Posts Tagged ‘Brokered Convention’

Delegate Drama: Brokered Convention Still Feasible

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Brokered Convention Still Possible?

I just received this video via email, and I thought I should share this with readers because it provides an interesting report on the matter of delegate counts, and whether this primary is really over after all.  More, it provides some interesting tidbits on the activities of the RNC.  As you know, Ron Paul is still in the race, as is Mitt Romney, and the reason that’s important is because RNC Chairman Reince Priebus has directed staff to “open up channels of communications” between Romney’s campaign and the RNC. That would most definitely seem to violate the RNC’s rules while there are more than one contestant in the race.  We’ve known the RNC was in the tank for Romney for some time, but once again, this serves as further evidence of how they will do anything to advance their chosen candidate.  Here’s the video report from Ben Swann on Cincinnati’s WXIX News:

As you can see from this report, if the “unit rule” isn’t applied, then Mitt Romney may be looking at an open convention after all.  Look out!  “It ain’t over ’til it’s over…”

Swann also provided the link to thereal2012delegatecount.com in the course of his report.  At present, the count shows 697 delegates for Romney, but he needs 1144.  It would provide the irony of ironies if Ron Paul actually wound up forcing a brokered convention.

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Why a Brokered Convention Offers Conservatives Real Hope

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Should We Fear It?

At this point, it doesn’t much matter if you favor Newt Gingrich, as I do, or whether you like Rick Santorum, but if you’ve come to see Mitt Romney as being nearly as bad in some respects as the President we all hope to replace, you might wish to consider getting excited about a “brokered” or “open” convention.  The mathematical realities are hard to ignore.  Of all the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney has a substantial delegate lead, but he still needs to get to 1144, and for the rest of us, the question isn’t merely how to get our own preferred candidate into the top slot, but how to prevent Romney from managing to steal away with it.  The key to doing so will be to get out the vote in favor of Gingrich or Santorum, but how do we do that?  Many conservatives have given up, and in the face of the endless waves of well-funded Romney attack campaigns against the other two, many voters are turned off.  This is Romney’s plan:  Disparage, divide, depress and conquer.  When you consider what he faces, it’s easy to understand why he must follow this approach:  If conservative turn-out swelled at the polls, he’d be done and gone quickly.

Members of the GOP establishment like to say that a brokered convention is too disorderly, and that it puts the party into chaos, but what they really fear is that on the floor of the convention, conservatives might well find their voice and unite behind a non-establishment candidate.  As some have pointed out, in 1920, Warren G. Harding came from single-digit obscurity to capture the nomination in a brokered convention.  In 1860, on the third vote, we got Abraham Lincoln in a brokered convention.  In 1976, we came within a whisker of a true brokered convention and nearly got Ronald Reagan four years earlier.  Imagine all the pain the country would have avoided, but then again, had we not gotten Carter, we’d have absolutely nobody to whom we could compare Barack Obama’s miserable record as president.  The fact is that brokered conventions often serve to set things right in the Republican party, and I don’t think there’s any reason to fear it.  Instead, I believe conservatives should view a brokered convention as the last chance for a “do-over” when it’s clear the party establishment is pushing a flawed, uninspiring candidate like Mitt Romney.

For the rest of us to have a shot, whether you  like Newt or Rick, the answer must be that we should rise in both camps to do battle against the establishment.  I realize that we’ve been trained to compete with one another as rivals, and I understand why the Gingrich camp wants the Santorum camp to give over, and why the inverse is also true.  It makes sense.  We’re Americans.  We naturally seek the advantage in order to win.  We’re good at competition, but I think this year that our competitive tendencies are being used against us.  Every time something comes over the transom that is devastating to Mitt Romney, suddenly we’re faced with a story of lesser import aimed at one of the others, and what always gets lost in the shuffle is Romney.  You don’t need special insight to observe it in action.  After the disaster of “Etch-a-Sketch,” the Romney camp had to find some way to blunt it, so they cooked up narratives about Santorum’s remarks twice in four days, and packaged them so as to give an impression that was a misrepresentation of what Santorum said, even if  we admit he said it clumsily, or with a lack of precision.

