7/20/16 No Show
Ohio’s Republican governor is not taking part in the GOP Convention in Cleveland.
Here’s what’s happening behind the headlines.
John Kasich said he’s skipping the convention because he doesn’t support Donald Trump. He’s the first governor since at least 1976 to miss his own party’s in-state convention.
[Other high-profile absentees from the convention include former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, candidate Jeb Bush, and the two most recent GOP presidential candidates, Mitt Romney and John McCain.]
Some view Kasich as a sore loser. He continued campaigning long after he was statistically eliminated from winning the nomination. And unlike most candidates, Kasich refused to release his delegates to Trump.
[There were serious questions raised regarding Kasich’ end-goal throughout the primary election season. He was eliminated from consideration as the party nominee very early in the primary season. Some viewed him as playing the role of spoiler in an effort to keep Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio from seriously challenging Trump.]
Here’s the irony. Although he’s not on the convention agenda, Kasich has been in Cleveland all week long. He’s been speaking to several state delegations. He’s kind of like the guy without a prom date hanging around the school gym chatting up the girls as they arrive with their dates.
One school of thought is Kasich is anticipating — and perhaps hoping for — a Hillary Clinton victory. Kasich may be positioning himself to run against her in four years.
But the strategy fails if Trump wins. Or if Trump narrowly loses with the swing state of Ohio going to Clinton. In that case, Republican voters would likely never forgive Kasich as the man who helped elect Hillary Clinton president.
In November, we’ll know if Kasich’s strategy worked.