When New York held its recent presidential primary, Rep. Peter T. King was quite specific about his sentiments: He cast his ballot for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, but that didn't mean he was endorsing his candidacy.
"If I thought that John Kasich had a viable chance, I'd come out and endorse him," the Republican lawmaker said on MSNBC, in effect tossing a bouquet of wilted flowers at the struggling White House hopeful.
If Kasich felt chastened, or confused, he was not alone. That odd linguistic formulation has been heard throughout this fraught election season, introducing a new dodge into the lexicon of tortured political locution.
Sens. Jim Risch of Idaho and...