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Must-Read: On John Kasich's evolution from Young Turk to Old Turkey.

Thomas Kaplan et al.: Soft and Cuddly? John Kasich’s Old Colleagues Don’t Recognize Him: "Mr. Kasich... [says] he has indeed changed...

...‘As I’ve gotten older and more faithful, I probably have mellowed a little bit’.... ‘When I was in Congress,’ he said, ‘I spent my whole life with a battering ram, trying to knock down the walls of the city to get what I wanted. Now that I’m the governor, I now run the city.’ Mr. Gingrich... has a different explanation for the transformation: Mr. Kasich, after years of being single, married again in 1997....

Ohio lawmakers and political operatives privately wonder if--or when--the old, irascible Mr. Kasich will reappear under the stress of the campaign. ‘He has shown great discipline,’ said Chris Redfern, a former state representative and onetime Ohio Democratic chairman who still remembers Mr. Kasich’s pungent admonition to the state’s entrenched interests a few years ago. ‘If you’re not on the bus, we will run over you with the bus,’ Mr. Kasich said then, adding, ‘I’m not kidding.’

Mr. Kasich seems sensitive to the possibility of a relapse, even warning reporters who travel with him to be on guard. After snapping at a journalist over an unwelcome question this month, Mr. Kasich apologized, and at a news conference later he asked for the news media’s help in monitoring his behavior....

‘I think nice usually wins,’ he said.... But not always. ‘Most people have a sense that when the time comes to fight,’ he said, ‘I’ll fight just fine.’

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