It’s not like the Gingrich camp hasn’t experienced this several times before.  If any should be able to see when the mud-slinging is about to commence in earnest, it should be the Gingrich supporters because they’ve had more dirt shoveled in their direction than any Republican candidate for any office since Sarah Palin was the VP pick in 2008.  The phony narrative about Newt’s ex-wife, and the whole week of ginned-up nonsense leading up to Florida should remind Gingrich supporters how conveniently the dirt is heaped in our direction in order to help Romney escape his own latest troubles.  This has happened so often and with such predictable regularity that when I see Romney has managed to step in “it,” I begin immediately to watch instead for where the attack against one of the others will originate.

Don’t be fooled by this, and don’t let yourselves become discouraged. As Speaker Gingrich has pointed out, if we get through the last primaries in June without a clear nominee, this really does become something of an etch-a-sketch in terms of the race.  We’ll have two months of an intense pre-convention run-up during which there will finally be a battle for the heart and soul of the Republican Party.  My view is that any of these candidates would be more effective against Barack Obama than Mitt Romney, and while reasonable people may disagree on which particular candidate, let’s be honest:  Mitt Romney doesn’t represent we conservatives in  any measure, and his Romney-care program(among lesser indignities) makes him every bit as objectionable as Barack Obama.

I think it’s time both the camps of Gingrich and Santorum consider that for either to prevail, Mitt Romney must be stopped.  We’ll never stop fighting with one another completely, because it would be contrary to the nature of the competitive spirit that is inherent in our conservative beliefs, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be smarter about it.  At this point in the campaign, it’s all over if we let Romney obtain 1144 delegates, or anything close to that number.  We can’t stop him from outspending Newt and Rick 10:1, 20:1, or even 50:1 as has been the case thus far in Wisconsin, but we can debunk it all, whomever it’s aimed at.

My thought is that what we need to change our focus: Mitt’s the problem.  Mitt’s the obstruction.  Mitt’s the guy throwing millions upon millions at his more conservative rivals, but most astonishingly, he does so while claiming he is the real conservative.  It’s a laughable claim, but while we laugh, he’s managing to get away with it.  You might join me in preferring Gingrich, or you might be like my sibling who prefers Santorum, but we’re brothers, after all, and one thing we can agree upon is that Mitt Romney is not the guy we want to see go up against Obama this Fall.  My brother and I have made a bit of a truce on the matter.  We’ve agreed, one to the other, that we’ll not spend our time hammering back and forth, but we will focus instead on the guy who will sneak away with it all if we spend too much time fighting between us.

My brother and I talked about this at length, and what we decided is that for the good of the party, but more importantly, for the good of the country, we need a brokered convention as our only means by which to reset all of it.  Growing up as we did, we often found ourselves in situations in which one of us needed to have the other’s back.  It wasn’t that we didn’t squabble and fight between us, because in truth, few fight like brothers against one another.  The thing we always tried to remember is that that while our fights were fine and dandy when the struggles were among and between us, you didn’t let somebody else step in and divide us to his own advantage, ultimately defeating us both.  Instead, we’d team up against the interloper and deal with our own differences later.

I think that at this point, whatever our differences, they pale in comparison to our similarities.  I’m not suggesting to you that we circle ’round and sing Kumbaya, and that this will cure all differences between us, but I think we ought to deal with the interloper first.  Mitt’s not a conservative, and the truth is that a fair number of the people now voting for him will not be there for him in November, and I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of DNC mischief picking our candidates.  I’ve heard a few rumors about DNC operations trying to help Santorum, but it’s hard to find evidence, since the counties in which Santorum lost in Michigan and Ohio were really fairly strong Democrat areas.  In Florida, Newt lost in the South end of the state, but in the panhandle, Newt won.  In fact, if you look at these election maps, what you will notice very quickly is that they appear much as if  the conservative had been running against Obama:  The more urban counties went heavily for Romney.  This trend has been repeated in battle-ground states, one after the next.  You’ll remember that analysts loved to say it was about education, smearing either Newt or Rick on the basis that only dumb, hick, rednecks were supporting them.  My question has been:  Who’s supporting Romney in all of those heavily Democrat counties and districts?  Conservatives?  Hardly.

