2016 GOP candidate and Ohio Governor John Kasich is set to make a televised statement at 5pm this afternoon. The New York Times, CNN, NBC News, and others report that he will announce the suspension of his campaign for president.
Kasich tried throughout this bizarre election cycle to position himself as the reasonable moderate in a horde of seething right-wingers. On the debate stage, he cultivated an air of optimism and levelheadedness, but couldn’t help but be swallowed up by bigger personalities. Kasich’s best moments came across as boring, and at his worst, he seemed disingenuous. His nice-guy persona covered up a history of extreme social conservatism, most evident in his myriad efforts to block access to abortion in Ohio.
While perhaps Kasich deserves some credit for his perseverance, one has to wonder how he honestly expected to win in the first place. He often cited polls that indicated he was the only GOP candidate capable of beating Hillary Clinton in a general election, but he failed to garner much enthusiasm, even as the Republican establishment scrambled to find a viable alternative to Donald Trump. Triumphing only his home state of Ohio, Kasich’s attention turned towards winning on the second ballot at a contested convention. Just last week, he and Ted Cruz made an alliance of sorts to split their efforts in the remaining state primaries in order to stop Trump from reaching the magic number of 1,237 delegates. It didn’t work.
With Cruz ending his presidential bid after yesterday’s Indiana primary, Donald Trump is now the lone Republican in the 2016 race. It seems the Party of Lincoln is finally united, but this is hardly the sort of union that Lincoln imagined.
Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Governor John Kasich celebrates in front of his wife Karen (L) and daughter Reese (2nd L) after winning the Ohio primary Republican presidential election at a campaign rally in Berea, Ohio March 15, 2016. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein