Show 21-06 (Governor John Kasich)

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About John Kasich
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Poll – Voters Support the American Jobs Plan

The Return to Normal: Views on the Pandemic – Morning Consult
Gallup Poll: Satisfaction With U.S. Vaccine Rollout Surges to 68%
NPR/Marist Poll – March 22 through March 25
Ipsos Poll – March 31-April 1
Former Ohio Gov. John Kasich Says GOP Is ‘Afraid’ Of Trump : NPR
Republicans ramp up attacks on corporations like Coca-Cola, Delta and MLB over Georgia voting law – The Washington Post
Likely Legal, ‘Vaccine Passports’ Emerge as the Next Coronavirus Divide – The New York Times
Opinion | Should You Be Worried About ‘Vaccine Passports’? – The New York Times
A Crazed GOP Wants to Cancel Baseball, Coke and Big Business
The Daily 202: Four questions about John Boehner’s new book – The Washington Post
Opinion | What a scorching John Boehner book excerpt says about today’s GOP – The Washington Post
Trump’s obsession with Deep State conspiracy ‘delusional’, John Boehner says | John Boehner | The Guardian
Boehner Blasts Trump, Saying He ‘Incited That Bloody Insurrection’ – The New York Times


Mark Brewer 0:07
Welcome to our Republic, if you can keep it. joining our conversation this week. The former two term governor of Ohio in 216. Presidential Candidate john Casey, I’m a lifelong Democrat. And I’d classify governor casing as a worthy opponent on policy, but also as someone who brings honor to the term public servant. Jeff, you know the governor very well from your work in his 2016 presidential campaign,

Jeff Timmer 1:12
An interesting man and he’ll have a unique perspective he’ll share with us today. After narrowly ousting an incumbent Democrat Ohio Governor in 2010, he was reelected by a massive two to one margin in 2014. It was a different GOP as that landslide came after Governor Kasich supported Medicaid expansion allowed under Obamacare, much to the distress of some state national Republicans. Kasich had previously served for 18 years in Congress where he chaired the House Budget Committee. And when Bill Clinton was president actually presided over a balanced federal budget. That sounds almost impossible today.

Mark Brewer 1:51
In 2016, Governor Kasich voted for John McCain for president as a write-in; in 2020, he broke with fellow Republicans to endorse the election of Joe Biden.

Jeff Timmer 2:02
Yeah, welcome, Governor Casey. Well, the most obvious thing that comes to mind is, you know, given where the politics are today, do you still think of yourself as a Republican or see room for people like you in today’s Republican party?

Gov John Kasich 2:19
We I’m a Republican, I’m a conservative, I kind of view government as a last resort, not as a first resort, but it’s necessary at times. And yeah, I’m certainly a Republican. And when I look at the Democrats, and I look at the amount of money they’re now spending, it reminds me why I’m a Republican. So I’m comfortable where I am. And, you know, I wish the party would change and become more of a party of ideas. But you know, I’m a Republican, I promote ideas all the time. And so we’ll see what how this thing shakes out over the next few years.

Jeff Timmer 2:52
And when you look at, you know, where the party has moved, since in just a few years, since you were running for president, and, you know, had been reelected, overwhelmingly in Ohio, in 2014. You have, you know, now, with an open US Senate seat there, you know, is there a path for a candidate, like you, in in, in a state like Ohio?

Gov John Kasich 3:17
Yeah, I mean, it’s you know, running for office is about how you feel how strong you are how you present yourself, and I don’t ever put restrictions on who can win any office. I mean, I’ve won elections that people said I could never win. But that was on the basis of some feelings, that strong feelings that I had my ability to articulate them and convince people I was the right person. So I don’t get all worked up or hung up when people say, Well, you know, you have to have this lane or that lane. I just don’t think about politics in that way.

Mark Brewer 3:46
Governor you endorsed now-President Biden last fall? Can you give us your your take on his first couple of months in office? Good and bad?

Gov John Kasich 3:56
I’m glad that I endorsed him, because I didn’t want to have four more years of Donald Trump plain and simple. And, you know, I think he’s brought about a much better tone in this country. And so I think the tone of you know, you It’s not every day, you wake up with another crazy headline and another series of divisions and all that. That’s on the real positive side. On the negative side. I just don’t think there’s been the outreach on bipartisanship that they say they’re all about, and I think they’re spending too much money. So we’ll see where this all or this all heads,

Mark Brewer 4:32
Would you differentiate governor between the American rescue plan and the infrastructure proposal, or do you think both of them are spending too much money?