Make of it what you will, but I’m telling you what I see, and it looks something like this:  If conservatives permit Mitt Romney to be the nominee, I can see four more years of Obama, which may be an eternity for all intents and purposes.  Even if Romney were to some how pull off the win, I don’t see where that would advance our cause much.  He’s already got Pam Bondi working on a task force of some sort for the “replacement” of Obamacare, which is to say that we’ll get some form of Romney-care that will still run our country into the ground, and destroy the private insurance market.  In other words, I don’t see much hope for the country even if Romney wins.  He won’t fix it, and chances are that while he won’t break it quite as much, or quite as quickly, the destruction will continue.  If we’re going to prevent that, we must do so now by dragging our conservative friends to the polls to vote for Newt or Rick.  Either way, it’s a vote against Mitt, and we need all those we can get.  After we stop him, we can refocus on beating one another in a more honest competition.  After all, it’s the brotherly thing to do.

 

 

 

Why Newt Won’t (and Shouldn’t) Get Out

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

The 'Cheerful One'

Jonathan Karl has an enlightening piece up on ABCNews.com covering Newt Gingrich and his reasoning for staying in this Republican nomination fight.  It’s a reason that makes a great deal of sense once you understand the former House Speaker’s rationale:  He wants to prevent a Romney coronation, with the GOP establishment riding herd over the rank-and-file.  There’s good reason for conservatives to want this too, because if there is an brokered convention, we’re far more likely to have a more thoroughly prepared candidate once the general election season begins.  The GOP convention is our last chance as conservatives to hold any candidate’s feet to the fire, and if we’re smart, we’ll make full use of the opportunity it presents.   It is not only true that Newt Gingrich won’t get out, but also true that he shouldn’t.

The establishment line has been that “a brokered convention will hurt the party,” or that “Mitt Romney will win anyway,” or that “conservatives should shut up and get in line.”  None of these are true, and for now, Newt Gingrich is carrying that banner.  Also, as I observed last week, there is no guarantee that if Newt gets out, that it won’t bolster Romney rather than Santorum, as some have contended, notably GOP establishment operatives who would love to see Gingrich out so they can focus all of their venom and negative campaigning on a single target.  Gingrich seemed to confirm this, according to Karl:

1) His vote gets divided between Santorum and Romney. A larger percentage would go to Santorum, but at least some goes to Romney, allowing him to accumulate more delegates; and,

2) Romney is then able to aim all of his considerable firepower at Santorum, destroying him with negative ads the way he twice destroyed Gingrich (in Iowa and Florida).

This may sound familiar to my regular readers, although we should note that Gingrich has done the math too, and while his road to the nomination is formidable, the way to defeat Mitt Romney for either Gingrich or Santorum is in a floor fight at the convention.  Some establishment Republicans fear the spectacle, but they shouldn’t unless they’re selling a pig in a poke to conservative Republicans. On the anxiety in the party, carried forth and broadcast by the press, Gingrich told Karl:

“This thing is going to go on. You guys need to relax and cover the most interesting nominating process in your lifetime,” Gingrich told me. “Be not anxiety-ridden, this is going to be good for America. This is a good conversation to have.”

He’s absolutely right.  Nothing is supposed to be smooth or easy about this process.  This is where we’re supposed to settle the differences in the party.  This is the time for conservatives to find their voices in the battle with the party establishment.  The establishment would rather the grass-roots and conservative base of the GOP simply shut up and play along, but that’s not we’ll defeat Barack Obama. We’re conservatives, and we shouldn’t expect it to be easy, or even bloodless in a political sense. If we have the strength of our convictions, we must fight this battle too, and unflinchingly.  Newt Gingrich is right: It’s a battle worth fighting. As the Daily Caller further details, while messy, a brokered convention is an important part of the process.  We came within a whisker of getting Reagan in 1976, as the Daily Caller details, and it’s something to consider when we look at what’s going on in this primary season, and how the GOP establishment is pulling out all the stops to prevent a similar scene.

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Palin Derangement Syndrome Part II: The Mania Continues

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

"She must be up to Something!"

