It was never about you, John Kasich. It was never, ever, ever about you.
You thought it was, didn’t you? When you announced your candidacy for the presidency in July 2015, you thought that Republican voters would gravitate to a Midwestern governor who was “nice” and “moderate” and “not a flaming pile of hair.” Never mind that you are actually not very nice, Mister “Used a Speech to Yell About a Three-Year-Old Dangerous Driving Ticket,” or that, as a former Fox News commentator and a governor who signed a budget requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound, you aren’t very moderate, either.
I guess some people thought that you were “reasonable,” because in comparison to Ted Cruz and Donald “Avoiding Venereal Diseases Was My Personal Vietnam” Trump, you do seem reasonable. The same way that when compared to being shot to death, being merely stabbed seems “reasonable.” But those people were wrong. You were never reasonable. You were a “Newt Gingrich” conservative. That’s not a good thing.
Then again, you were wrong, too. You thought that people liked you, the candidate who hugged people and wore cardigan sweaters and believed that everyone had a God-given purpose (well, not everyone — only the people you like). And when you placed second in New Hampshire and won our great home state of Ohio, you thought you had a real chance.
You thought fucking wrong, John Kasich.
See, this was never about you. This was about Ted Cruz and that overripe salmon roll, Donald Trump. You were endorsed by the New York Times purely because their editorial board looked at you and were like, “fine, whatever.” When you placed second in New Hampshire, you were almost 56,000 votes behind Donald Trump.* If that is a win, then congrats to the Confederate States of America for their second-place “win” in the Civil War.
And then you won Ohio, and for some reason you took that to mean “I have a mandate for victory.” You did not, John Kasich. You had the good people of Ohio voting in an open primary to stop Donald Trump by whatever means necessary, even if that meant filling you with unearned optimism like a giant conservative water balloon. You had Ohioans from Xenia to Cleveland to my hometown of Cincinnati saying, “Well, he’s … he’s not Trump or Cruz, so … ” (Oh, and you also had Democrats crossing party lines to vote against Trump, too.) The voters never wanted you in the first place, John Kasich.
What followed was a binge-eating tour for the ages, and your retconning Passover to a bunch of Orthodox Jews. You finished behind Marco Rubio in Arizona — and Marco Rubio had already dropped out of the race (and still has more pledged delegates than you!). You wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money on your little adventure.
You were pathetic and desperate, waiting for Republicans to just take you home out of pure pity. You were waiting for them to finally see that you’d been here the whole time, wearing your sneakers and your t-shirt, sitting in the bleachers. Well, they saw you, John Kasich. And they said, “No.”
So go home, John Kasich. Go back to Columbus. Go tell Urban Meyer to throw the goddamn ball against Michigan State, and go apologize to the people of Ohio who are too polite to tell you to get on I-75 South and get the fuck out.
*To put that in numerical terms, you lost by a number equivalent to roughly 5 percent of the population of the goddamn state.