In a recent interview, Kris Kobach boasted about his high profile among Kansas gubernatorial candidates: “People know who I am. I don’t have to spend a lot of time and money explaining what my position is or what my brand is.” That’s certainly true — Kobach’s “brand” of politics doesn’t require much explanation. He’s a hard-right conservative populist who knows how to exploit concerns about immigration, hostility toward the “elites” in Kansas and Washington, D.C., and reactionary economic attitudes among a large proportion of the electorate in our state.
But the most notable characteristic of Kobach’s “brand” is his talent for self-promotion. Why do you think he was one of the only prominent Republicans in the country willing to defend President Trump’s spectacularly dishonest claim that “millions” of Americans voted illegally in 2016? Why did he suggest a plan to force Mexico to pay for Trump’s wall? Kobach has spent his entire career pushing hardline immigration policies (from the SAFE Act in Kansas to Arizona’s “show your papers” law), and he finally has an administration receptive to his ideas.
From his Breitbart columns to his constant appearances on Fox News, CNN, etc., to his role as vice chairman of the President’s Commission on Election Integrity to his proud announcement of Sean Hannity’s endorsement, Kobach knows how to keep his name in the headlines. But for a guy who wants to be the governor of Kansas, he sure spends a lot of time pontificating on issues that have little to nothing to do with the major problems our state faces.
… School finance isn’t even listed on Kobach’s “issues” page. Neither is the state’s foster care crisis. Neither is Medicaid expansion. In fact, he doesn’t mention health care at all. At a time when a third of rural hospitals in Kansas face the possibility of closure (according to a 2016 report by iVantage Health Analytics), isn’t this a strange omission?
… This is a man who has no idea what it takes to govern this state. He’s too busy fulminating about NFL protests in Breitbart. …
It’s a wonder Kobach ever found time to be our secretary of state, but it’s clear he doesn’t have time to be our governor.
— The Topeka Capital-Journal