I must admit that when I read the theories put forward by the PDS crowd, I always get a chuckle, because they’re like one of those bad parody movies. On the one hand, their hatred of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is maniacal, but on the other, it is just another expression of their sadly disjointed thinking.  The latest furor arises from her remarks over the last week about the possibility of a brokered convention, and all their attempts to explain it.  Of course, to a certain degree, Palin supporters  wonder about the same things, but theirs is a view with a hopeful leaning.  That’s not true of everybody who is considering the meaning of her remarks on the subject, and watching them flail is actually a bit entertaining until you remember the hatred that drives it. There’s something disturbing about the conflicted, self-contradictory theories they offer to their unsuspecting audiences, but that doesn’t deter them so much as to whip them into a frenzy. I’ll leave it to my readers to judge which is the most frighteningly insane, but the take-away is this: In leftist lunatic land, “she must be up to something.”

The first theory from the blogging space-balls is that Governor Palin is a modern day Sun Tzu, applying his maxim that “All War is deception.” In this theory the woman who they have recently demeaned as “Caribou Barbie” and other smears aimed at describing her as an airhead is instead an evil genius who has conducted a stealth campaign by which she will swoop in at the supposed brokered convention just in time to steal away with the nomination and make  her way to election day without so much as a whimper from any other would-be candidate within the Republican party.  Of course, I know many Palinistas who wish fervently that this would come to pass, but that the same liberal minds with a four-year history of portraying Palin as less than brilliant now find it suits their purposes to propose that she is instead cunning, and has been sand-bagging all along is a remarkable study in self-contradiction.  Of course, these are the same half-wits who still insist on bizarre conspiracy theories that Trig isn’t really Palin’s biological son, so logical consistency isn’t exactly their strong suit.

Yet another theory proposes that this is Governor Palin’s way of becoming relevant again, because if there was a brokered convention, she’d become a power broker in its outcome even if she wasn’t the ultimate nominee.  Of course, this manically blinded theory presupposes something that is undeniably false:  Sarah Palin is now irrelevant in this theory.  The problem with that goofy idea is that she’s not irrelevant, not now, and not recently, as her speech at CPAC demonstrated, plus her clear impact on the South Carolina primary.  We know this much:  She’s more relevant than either Nikki Haley, or Chris Christie, at least to the voters of South Carolina.  Of course, this may explain the leftists’ view of her as irrelevant, because after all, they think the voters of South Carolina are irrelevant too.  The fact that there is a legion of media that still follows in her footsteps wherever she goes offers substantial repudiation of their thesis, but that’s never enough when it comes to Sarah Palin.  No, somehow she is irrelevant against all evidence to the contrary, and she is in a constant struggle to regain it. Again, their inability to see the plain truth is more evidence of their own dubious relevance rather than telling us anything of merit about Governor Palin’s.

The last is, of course, the pièce de résistance in what can best be described as a litany of kookiness.  In this theory, Governor Palin is a stealth establishment power-broker, working to put Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels or even Paul Ryan on the throne, and she’s in league with them, and maybe even Karl Rove, and this whole push for a brokered convention is simply her way of serving her masters.  Yes, that’s it.  By this theory, not only is Palin seeking to restore her relevancy, but also a closet sell-out and puppet.  In this theory, there’s no need for her to be an evil genius directing the assault from far-away Wasilla, but instead a servant actor who will play her role as directed.  Frankly, I’m just waiting for them to throw in the Koch brothers to complete the narrative.  Taking it further, the Daily Kos actually compares  Palin and Bush to Mafia types, and in typical shrill indifference to fact, goes on a complete [il]literary bender over it.  This is what the depth of the Palin-Derangement Syndrome on the left has wrought, and it’s a frightening cacophony of the most ludicrous theories and the most convoluted psychic contortions one might ever imagine, and if we weren’t talking about the craziest of the crazies, one might expect that that with a little constructive chemistry, they might find relief, if not a cure from the madness that drives them.

This is the state of Palin Derangement Syndrome today.  It’s no less deranged, and in fact may be seeking new heights, but I’ll be damned if I can guess what their small minds will concoct next as they imagine possible motives for everything Palin has done, will do, never did, and would never do.  The truth is that this bunch doesn’t need an excuse to see Sarah Palin as the devil, the dumb-bell, the diva, and the drag-queen.  They believe she is all of these and more.  Given a little time, they will concoct some evidence to support it, too, as they look for new ways to remain relevant themselves.  One would have thought that after her October 5th announcement, they’d have concluded “our work here is done,” but apparently, they will leave no stone unturned in search of evermore deranged reasons to manufacture new anti-Palin smears. PDS is alive and well in lunatic-lefty-land, and they’re not even slightly embarrassed.

