I don’t like John Kasich as a politician. I don’t know him personally, but as a conservative it’s hard for me to imagine ever voting for a ticket that included him. Then again, this is a strange election cycle so ruling out anything is naive.
The announcement that Ted Cruz is going to suspend his campaign in New Mexico and Oregon while Kasich will suspend in Indiana has drawn the natural speculation of how deep the deal goes between the two non-Trumps left in the GOP race. Based upon what we know so far and in reading between the lines, it’s very likely that this can all be taken at face value. Kasich has no chance of getting a single delegate in winner-take-all Indiana and Cruz will get delegates in proportional Oregon and New Mexico whether he campaigns there or not.
Then again, it could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
Here’s why it would make sense:
- Kasich can help tremendously in Ohio, the “must win” state for the Presidency.
- Cruz could use balance on the ticket (not that I want balance, but for general election voters having two rock-ribbed conservatives could be spooky).
- Combined delegates at the convention would make Trump’s defeat on the second ballot more palatable to his supporters. That’s not really how it works, of course, as Kasich throwing his weight behind Cruz does not bind delegates to vote for him, but the perception is important.
- It could prevent a Trump-Kasich ticket which may be the only way that Trump would have a chance on a second ballot.
We won’t bring up the Marco Rubio factor. If he were to become Trump’s VP, it would complicate things. Personally, I’d rather see him over Kasich on a Cruz ticket, but I don’t have a say in the matter.
One might wonder how those of us who really don’t like left-leaning Kasich could possibly accept him as VP. Here’s the thing, and this is important to understand: a Vice President is like a backup quarterback. They don’t see much action unless the big guy goes down. The actual duties of the Vice President are minimal. They wield less power than most cabinet positions. I definitely wouldn’t be comfortable if, God forbid, Cruz won the election and then something happened to him that put Kasich in the big chair, but if it’s what it takes to win the nomination and election, it’s a chance worth taking.
The speculation will be broad going forward. Trump and his surrogates will whine about it all being unfair and desperate; no big surprise there. At the end of the day, this is likely just a pair of candidates doing what they think is best to help them win the nomination.
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