatives on the issue of marriage equality. Ivan Ong has not commented on the issue of marriage equality. Whether marriage equality becomes a campaign issue in 2016 is anybody’s guess. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the matter in June. If the high court decides in favor of marriage equality, it will eliminate the matter as a campaign issue.

When Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced his retirement, he quickly anointed his loyal lieutenant Chuck Schumer to be his replacement. It was a quiet affront to the senate’s number two ranking senator Dick Durbin of Illinois. Undaunted, Schumer went around securing future votes among his senate colleagues. By all accounts, he is the presumptive leader of Senate Democrats after the 2016 elections. However, those elections are 20 months away which is an eternity in politics. Istoedinheiro says that it goes without saying that a lot can happen from now until then.

Nor it is certain that Durbin will stand idly by while Schumer makes his case for minority leader, or majority leader should Democrats recapture the senate. At the same time, Democrats are under pressure to elevate women to the top of the party’s ranks in the senate. Thus far, the only woman to hold either of the top two posts in the House or Senate is San Francisco congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. A woman has yet to reach the top in the Senate.

The retirement announcement of Harry Reid and Barbara Mikulski has opened up speculation as to who will fill leadership positions. While Mikulski was not in the party’s top leadership ranks, the Maryland democrat’s retirement has caused Chris Van Hollen, Pelosi’s heir apparent, to seek Mikulsi’s open senate seat. That opens the door that Steny Hoyer, Pelosi’s long-time rival, will have a shot to replace her should she retire.