Not once, in all of their bizarre speculating do they ever consider that Governor Palin has simply said what she believes.  Instead, their malevolent small minds must imbue her with some ulterior motive, and it must be altogether crazy, evil, and/or stupid.  For me, that speaks to the questionable state of their sanity, but it also offers a clue as to their own character.

Brokered Convention Talk and Sarah Palin Create a Stir

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

So It Began

Eric Bolling’s hand was stretching across to Governor Palin to thank her for the interview at its conclusion, when my phone rang.  I answered, and the first words I heard were: “How do we have a brokered convention?” I explained it in broad terms to my friend, who was ready now to go to war with the GOP, Democrats, or anybody who might stand in his way. I heard the call-waiting beep, and I excused myself, and fielded the next call. “Did you see that?  How do we make sure that if there is a brokered convention, she’s picked, and not somebody else like Jeb?” I asked only: “Who’s speaking?”  My hearing is failing as I get older, and sometimes I can’t differentiate particular voices over the phone. Nevertheless, once I knew to whom I was speaking, we discussed the matter at hand. Everybody who called wanted to know how a brokered convention could be forced, or how it would work, and if it could really work at all.

This went on from the moment of the conclusion of the Bolling-Palin interview until late into the night.  Friends, associates, activists, and many others called me, and all of them wanted to know how to go about making sure of two things, and precisely two things:  How can we make sure there is a brokered convention, and how can we make certain that Sarah Palin is the choice?

I will tell you now what I told them in simplified terms, as I’m sure over the next twenty-four hours, we’ll see people with more facts on the specifics: It still all comes down to delegates, but not merely numbers of them, but instead also who will be those delegates.  To accomplish the reality of a brokered convention isn’t all that difficult in terms of the mechanics.  Simply put, you just need to deny 1144 delegates to any of the candidates, and the best way for that to happen is to spread them around.  If Santorum wins one, and then Romney wins one, and Gingrich wins one, and maybe eventually Ron Paul wins one, and this cycles around long enough to deny any that magic number of delegates, what you will have is a brokered convention.  That’s a fact.

The infinitely more difficult part is seeing to the outcome of a brokered convention.  If any of them are too strong, they will be in a position to wheel and deal for the support of another candidate’s delegates, but more than this, the GOP establishment will have a strong hand with at-large delegates and also because the number of at-large delegates will swell this year due to the early states holding their contests earlier than the rules permit.  Those states  automatically have yielded half of their delegates to the party, to be made at-large delegates.

There is also the question of who the delegates will be.  Having a bunch of Santorum delegates who would lean toward Mitt Romney in Santorum’s absence would be bad.  Of course, this is where we get into the weeds of process, because delegates are selected differently in the various states.  I would therefore refer you to those within your state who can explain it to you in the context in which your state’s rules apply.   The point is that a brokered convention becomes difficult in several ways, including the manner in which a nominee is eventually selected.

The real messy part is the inevitable floor fight, that is one of the reasons the parties try to avoid this spectacle before television cameras at all costs.  Here’s an article from the Washington Post that discusses some of the possibilities.  I point all of this out not to dampen anybody’s spirits, but instead to make sure you understand what the pursuit of this will entail.  For those of you motivated enough to carry it out, there will be pitfalls, and dangers, and no shortage of potential heartbreaks.  Is it possible? Yes. Will it be a snap?  Not a chance.

Of course, all of those who phoned me on Wednesday evening don’t seem to be the sort who will be easily deterred.  They have a goal in mind, and have had this one in mind for some time as one possible way to see their preferred candidate lead the party into the general election.  I can’t fault them, as I have harbored that same hope ever since Governor Palin made her announcement of October 5th.  Of course, in all of this, we should recognize we are a long way from a brokered convention, and while I would like to see it, as would many others, there’s no certainty that we will get one, or that even having gotten one, it will have the outcome we envision.  There hasn’t been a brokered convention in the GOP since 1948, and Dewey was the result.  It came close to happening in 1976, when Ronald Reagan almost upset Gerald Ford.  What you must know is that such an avenue is tricky at best, and dangerous at its worst, because much of it will come down to the delegates, and the character they possess.  If they’re interested in currying favor with party bosses, it could be trouble, but if they’re ordinary Americans interested in victory as the path to restoring the country, it just might work out.

