After the New Hampshire Republican primary last year, there were three plainly obvious candidates in clear lanes to possibly win the party’s nomination.
But among them was even more obviously not John Kasich.
In nearly every state except Kasich’s own, Trump, Cruz, and Rubio topped the final results.
And now, when the party is more united behind President Trump than ever before since his candidacy became a reality, Kasich refuses to disavow the possibility of running against Trump in the 2020 Republican primary.
This could get interesting.
Here’s more from Hot Air…
Via WaPo, I’m taking this semi-seriously only because Kasich proved once before that he’s willing to run a totally futile campaign against Trump. The prospect of losing badly in state after state doesn’t seem to bother him the way it bothers other pols. Besides, his term as governor expires in 2019. He’ll be 67 years old, unemployed, with no statewide office available to him unless and until Sherrod Brown comes up for reelection again in 2024. And Brown might lose to a Republican next year, effectively blocking any path Kasich has to the Senate down the road.
Primarying Trump may be his last chance to exert political influence, and political influence is important to Kasich. Remember this from November, two weeks after the election?
What does he have to lose by primarying Trump?
MAHER: You wouldn’t challenge him as a sitting president?
KASICH: That’s so — it’s so speculative. And look, I’m going to finish my term in 18 months as governor of our state, pull the state together and get it to do better and better and better. That’s what I’m all about — and giving everybody a shot. And then I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to keep a voice, but I can’t predict to you — I never thought I would be governor, I never thought I’d go back into politics. So, what I look for is, ‘What is it I’m supposed to do? What is it I’m supposed to do in my lifetime to build a better world or build a better community or whatever?’ And so I can’t tell you what that’s going to be, and I’m not plotting and scheming. I’m rooting for him to do well, Bill, for the same reason I root for a pilot on my airplane to do well. Okay? He’s the president.
RCP asked Republican strategists if they think Kasich would undertake something as quixotic as primarying a president who’s popular within his party. Verdict: Uh, sure. He’s John Kasich.
“Do I think John Kasich would primary Donald Trump? Absolutely. John Kasich would do that,” said one Republican strategist who has worked with the governor…
“I guarantee you, there is someone in the administration thinking about an ambassadorship for that guy,” said a GOP strategist who worked on a rival 2016 presidential campaign…
At an event Friday at a bookstore in Northwest Washington, D.C., one young woman who identified herself as a Democrat asked Kasich if he would consider running for president again in 2020.
“I’m going to give you my wife’s phone number,” Kasich said, to laughs. “I don’t know what I’m going to be doing. The only thing I know is, my future’s ahead of me.”