By Monday morning, Kasich was already well on his way to undermining that alliance.
"I’ve never told [Indiana voters] not to vote for me," Kasich told reporters in Philadelphia. "They ought to vote for me. But I'm not over there campaigning and spending resources."
Then on Tuesday morning in an appearance on the "Today Show," Kasich reiterated that "I'm not telling people anything in Indiana because I'm not campaigning in Indiana." He then noted "I'm not out to stop Donald Trump" before adding: "I think you're having a hard time figuring this out."
Er. So, Governor Kasich, we need to have a talk about who is confused here. And what the word "alliance" actually means.
I am on the record as being very skeptical that the Cruz-Kasich deal will actually work -- for lots of reasons. But I am absolutely certain it won't work if one of the two participants doesn't want to be a part of it. And, judging from Kasich's statements over the last 24 hours, he either doesn't like or doesn't understand the deal.
Which is his right. But usually not less than 24 hours after the deal was initially struck.
And let's be plain about this: The ONLY reason this alliance was struck is to keep Trump from the nomination. Cruz and Kasich are not natural allies or anything close. They share little common ground on issues or approach. They have no personal relationship to speak of. This is 100 percent a marriage of political convenience designed to stop someone whom both Cruz and Kasich see as their common (and bigger) enemy.
Second, the ONLY way this alliance works to accomplish that goal is if lots of Kasich voters in Indiana vote for Cruz. While I am skeptical it will work at all, the only chance it has of working is if Kasich explicitly urges his voters to be for Cruz next Tuesday in Indiana. Saying things like "I never told 'em not to vote for me" is the exact opposite of what Kasich should be doing if he wants the alliance to accomplish its stated goal.
Here's the thing: If you are going to go for broke on a deal like this, then GO. FOR. IT. Don't make a deal and then do everything you can to make sure everyone knows you didn't really want to do the deal and aren't planning to stick by the basic principles of it.
Whether or not throwing in his lot with Cruz was what Kasich wanted, it's where he is now -- at least through Indiana. Kasich needs to understand that. And soon. Or the whole alliance will fritter into nothingness, and Trump will almost certainly be the party's presidential nominee.