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Kasich needs to amplify that statement on marriage redefinition

I really want to hear Ohio Gov. John Kasich say more about his "time to move on" stance on marriage redefinition.

I've always liked him, and I sense that he could be a winner in 2016- especially with Hillary Clinton, the Democrats' only half-way credible candidate, in the process of imploding. He's a pragmatist with the ability to appeal to people beyond the small minority of fanatics which Republican true believers fanaticize are a majority of the American people. He's a centrist who is more concerned with reality and with solving problems than with an ideological narrative.

We need politicians like that the way a man marooned in the Sahara Desert needs water.

As Rebecca Berg points out, he's not about to make much headway here in Iowa, where voters of both parties like their meat raw and their politicians foaming at the mouth. But he's in third place and closing in on Jeb Bush in New Hampshire, and although I was somewhat put off by his "the Court has decided, so let's move on" line about marriage redefinition in the first debate, maybe he only means that it's time to talk about other things. Historically he has favored a constitutional amendment protecting the right of states to restrict marriage to one man and one woman, and I'd really like to know whether he still feels that way.

If he does, and is simply saying that we need to work on drawing people together rather than hitting the hot-button issues that people in Iowa are so fond of, he could really, really tempt me away from Jeb, who seems to share the familial talent for sticking his foot in his mouth and who is- whether he should be or not- handicapped by having a brother who remains extremely unpopular with the electorate.

Kasich might well emerge as the anti-Trump, the candidate who offers substance where the Donald and many of the hard-Right Republicns offer only bluster- and who could actually win the presidency and accomplish something. Trump and Cruz and Rand Paul, for example, can do neither.

But I want to know more about this marriage redefinition thing. Is he advocating surrender, or only a tactical retreat and a general cooling of our national jets? Is he saying that we should stop being concerned about the fate of society's most basic institution, or only that we should stop screaming at each other about it and lower our voices a bit? The answer to that question could tell us whether he's exactly what the nation needs right now, or just another politician playing to the polls, differing from Ted Cruz and Donald Trump only in that the polls he's looking at are for the general election rather than for the Republican primaries.

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