Not only has Republican strategist John Weaver seen this movie before, he has producer credits in the trilogy.
As the plot unfolds, a GOP presidential candidate with crossover appeal and a knack for speaking outside his "ideological zone" wins princely mainstream media praise and pundit love. It's the ending to the story that has tended to fall flat.
In 2008, Arizona Sen. John McCain, starring pluckily as "The Maverick," parted with Weaver midway through the primary; winning the Republican nomination with a reshuffled leadership team; and then getting trounced by President Barack Obama in the general election.
In 2012, the presidential campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.—with Weaver serving as its top strategist—had Team Obama biting its nails from the early going, but proved unable to connect with conservatives and flopped in the primary.
Now comes Weaver's threequel—currently playing at select theaters in New Hampshire—which features Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the former congressman, Fox News host and Lehman Brothers executive, who is trying to parlay his own bit of recent good press into something more than his preceding center-right media darlings could.