Gov John Kasich 4:41
Well, I think that with the first program, the 1.9 trillion, my sense was they could have come down to, you know, maybe 1.1, 1.2. I’m just throwing a number out there and the Republicans could have come up to that. I think that the Democrats were not particularly interested in the Republican views. on that, and I think the Republicans were not particularly interested in, in reaching a higher number than their original plan. So it was it fell short. The infrastructure has a long way to go. And I think one of the keys is going to be, because it’s going to a long way to go, there’s no Sword of Damocles hanging over everything that this has to be done in this period of time. So it’s going to give the public and and the people who follow this a much longer time to sort of think about it and analyze it. And, you know, my sense is, this package is not going to pass anywhere near the way that it looks. And I think there’s going to be a pretty strong case made that if you’re going to do infrastructure, it ought to be infrastructure, as we think about it: highways and roads and dams and things like that, when you add everything else in. And look, I mean, if you take a look at the whole package, and I’ve not studied it in detail, but if you were to take a look at there’s many things in there that are desirable, but Mark it’s the same way, there’s a lot of things you would like. You’d like to take your family on better vacations, you probably like to knock out the wall and build a bigger house, you’d like to get a brand new car. Yeah, we all want that. But it’s a question of how do we pay for it, and we have not repealed the laws of gravity. So at some point, because of this rising debt, and Republicans contributed to it mightily, for a number of years, that rising debt means that either our children are going to have to pay higher taxes, or we’re going to have slower economic growth. So typical of us today, we’re having a great party that our kids are gonna have to pay for. And that’s what concerns me.

Jeff Timmer 6:40
You’re one of the rare Republicans today that can say that with credibility. Not only did you live up to that belief, when you were in Congress, and then you know, the governor of Ohio, you didn’t then, you know, while, you know, Trump was in office, like the Republicans did , especially those first two years with complete control, you know, kind of, you know, forget that spending lower spending orthodoxy that has led Republicans to a governing majority over the last several decades. And so now, when suddenly they find, you know, they’re, they’re lower spending voices, again, it’s with less credibility and you’ve never sacrificed that.

Gov John Kasich 7:20
Well, you know, the Republican Party, or any political party is my vehicle and not my master. And so, you know, I kind of call them the way I see them, I, I’m a Republican. So there’s, you know, there’s some loyalty to that. But it’s not an overriding loyalty, that it forces me to abandon the things that I think are important for the state, the community, the country, I mean, it’s just, you know, I just don’t see things in those kind of those partisan terms. But you know, we have a bigger issue in this country than just this partisanship and the Republican party and all that. We have seen a culture over the last 40 or 50 years that’s shifted away from, from a “we” culture where we’re all in this together to an “I” culture. And if you look across the horizon, and this is something I’ve talked about for 20 or 25 years, and Robert Putnam is writing about in his latest book, you know, this is something that’s affected all of us, you know, whether it’s business, and the fact that some of these CEOs get these get these payments, when they haven’t done a very good job, or whether it’s a business putting money ahead of all other principles, and profits without any social responsibility, or in sports, where you see some of these coaches that have preyed upon young athletes, or performance enhancing drugs, or religion where people have decided that because they were a color, they ought to have a political position somehow, or in the media, where it’s all about eyeballs. I mean, we’ve gone from a from a “we” culture here. And we’ve drifted into an “I” culture. So everything’s about me, and what’s good for me and what’s good for the for my immediacy, and that’s a that’s a really troubling situation. That’s why we see politics not working very well, because people are all interested in what’s good for me.

Mark Brewer 9:21
Governor, do you think there are some concrete steps that we could take to address that problem? And I agree with you that that is a serious problem. I focus more on I’d call selfishness, frankly, and this lack of sense of community and obligation to we’ve seen that in the pandemic, for example, but I there’s some concrete steps that you think we should take to try to get.

