Brokered Convention Talk and Sarah Palin Create a Stir

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.

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12 Responses to Brokered Convention Talk and Sarah Palin Create a Stir

  1. The At-Large Delegates are all Party ''caporegimes". It would be exceedingly difficult, but not impossible. However, not ALL the Party Bigs are in bed with the Bush Family.

  2. Peg Gentle says:

    As I see it, God has blessed us with even this small ray of hope that Sarah might even consider accepting the nomination if it is offered/voted. At this point, nothing seems to be coming together for any one candidate. As Sarah Palin said, there's not excitement for any one of the present candidates. I feel some comfort in knowing Sarah is out there and she's waiting for her mandate from God. At least, I feel that she is willing now and very able. Thanks for the explanation, Mark. Everyone needs to have a clear view of all factors!

  3. Rogue Rose says:

    Here's a link with extensive information on how to become a delegate in individual states. It was put together by the Ron Paul campaign, but the info applies to anyone who is interested in becoming a delegate. If your state is not on the list, just do a search using "Republican Party of ________ " (your state name). Find the contact information and give them a call or an email.

  4. Pat Cashman says:

    What's your number Mark? LOL

  5. I wrote the day after Palin "unran" to not be surprised if she ended up the nominee citing a brokered convention possibility.

    Up until now I have thought that underlying numbers do not support Governor Palin. Even pre-primary she never rose above 20% interest despite her amazing popularity in 2008. Although the GOP is made up of about 60% conservatives – not all of those are social conservatives.

    Until recently Romney couldn't break the 25% barrier. But now down to 4 people he essentially is tied with Santorum – for the moment – at 35%. Let's also assume the 10% + Ron Paul supporters are not going to easily jump wagons (or that Paul/Romney indeed have a secret pact as has been rumored). That would leave 55% of the delegates, a clear majority, right?

    Wrong. Many of the same people who were "anti-Romney" in Florida suddenly gave him overwhelming support. Romney and the RINO mafia "persuaded" enough to believe he was the only alternative to beat Obama. Gingrich (baggage), Santorum (sex is bad), Paul (unstable) messages were STRONGER than the fear of what Romney represents.
    And this strong indication Romney is committing voter fraud ( tells us even more sinister forces will be at work come convention time. I never thought conservatives could be bought off but Nikki Haley, and others have proved that theory weak.

    How will GOP delegates view Palin. Will she be the "savior" her devotees presume, or will she be thought too controversial, too easy of a target because they know how badly she is perceived in the national media?

    Like MarkAmerica (and most readers here), I believe Palin would do well in a general election against Obama. She would finally get an unfiltered connection with viewers during debates and appearances and (like Hillary did in reviving her image from sub 30 back into the 70's) could regain the appropriate level of respect.

    At the convention however that takes a lot of faith. We assume the roughly 60% non-Romney vote that was apparent (with multiple choices prior to finding out who Perry, Bachmann, Cain really were) is loosely available but even if there are Santorum or Gingrich devotees who won't budge (or worse new RINO submitted candidates like Bush/Rubio) it isn't a slam dunk for her.

    There is no reason to believe the guy nobody wanted for most of the primary will withstand the negative onslaught he is about to receive better than Gingrich did. In fact, because of his past demeanor and lack of any true knowledge of his past – his poll numbers are much more likely to go the way of Perry/Cain/Bachmann.

    But if for some reason either Gingrich or Santorum don't get the clear upper-hand directly following Super Tuesday there certainly is another path for a Prez or Vice Prez Palin in 2012.

  6. Wayne Mazza says:

    We need Palin supporters from all 50 states to submit to be delegates and we need a lit of them.

  7. bigmamas52 says:

    I am the admin on a FB page for my state, Alaska, that is working to get delegates to the state convention, that support and will vote at the state level for Sarah. It is part of a larger FB movement that started early last year. They got large enough and focused enough that they have now split the movement into one main page and 50 other pages, one for each state. This way we can work with our neighbors to get Sarah nominated at the state level, with enough delegates to go to the national convention. I think there is a lot more possibility now, than say a year ago, for a brokered convention, and we have to be working now for that possibility. Each state is different as to the rules regarding delegates, but if you are interested, or know others willing, check out your own states rules and then get involved. There is a whole lot more fire out there for a Sarah Palin run than any of the 4 remaining candidates.

  8. Randel says:

    Brokered conventions are not going to happen. It is just the main stream media having an orgasm of speculation since they have nothing important they feel to really report on, like even though the jobs numbers are getting better, we still have a jobs depression. Tune out the talking heads. You folks here are smart enough to gather the facts off the web, and come up with your own conclusions, without all that media spin. Watch how much time the media spends on speculation and spinning, and not really reporting simple facts. It is journalism run amok. Thank God for blogs.