Kasich goes his own way

Once upon a time, Gov. Krispy Kreme was my CPB – Chief Pretend Boyfriend. I imagined myself under the boardwalk down by the sea-ee-eeee yeah, on a blanket with my baby, swooning in passion as the waves crashed upon our bodies to the beat of The Boss blaring from my Hello Kitty boom box. We were like Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster in “From Here to Eternity” – if Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster were two beached whales, that is.

But what with Bridgegate and the capitulation to The Donald, it’s become harder to sustain the fantasy of being with my tubby little Luv Guv. So I banished Gov. Krispy Kreme from my heart, and instead promoted my WPB (Weekend Pretend Boyfriend), Rafael Nadal, to CPB status. Meanwhile, I elevated Colin Kaepernick to WPB. (For the uninitiated, a Chief Pretend Boyfriend is more of a meat-and-potatoes guy you can take to the Rotary, while a Weekend Pretend Boyfriend is reserved for steamy goings-on at a cheap – make that Hamptons-cheap – motel of the mind in Amagansett.)

Still, I always held out the hope that one day I would find another political Everyman to be my CPB, and I think I’ve found him at last – Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Even though the Republican National Convention is being held in his state, he has refused to close ranks with the presumptive nominee, Donald Trump, unlike Gov. Chris Christie.

For that Kasich has been labeled a traitor who’s harming Repubs in his key battleground state. But I like a man with a little James Dean rebel in him.

There are two ways to look at loyalty – as a quality that must be maintained at all cost or as one that is bestowed relative to being merited. Clearly, Kasich believes it’s not worth expending his political capital on Trump.

Here’s what he had to say to the Illinois delegation at a Cleveland steakhouse. (He has vowed not to set foot in the convention’s Quicken Loans Arena):

"Really, an inclusive reform agenda for the Republican Party is where my head is. You know, we don't want to cut anybody out. We are a big tent, though we have to act like it, and we have to have ideas and policies that allow us to expand who we are as Republicans, while not giving up our principles.”

Hey, Guv, how do you feel about Springsteen?