Gov John Kasich 9:44
Well Mark, this is a good question. This is not something that is just started. This is something that’s been happening for a long time. and all the resurgence in America that went from the Gilded Age. Again, according to Putnam (which I buy into) an age where we went from I two, we now we’re back to it again. You know what’s essential, and all this is a is a moral foundation is a moral foundation that convinces people that I’m not, it’s not just about my soul, it’s not just about me, but it’s about, it’s about the world around me. And the minute we begin to reestablish a moral Foundation, and part of the problem we have is the moral foundation that’s supposed to be leading this our religious or religious types or religious leaders. But when we look around, a lot of them have discredited themselves in a variety of ways. So if you talk to young people today, a lot of people today when you mentioned religion, you know, they kind of look the other way. But to me, religion is simple love God and love your neighbor in the end. And that’s profoundly a profound direction that you got to kind of sift down into to figure out what all that means. What does it mean to love my neighbor? What does it mean to love God. But establishing a moral purpose is the first thing and the second thing is, this morning, I was looking at a biography of a CEO. And I noticed that he’s, he’s at the Boys and Girls Club. He’s an advisor to the Boy Scouts of America. These kinds of associations and groups, which used to be a critical part of our country, need to be reestablished again. Because they get reestablished for a purpose, then they have a moral underpinning. And then that moral underpinning fuels them with a desire to bring about the changes that we want/ No significant, great social change ever came from the top down, it always comes from the bottom up, Mark. So as we begin to establish these groups, and reject the notion that if I don’t hit a home run, I might as well not get on base with a single and have a moral underpinning over time, I have no doubt this can be fixed. But it’s a long road back, because it’s been a long road down.

Jeff Timmer 11:53
That’s a very interesting take on this. And, you know, some of the things that we’ve talked about Mark and I together and with other guests on this podcast is, you know, we’d love to get to a point where we’re arguing with each other, again, about what marginal tax rates should be. But we’ve got these bigger issues, not just with our politics, but with the politics and society and culture being so interwoven, and, you know, where what people watch and what where people shop is now dictated by, you know, which party they’re supporting. And we it is going to be a long road, and it’s going to take people who have a greater sense of purpose. And it, it’s it’s, it was, it was good to see a coalition like that form in 2020, a coalition that extended from, you know, Bernie Sanders and AOC to John Kasich is a pretty big coalition on the political spectrum. And it represents a great swath across America. So you know, I remain optimistic, I just worry that people don’t have the patience for the time it’s going to take.

Gov John Kasich 12:57
Well, another way to look at it is everybody is empowered. Everybody matters, everybody counts. So you guys do this podcast. And hopefully people listen to it or, you know, you go about your daily life, and you see something in the community that you know that that bothers you, or whatever, if we could convince people that getting together in groups to support a common cause where we live and where we work, is really matters. And to give you a good example, as I like to say, or somebody once said, you know, if the secretary of state or your trash man went on vacation, who would you miss more? So all things are local. And all things emanate from the bottom up and people’s ability to assert justice and righteousness. So Mark, you know, it’s, you know, you, it’s about speaking out, you remember that situation where they were yanking that guy off the airplane, and everybody went crazy. They were treating them like some kind of a rag doll. And they and everybody was up in arms about it. Well, why didn’t somebody speak out? Where was the person at the counter? Where were the passengers? I mean, it’s about all of us asserting ourselves at times when we may have to get out of our comfort zone. But that’s, that’s okay. That but that gives us an opportunity, all of us to be more powerful. And we tend to think, well, we don’t really matter. It’s the big chip, big cheese’s. It’s the elites that matter. No, frankly, we matter and the more that we can convince people that where they can begin to take action. And just I’ll give you one a good example of it. Look at Greta Thunberg. She’s a young school girl who, you know, just demanded the world pay attention to the environment. I mean, she’s she was just standing outside the legislature, I guess, in Sweden, and it became a global movement. So things come from the bottom up, and we admire a lot of the bottom up. You look at the people that are in Hong Kong right now trying to preserve their freedom. You know, there’s lots of examples of people who do remarkable things. Think about the people in Michigan right now, who were the COVID, nurses and what they’re doing to carve out a better, you know, a better life for somebody else Pretty, pretty amazing, pretty impressive. They just need to tell their story.

