Kasich Tonight Launches 2016 Bid, Just In Case.

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John Kasich ran for president in 2000, might again in 2016, 2020, 2024...

The Just-In-Case Kasich 2016 Campaign begins tonight.

Governor John Kasich gives a somewhat anticipated speech tonight to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. He will proclaim robust support  for Mitt Romney.  He will say the former Massachusetts governor and former successful businessman is just what America needs to turn itself around.

But you have to wonder if a just little part of John Kasich hopes Mitt Romney loses to President Obama in November.

So tonight’s speech will also tout  John Kasich’s record as governor of Ohio.

Just in case Romney loses.

His campaign website promotes the speech this way:

Once again Ohio is the key battleground state in this year’s election and both Governor John Kasich and U.S. Senator Rob Portman have been tapped to speak at this year’s Republican National Convention. Thanks to Republican governing, and in spite of strong headwinds from Washington, Ohio now has a balanced budget, is reducing taxes and has created over 120,000 new jobs since Gov. Kasich was sworn in last year. Please tune in …. ..to watch Gov. Kasich share Ohio’s success with the rest of the nation.

Note the two words missing from that promotion: Mitt. Romney.

Here are three reasons tonight’s speech could launch the Just In Case Kasich 2016 Campaign.

1.  Candidates have long used convention speeches to launch future presidential bids: Ronald Reagan did it in 1976. Bill Clinton did it in 1988 (despite falling flat) and Barack Obama did it  in 2004. Heck, Romney’s red meat 2008 convention speech helped make him the GOP favorite this cycle.

2.  John Kasich will say he’s not looking at the White House but at re-election as governor in 2014.  Yes, re-election is a priority, but the man ran for president in 2000 when nobody outside of Washington and Westerville knew who he was.  If he ran then, it’s very likely he’ll run again as the successful and popular (he hopes) chief executive of a swing state.

3. If Mitt Romney wins, the next time John Kasich could hope to run for president is 2020, because it’s doubtful Kasich would provide a 2016  primary challenge to Romney. In 2020  Kasich will be 68 years old. And if you look that far ahead and a President Romney wins re-election in 2016, you have to think Vice President Paul Ryan would be a huge favorite for the GOP nomination. 2016 might be John Kasich’s best chance at becoming president.

Now there will be plenty of other Republicans trying out the convention stage – Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Nikki Haley, and ahem, Donald Trump. And this is all wild speculation. But it’s in writing.

Just in Case.

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