Bush Caravan Leaves Two More Behind

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John Kasich is being a lot better sport about it than Bob Smith. The young Republican congressman from Ohio is dropping his nonstarting bid for president – and throwing his support behind George W. Bush. Kasich has quarreled with the GOP establishment before for going soft on tax cuts and fiscal conservatism, and is indeed quitting Congress in 2000 for parts unknown. But TIME congressional correspondent Jay Carney says Kasich – who found both money and attention hard to come by in George W.’s shadow – knows where his future lies. Hence the good-sport endorsement. "There’s a certain degree of excitement attached to him because he’s so young and energetic," he says. "Certainly there’s reason to think he’ll be back for more at some point down the road, and he’ll do it as a Republican."

Bush, meanwhile, is still fine-tuning his singing voice. The far-and-away front-runner dumped his communications manager, David Beckwith (OK, Beckwith resigned) — "stylistic differences," Bush said Tuesday. "He's a good friend of mine," Bush said of the former aide to Dan Quayle. "It just didn't work." Beckwith’s farewell to the anointed was gracious and gaffe-free — "I'm convinced George W. Bush will be our president and a great one," read the news release. Apparently John Kasich and the rest of the GOP establishment are convinced too.