Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… President Obama has received a heavily guarded advanced screening of the newest season of "Game of Thrones," the show's creators revealed. That perk is really the only explanation as to why, like, 100 people ran for president this cycle.
'16 from 30,000: John Kasich's campaign is growing frustrated with the anti-Trump movement for what they claim is its transparent transformation into a pro-Ted Cruz movement, NBC News' Leigh Ann Caldwell and Kailani Koenig report. The Kasich camp's not-so-subtle message is that the effort has not given the Ohio governor support in states where he could make gains against the GOP frontrunner. Sure, there is evidence to support that complaint -- for instance, the stop Trump efforts are essentially ignoring New York so far, where Cruz is in third place and where a strong performance by Trump could leave him with all of the state's 95 delegates. And other anti-Trump groups, like the Club for Growth, have expressly supported Cruz. But Team Kasich's complaints would hold a lot more weight if the candidate had been able to win more than one state so far. In fact, he still trails Marco Rubio, who dropped out of the race on March 15, in delegates. March 15, coincidentally, is also the last time Kasich gained a delegate. So the Stop Trump movement's gravitation to Cruz is not a matter of favoritism but practicality. And though many in the GOP believe a two-term swing state governor would fare better in the general election than a firebrand conservative, Kasich's window to establish himself as the primary anti-Trump alternative has largely closed.
POPPING ON NBC POLITICS
John Kasich's campaign feels the stop-Trump movement seems to have morphed into pro-Cruz movement, NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell and Kailani Koenig report.
With or without Paul Ryan, a "white knight" at the GOP convention is unlikely, NBC's Marianna Sotomayor reports.
Bernie Sanders was cheered like a rock star while visiting striking Verizon employees in Brooklyn on Wednesday.
Hillary Clinton encouraged voters to repudiate the "bigotry" of Trump and Cruz during a speech to the National Action Network.
And from First Read: Why Hillary Clinton was the real winner in Paul Ryan's no-go.
FOR THE RECORD…
"I'm a 21st century thinker. As somebody said, 'You're really a millennial in an older man's body.'"
-- John Kasich to reporters while campaigning in Catonsville, Maryland.
Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in New York City. Trump also campaigns in the Empire State.
John Kasich joins Chris Matthews for a town hall airing at 7 p.m. ET on MSNBC.
Ted Cruz sits down with Chuck Todd for a town hall airing at 8 p.m. on MSNBC.