Mark Brewer 15:12
Governor, you made a great point about the need for a moral Foundation, I think in the profession that the three of us are a little bit more focused. We seem to have a real erosion of the belief in the fundamentals of democracy, like honoring election results. And one of the projects that Jeff and I are trying to engage in through this podcast and otherwise, is to, you know, have this basic sense of democracy. And the three of us can and do disagree pretty vehemently on policy. I think we all agree that we honor elections, right, and we move on, and we will compromise and work together. And then another election comes along, right. So part of the frame that we’re seeing in this country and on a state by state basis as well, is his whole devotion and believe that in democracy, that we’re going to honor election results, and not question them and not try to overturn them by mob rule or whatever means we see. Any thoughts on how we deal with that problem? Or your thoughts on that problem generally?

Gov John Kasich 16:11
Well, you know, I know that there I just read today, I guess a chunk of Republicans think the election was stolen, and you know, I just don’t buy it. So voices like ours have to be you have to speak out. And I don’t like the fact that some of these states are moving to making it more difficult for people to vote. I don’t I don’t agree with that. I think voting ought to be easy. But I also think, you know, it needs to be secure. So, you know, I think there’s reasonable things that we can do. In my state, you know, the state of Ohio, we’ve had early voting mail in voting. We’ve had curbside voting, we got dropboxes. I mean, we’ve had all those things. And if everybody did what we were doing here it would and we don’t have any problem with fraud or anything like that. So that’s a good standard, make it easy for people to vote, protect the sanctity of the election and accept the results and move on. You know, I I’m glad to see that in the NCAA tournament that Baylor ended up winning, and I didn’t notice that there Gonzaga is running around saying no, it was stolen from us.

Jeff Timmer 17:16
Those guys in Ann Arbor, though, they’re claiming it was stolen. That’s what those Wolverines will be like,

Gov John Kasich 17:21
And you know, they’re always, you know, I’m not going to go there. Michigan treated me very kindly. But you know, I did go to Ohio State. And I understand I’m excited that Michigan is going to is going to start playing football again, here in the next couple years.

Jeff Timmer 17:36
You know, Mark mentioned some of the things that we can all agree on. I think one other thing that the three of us could agree on is how much Mark sounds like Sherrod Brown when he talks. Something somebody else has pointed out in the past

Mark Brewer 17:48
One of my heroes from Ohio, Senator Brown. I think it’s time to take a little commercial break here if you don’t mind, Governor and we’ll continue the conversation after a short break.

Unknown Speaker 18:12
(Commercial break)

Jeff Timmer 19:18
We’re talking today with the former Ohio Governor John Kasich. And we are talking about the state of affairs not just in the Republican Party, but in our body politic in our culture here in America that is without question, there’s a divide and things are afraid and we can by having conversations like this, hopefully, you know work together for the the small d democracy even if we have partisan differences.

Gov John Kasich 19:52
You know, I’m tired of the term, you know, partisan differences and we look we’re all in this thing together. We’re all We’re all on a boat. And, you know, our goal should be What is it, that’s going to help the most amount of people to be more successful. So I think it’s also good to be able to go back and take a look at some of the principles that have guided you to see if they need to be updated or rejected. And if there’s something else that matters and, and, you know, to me, it’s just all pretty simple. And look for the truth, look for the facts. Sometimes that’s difficult to do, but to find all the facts, but you know, you can get to them if you’re interested in them. But what we want people to do is to just treat one another with some respect. And realize that a lot of these high brow things we’re debating really don’t matter as much is what happens right there on the block where you live, what happens in the school where your kids go, what happens at the university, what happens, you know, in any of the social gatherings, that that’s what we need to focus on. And I don’t think you go to too many parties where they’re having a big debate about marginal tax rates, except everybody’s in agreement that we’re all glad that the government doesn’t spend doesn’t is not as effective at spending everything that they currently have. I think we all customarily

Jeff Timmer 21:16
don’t go to parties like that twice.

Mark Brewer 21:18

Unknown Speaker 21:19
yeah, that’s for sure.

Mark Brewer 21:20
Governor, I can’t resist. You know, you’ve had long tenure in public service, the Congress, state house and other offices. And recently, your fellow Ohioan. John Boehner, has been reflecting on his life in public service. And I was wondering if you’d be willing to offer us some reflections. I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to read what Mr. Boehner has written and what he’s talking about in terms of his public life, whether you feel comfortable offering us any reflections on his career.

Gov John Kasich 21:52
Now, you mean, what do you what do I think John? I think John’s a good guy, he got a lot off his chest was written this book is not the kind of book I would write. But, you know, he, John’s, he’s, you know, unique person. He, he tells he tells it the way he thinks it is. And but you know, look, I’ve written a couple books, since you know, the in the Trump years, and what they really want you to do is they really want you to attack people. That’s what people want. And I’m not too much into that. I don’t see that that helps anything. For me, you know, that’s me. And I knew that because I wrote a book, it’s up to us 10 little ways in which we can all help our country, whatever. I knew people wouldn’t wouldn’t go crazy for it. I thought it was a good book. I think it’s more important today than it was when it was written, which was not that long ago, when I wrote Two Paths, you know, they wanted to know, oh, well, are you going to tell some nasty stories about Trump? No, what why do I want to do that? You know, why am I interested in trying to throw mud on somebody else? Because you know what? I don’t want them throwing mud on me. And and I’m not comfortable being able to do that. But I’m sure I’ve not seen anything really about John’s book. I’m sure you know, he’ll be out there. I don’t know. Is that out? I don’t even know if it’s out yet.

Jeff Timmer 23:18
I think excerpts are have been released. And, you know, one thing that does seem to bring a lot of Americans together as a disdain for Ted Cruz, that he disagrees. And then he has a book, that’s what’s gotten all the sensations. So, you know, I wanted to go back to something when we mentioned, you know, that the not throwing the mud that you just mentioned, you know, the simple act that back in 2016, when the Republican convention that nominated Trump was, you know, hosted right there in Cleveland. And in you resisted the temptation to you know, get on cable news and whatnot and blister Trump, when you pointedly weren’t endorsing him. And that set a good tone for exactly what you’re talking about you. The simple fact that you didn’t endorse him sent a louder message than if you had gone on cable news and, you know, taken to the circuit to speak.

Gov John Kasich 24:13
I made my case against him, but it’s not, you know, name calling or anything. I mean, I’m not like a shrinking violet, as I think you guys both know. You can’t be in politics as long as I was and be as successful as I was, by just being you know, some sort of mush. I’m not mush, but when it goes to trying to make personal attacks against somebody to demean them or to hurt them or to cancel them. That’s just not where I want to live. Because life is short. I’m not in public life right now. I mean, I’m still a public figure, but I don’t hold public office. And when I look back, I’m proud of what I’ve done. It was basically issues based and designed to give people a chance. If I was, you know, remembered for the fact that, you know, he said these nasty things now one of the problems will be some people remember me for going to the Democratic Convention. I mean, that’s such a minor part of what I’ve done in my lifetime. What I’d rather than focus on is how was he in Ohio? And how did he do the things he did to make sure that 600,000 people had healthcare? What did he do in Ohio, so that people felt as though they were all being listened to and being considered. You know, that’s the kind of stuff that I would prefer to be remembered for, than whether I went to some convention or not.

Jeff Timmer 25:34
And I just use the going to the convention or not going to convention, as it were, in 2016, as an example that, that spoke to larger issues of character, to me and in, you know, you and I spent a fair amount of time together back in 2015, and 16. And it didn’t surprise me, I don’t think it was a hard decision for you, I don’t think it was one that you would wrestled with then. But looking at what were there nearly two dozen other Republicans who had run for the nomination, who, you know, they immediately after saying, you know, having critiques and very strong disagreements, pivoted to, you know, because it was good for their, you know, their political careers. In a simple matter of character, I spoke to a larger, the larger good that you have, I think sought to accomplish in public life.

Gov John Kasich 26:25
Maybe Jeff, you can say that. When it gets into defining one’s own character, I think it’s probably better for somebody else to do it rather than yourself to be stuck talking about what? Great.

Jeff Timmer 26:39
I’m saying that

Gov John Kasich 26:42
before you drive your car up on the sidewalk somewhere, you know, it’s where we all are deeply flawed individuals, everybody I’ve ever met has flaws, some more than others. I did what I needed to do. I wasn’t going to go somewhere where I didn’t think it was appropriate. And let that speak for itself. You know, I think we do better when we are good examples by actions rather than by words.

