Kasich as the two-seed also solves, or at least ameliorates, another problem for Republicans. Down-ballot candidates are worried about having to endorse or disavow Trump. The right answer could be: “I think Kasich will balance out Trump, and Trump’s decision to pick him makes me more confident in his judgment.”
In a potential Trump-Kasich administration, the vice president could serve as the chief liaison to Capitol Hill. Kasich appears to have mellowed, at least a little, since the days when he was known for having a bit of an edge. Just the olive branch of picking a deal-making congressional veteran would surely be a welcome offer. Though it infuriated his own party at times, Vice President Joe Biden’s ability to talk to old friends in Congress helped grease the skids for a series of Obama-signed agenda items, including budget, tax and nuclear disarmament matters.
Of course, after a lifetime in politics and public service, Kasich has some baggage. And Democrats are already pointing to things like his recent comments on young women avoiding parties to prevent sexual assault as stains on his record that will be hard to remove.
But the Kasich move — particularly if it’s choreographed to telegraph consensus within the party — would go a long way toward unifying Republicans whom Trump will need behind him to defeat Hillary Clinton. It’s such an obvious move that Trump probably won’t do it. But it makes a lot of sense for a lot of reasons.