To be fair, that’s not exactly what he said, but when you listen to the interview it’s pretty hard to say for sure what was going on behind those steely eyes. On the one hand, former New York Governor George Pataki is not only out of the race for the GOP nomination, but he recently endorsed John Kasich. But at the same time, when you actually listen to the interview his support for Kasich sounds almost halfhearted and he’s awfully quick to point out that the convention could just as easily nominate someone who isn’t even in the running right now. (The Hill)

Former GOP presidential hopeful George Pataki said Monday that Republicans could nominate someone at their convention this summer who didn’t run in the 2016 presidential primary.

“I don’t think it has to be someone who was a candidate,” Pataki, who ended his White House campaign in December, said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” …

“I think, if it comes down to the convention where Trump doesn’t have a majority and after the first ballot the delegates can say, ‘Who would be the best president? Who can unite the party and win?’ And if that person is available, I think we should nominate that person,” Pataki said Monday.

“I don’t care if they ran for president or not,” he added.

You can watch the video at the link and judge for yourself. (Embedding MSNBC clips here is a nightmare I won’t drag you into.) Pataki isn’t throwing Kasich under the bus by any means, but it’s also not exactly what you’d call the testimony of a loyal foot solider. If he feels that Ohio’s governor is the man for the job and he’s already both on the ballot and in possession of a handful of delegates, why even summon up the specter of a nominee not named Kasich, Cruz or Trump?

Frankly, the entire prospect of a contested convention is turning a lot of the coverage into something which resembles a scene out of Game of Thrones. People still seem to be counting on Donald Trump not being able to pull in 1,237 delegates on the first ballot and enough back room shenanigans to drive him down further on any subsequent votes. But who is the clear winner on the next go round? I know the default answer is supposed to be Ted Cruz, but once the assembly of men in togas finish pulling the daggers out of Trump’s torso, how much loyalty will there be in the room when so many fresh and exciting possibilities are suddenly up for grabs?

At that point all bets may be off. If there are groups of power brokers in there who were never all that fond of the Texas senator to begin with and they’re not so sure about Kasich as a guy who faced the test of the voters and won basically nothing, the entire “guy on a white horse” scenario suddenly comes back into play. Perhaps a seasoned veteran with a nice, moderate record who won’t offend anyone suddenly begins looking more viable again. So why not a former governor from New York?

Or perhaps he’s not thinking that at all. But it doesn’t take much of a stretch of the imagination to picture it. That’s not a very satisfying scenario I’ve painted for you though. Instead, let’s turn to something far more exciting. Walter Shapiro at Roll Call explains today how two scenarios play out. In one of them, Pataki received the nomination on the 17 ballot at the primary. But the ensuing split in the party causes a three way rumble in November with no candidate having the requisite number of electoral votes to be sworn in. In that event, Liz Cheney winds up deciding who the next President is. And she might pick Hillary Clinton.

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