Transcript Circulating Allegedly From Palin Interview With Bolling

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

There’s a piece on Time’s site alleging the following exchange between Sarah Palin and Eric Bolling:

BOLLING: Governor, a lot of people are saying it can’t happen. I don’t necessarily agree with them. If one of the nominees, one of the GOPers, doesn’t get enough delegates, it could go the a brokered convention.

If it does get to that and someone said, Governor, would you be interested, would you be interested?

PALIN: Well, for one, I think that it could get to that. And I — you know, if it had to — if it had to be kind of closed up today, the whole nominating process, then we would be looking at a brokered convention.

I mean nobody is quite there yet. So I think that months from now, if that’s the case, then, you know, all bets are off as to who it will be willing to offer themselves up in the name of service to their country. I would — I would do whatever I could to help.

BOLLING:
That’s — that’s fantastic.

Bolling himself reported that this was a fifteen minute interview, and this is maybe thirty seconds worth.  We don’t know yet what came before and after this brief snippet of the exchange.  What I’m suggesting is that rather than get too terribly excited about the meaning of this small piece of the alleged transcript, let us wait and see, since it’s only two hours distant until the show airs.

I can imagine many ways that this conversation could be led in, and I can imagine more ways on how it could continue. The phrase “I would — I would do whatever I could to help” could mean anything from accepting a nomination to just helping whomever would be picked in that scenario.  Let us not get too wild over this until we see the interview with out own eyes.

I would love for it to be true, but for this alleged transcript to be leaked in several places makes it seem suspicious to me. People are running wild with it, and I have little hope of changing that, but I also believe until we see the interview, we should be cautious about drawing conclusions.  I’m not trying to spoil anybody’s party, but we’ve been here before.  I’d hate to see another let-down.

Andrea Mitchell and Mark Halperin Discuss Palin, McCain, and Brokered Convention

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Exciting Time For All?

This should provide some interesting discussion, as there are really a few things to note here. One is John McCain seemed to have vigorously defended Sarah Palin in his recent interview with the BBC.  To his credit, Halperin points out that McCain’s defense is justified, and that his conclusions about Palin’s effectiveness as a candidate are right on.  More, Halperin discusses the question of  Sarah Palin’s overwhelming reception by the crowd at CPAC, and how this is effective evidence of Governor Palin’s understanding of the conservative base of the party.  The other tidbit to be examined is the very brief discussion of another video clip of Sarah Palin discussing brokered conventions at CPAC, different from the other I provided Saturday.

Here’s the video:

The important quote about which the entire buzz is circling is this:

“If it ended up in a brokered convention, at the end of the day, well that would be a really exciting time for all.”

Of course, notable is how Andrea Mitchell tries to minimize her statement as a “tease,” and suggesting that McCain defended Palin only because he was “dancing with the one who you brung,” or some nonsense, but as Halperin points out aptly, this is certainly a case supported by the facts:  She energized the party more than any other McCain could have added to his ticket, and I daresay, more than McCain himself.

As I said, I’m reporting this to you because it is news, and I am personally fascinated by it, but as one commenter opined, we shouldn’t get our hopes up over this.  A brokered convention has all sorts of dangers as another comment suggested, and to go off down that trail may not serve us at all.  There’s no telling how such a thing could come out in the end, but I’ll admit this much:  It certainly does put a little more of an unknown into this whole race.

Brokered Convention Hopes: Too Good To Be True?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Overthinking It?

First, I’d thank Doug Brady at Conservatives4Palin for pointing out this story, because based on timing, I might have missed it otherwise.   Like everybody at C4P, he’s a great writer, so be sure to stop by there and check them out.  The Hill has an article today titled: A brokered convention: Jeb Bush vs. Sarah Palin.  His speculation centers around the idea that if Santorum and Newt remain competitive, with Ron Paul still grabbing delegates along the way, with half the delegates yielded by the early states to the National Party, there’s a very real possibility of a brokered convention so long as nobody manages to acquire the 1144 delegates needed to sew up the nomination before the convention.  It’s clear that this has been part of Romney’s worries all along, and it’s probably part of why Romney went full-bore after Gingrich in Florida. Just a few days before the Florida primary, Jeb Bush quietly suggested that he would not be making an endorsement after all, as many had expected him to endorse Romney in the days and weeks leading up to that  state’s primary.

There have been some who have been speculating that the tentative Bush family support of Romney is aimed at making Mitt Romney a placeholder for precisely such a move, whereby Jeb Bush could jump in via a brokered convention and walk away with the nomination.  While highly speculative, naturally, that remains a possibility. What Bernie Quigley’s article on The Hill proposes is that rather than just a Bush entry through a brokered convention, you might instead have Sarah Palin placed into the mix by virtue of her overwhelming support across a broad base of the party, a factor that was inescapable if you watched her speech at CPAC on Saturday.  Every one of the candidates did their best on Friday, with Newt Gingrich probably motivating the crowd most thoroughly among them, but the three rooms worth of overflow seating added for the Keynote speech on Saturday evinced a strong preference for the message of Sarah Palin.  She clearly and thoroughly rocked CPAC as I reported, and her performance there was stunning.  Quigley didn’t miss this either:

But as The Hill’s Josh Lederman reports from the CPAC conference, the former Alaska governor received far and away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at the convention of about 10,000 conservative activists. She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday.

“The cheers for Palin were so loud that they drowned out her remarks again and again,” he writes. “Conference organizers had to set up three overflow rooms to accommodate the throngs of supporters eager to hear her words.”

It’s self-evident: Palins performance Saturday led many to question whether the Republican Party is running the right candidate.  After all, as was apparent Saturday, none of the actual candidates at present fill an auditorium like Palin, and none of them were able to rouse their respective crowds in so engaging a manner.  Quigley’s speculation focuses on the idea that if we actually arrived at the Republican convention without having settled on a nominee, things could become exciting if Bush and Palin have their names dropped into the hat for possible selection. After all, Bush has solid support from his home state of Florida, but he’s also a Bush, which means that many simply won’t be willing to further a dynasty, and rightly so, I might add.  The other person who might get proposed would be Chris Christie, but I think Quigley’s right to point out that none would be more eligible with respect to the party faithful than Sarah Palin.

Quigley goes on to speculate about the possible combinations of nominees and their running mates, but I suspect that while entertaining and interesting, this sort of speculation is liable to give rise to false hopes about an unlikely set of events.  The conditions for this to occur would require that the delegate count would need to continue to be split up, denying Romney (or any of the others) the opportunity to obtain the needed 1144.  That may not be possible, as Romney’s advantage in cash makes him much more able to sustain a long campaign.  Still, it’s a fascinating study in “what-if” thinking, because if Quigley’s view turned out to be correct, it would certainly invigorate this race at a time when the party will need it most, particularly since this theory assumes that the convention will have commenced without a decided nominee.  The problem is that even if it went anything like what Quigley suggests, it wouldn’t be so easy as his abbreviated narrative might suggest.  Nothing is ever that easy in politics.

Breaking: As Overflow Crowd Grows – Palin to Press on Brokered Convention(Updated)

Saturday, February 11th, 2012

View from Inside

The reports coming from CPAC in Washington DC suggest that the theme we have heard, that “Sarah Palin is no longer relevant,” has been exposed irrevocably as a lie.  At present, the lines into the event are being described as enormous, and this is more than two hours in advance of her speech scheduled for 4:30 eastern. CPAC has actually gotten an overflow space set up in an adjacent conference room in order to try to accommodate more of this crowd. As I predicted, Sarah Palin’s speech would be the biggest draw of the event, for all the reasons we’ve discussed.

Matthew Sheffield, posting via Twitter provided the photo at left, and as you can plainly see, the line inside is gargantuan, and it extends out and around the building.  Meanwhile, spotted in an brief press interview, Governor Palin said that a brokered convention would not be a negative for the Republican party.

You can watch the video of that brief exchange here:

Update: It’s now being reported there are three overflow rooms for the growing crowd waiting to hear Sarah Palin speak at CPAC.