Mark Brewer 27:12
Following up on that vein, Governor can give us some exact examples of people you think, in public life currently are good role models are the kind of person that you’d feel comfortable supporting, or, or even voting for, from both parties, perhaps?

Gov John Kasich 27:26
Well, look, I don’t want to get into specific names about this person or that person. What I what I try to do when I vote is I try to figure out is this person a uniter? Or are they a divider, and if they’re going to be a divider, they’re not going to get my vote, regardless of what party they’re in. And there are a lot I mean, there’s people out there I admire I like Christie Todd Whitman, a former governor of New Jersey, I like Susan Molinari. You know, I, I like her a lot. I mean, I like I like Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania, Tom Davis, but I’m not in Congress anymore to sit around and study who these folks are. It’s like trying to watch a movie star and trying to figure out what they must be like, I prefer to know them before I can say, you know what, I really think about them because I don’t really know them. But there were a lot of people I work with Christopher Shay’s a terrific guy. And I was just on a Zoom call with a bunch of 30 Democrats from the class of 1974. A lot of them are people I like, you know, Richard Gephardt, Tom Downey, Marty Rousseau, these are these are all people that though that were my friends, and still are my friends. And so that that was the good thing about Congress is that I was able to have people on both sides of the aisle. And you know, here in Ohio, I, you know, there’s a lady running for Congress right now, Nina Turner, who I spoke very favorably about, because of the work she did with me on community and police and guns. I mean, you know, I, I like her a lot. So these are people that I work with, and those are ones that I can speak most clearly about.

Jeff Timmer 29:02
In some of the work I was doing last year with the national coalition that we put together called Republicans and independents provided we work very closely with with Christy Whitman. And folks like Mickey Edwards and people like that. I know you serve with them in government, these are people who, you know, come from a starting point that I wish more people in public life. And I know we’re nearing the end of your time here and so thank you very much. I

Gov John Kasich 29:18
How is your podcast going is anybody listening to it? Or is it just your your own family, your relatives?

Mark Brewer 29:36
Well, it’s gonna be our family and yours? No, we were.

Gov John Kasich 29:40
I don’t think my family will be listening.

Jeff Timmer 29:44
I can’t get own family to listen, quite honestly. We’re doing pretty good all things considering what this is

Gov John Kasich 29:51
You know I’m about to start a podcast by the way. Yeah. Yep. And it’s gonna be very unique. I’m doing it with a with a comedian. His name is Jordan Klepper. And Jordan is a protege of Jon Stewart. And we’re excited to get started on that. I’ll start in about a month. And it’s not going to be political. I mean, we may discuss politics, but it’s basically going to be a podcast about what makes people tick. What makes people tick and interesting subjects and a whole variety of very areas

Jeff Timmer 30:24
I like that. It’s somewere along the vein of what Obama and Springsteen are doing together

Gov John Kasich 30:31
We’ll be much better than than they were.

Jeff Timmer 30:32
Clearly we’re aimed at a more of a political insider audience. We are now i n the top 5% of nationwide podcasts. But that’s still a a five.

Gov John Kasich 30:46
Good for you guys. I’m excited for you and keep it going. Hopefully, I’ll see you sometime in person, you know, we’re getting through COVID now. And, of course, you’re having a tough time in Michigan right now. We’re aware of it and wish people would just go and get vaccinated as quickly as they possibly can.

Mark Brewer 31:03
Right. We know a lot of second homes up here in Michigan, you’re always welcome up here.

Jeff Timmer 31:10
But one final, what are you listening to nowadays? What’s on your playlist? I know, back in 2016, it was 21 Pilots on a heavy rotation.

Gov John Kasich 31:18
Well, they weren’t on a heavy rotation, but I did listen to them. But I mean, right now the song I like that I’ve been listening to is by the Foo Fighters will called waiting on a war. So check it out.

Jeff Timmer 31:30
Thanks for that. And thanks.

Gov John Kasich 31:31
Alright guys.

Mark Brewer 31:33
Thank you.

Gov John Kasich 31:33
See ya. Thanks. Yep. Thanks for everything. And Mark. Good luck to you guys.

Mark Brewer 31:38
Thank you very much. Good luck to you. All right. We’ll see ya. Thanks.

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