Posts Tagged ‘The Hill’

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.

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Boehner Pushes, But You Pushed Back

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Why Don't They Love Me?

I was gratified to read that Speaker Boehner and his Republican leadership ran into a little difficulty with Conservative House members who are getting tired of always being the people asked to “take one for the team[again.]” This means your complaints are being heard by your conservative members of Congress.  According to The Hill, meeting with House Republicans, Speaker Boehner is quoted by an unnamed attendee that he’s trying to “make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.”  To me, that sound suspiciously like his whining over being only “one-half of one-third of the government.”  Some people never learn, and while Boehner races to compromise wherever he can to try to put something on the scorecard, I think he’d be better off to go golfing with Obama: At least there, he’s not doing damage while being at least competent in his environment.  He’s ineffective as the Speaker of the House, and it’s time we sent him home.  One commenter asked how but the answer is simple: He must be challenged and beaten in the primaries.  Some warn that if he were defeated in the primary, he would be a “lame duck” speaker for the rest of the year.  My question is: What’s the difference?

To be honest with you, I’d much rather have a lame duck Speaker who is subject to replacement, and who will have no backing to pull off all of these swindles and deal-making behind closed doors with Reid and Obama than to have him actively offering sabotage to the conservatives in reward for their support.  Today was no different, as this big government hack is pushing to keep alive the payroll tax cut.  I think that’s ridiculous, and while if it fails to pass, it will cost me and my wife thousands, the truth is that it’s undermining the solvency of Social Security, bringing further instability to our current course.  After all, how long can we keep kicking the can down the road?  I’m a tax-cut champion, but this one has provided little or no stimulative effects, and what it really does is let more Americans almost completely off the hook.  We already have far too few tax-payers in the sense that too many have no real stake in our country as their hands reach for more from other folks’ pockets.

What Boehner is offering are some token measures to get conservatives aboard with this compromise, such as a reduction in some regulatory power for the EPA.  Does anybody believe it would stick with this lawless administration?  Apparently, some conservatives were not being fooled according to The Hill article:

Several Republicans stood up in the meeting to oppose the extension of the payroll-tax cut, citing concerns about Social Security and the fact that GOP leaders want to pay for one year’s worth of spending and tax relief over a decade.

Amen!  According to John Campbell(R-CA,) the leadership was caught off guard by the push-back they received:

“I think they were a little surprised by the pushback — they looked a little deflated to me,” he said, before noting his opposition to extending any of the expiring provisions.

Further, The Hill reports that one unnamed member was quite blunt:

“now we’re a part of kicking the can down the road. … But shouldn’t we try to run the country, shouldn’t we try to do the right thing, shouldn’t we try to get this deficit under control?”

Right on! I wish they had told us the source of that remark so I could send the member a letter of congratulation on “getting it.”  This is the truth, after all, and it’s part of the reason Boehner and his leadership team needs to be shown the door in 2012: We conservatives and Tea Party types understand that the Republicans only control “one-half of one-third of the government,” but as a matter of fact, it’s time to make the other guys sweat. Just as should have been the case when the House passed “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” ahead of the debt ceiling debacle, they should pass bills and send them over to the Senate and let Harry Reid explain why he’s bottling them up.  Instead, Boehner goes directly for the compromise every time.  It’s time to find a new Speaker of the House for the GOP.  This one is stinking things up, and it doesn’t smell like chicken salad.