This seems like an odd moment for the Republican National Committee to start worrying about Ron Paul. really?
Now well into his second campaign for the GOP presidential nomination, he still has yet to win a single statewide Republican primary or caucus, as far as you know
and heíll presumably be trounced by Mitt Romney in the remaining contests on this yearís docket. as far as the MSM reports
More to the point, the political world ie MSM
stopped paying attention to Paul about two months ago, and the threat of him bolting the GOP and running as an independent Ė a scenario long feared by Republicans Ė passed long ago. but does not preclude a massive write-in for Paul, further weakening Flips already pathetic chances
And yet, the RNCís chief counsel felt the need this week to issue a warning to the Nevada state GOP about the Paul campaign. why is that? worried much?
At issue is this weekendís Nevada Republican convention, where delegates to the national convention will be chosen. The stateís caucuses in February were a truly messy (thatís the polite word) affair, but Romney was the clear and overwhelming winner. as far as the reported numbers from the party officials
On Saturday, though, Paul supporters are expected to flood the state convention and could account for the lionís share of attendees. "President Paul, President Paul, President Paul"
This is what prompted the RNCís counsel to warn the state party that its delegation might be denied seating in Tampa if itís dominated by Paul-ites. ignore your own rules and block out those that don't conform when the results don't suit?
The RNC isnít just nervous about Nevada. In the past few weeks, as Romney cemented more like quick sanded
his hold on the nomination and the media turned its attention to the general election, Paul supporters have wreaked havoc at numerous district caucuses and state conventions, producing some startling results. havoc? or wins?
For instance, 20 of Iowaís 28 national convention delegates will likely be Paul supporters yes!
Ė even though the Texan finished third in the stateís January caucuses with 21 percent of the vote. And 20 of the 24 delegates selected in district caucuses in Minnesota recently are Paul backers, woot!
even though he was trounced by Rick Santorum in the stateís February caucuses. Similar stories have emerged from Louisiana, Colorado and Massachusetts, with the list likely to grow. you betcha!
This is possible because of the GOPís multi-tier delegate selection process. In many caucus states, the ďofficialĒ results that most people saw this winter were from nonbinding straw polls conducted in conjunction with precinct-level caucuses. and possibly misrepresented figures
But when it comes to choosing national convention delegates, the real action is at district caucuses and state conventions. Bingo!
In the past, this distinction hasnít mattered much, but for the Paul forces Ė who lack the numbers to win statewide primaries but have the devotion to pack any room, anywhere, at any time hmmmm, how is that the case that so many people pack rooms and stadiums, but the "official" results don't reflect that... makes one wonder
Ė it has offered an inviting loophole. or actually allowed for fair representation and/or the chance to wake up more of the party line following sheeple
When turnout is small and no one is looking, the Paul folks can win, and thatís whatís been happening in a number of states. or turnout doesn't need to be low for this to happen. there are more Paul "die-hards" than you are aware of.
To Paul die-hards, this will all culminate in a surprise for the ages in Tampa, a surprise for who? the GOP?
with the political world suddenly realizing that Romney actually doesnít have the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination, oh, the political world will get the surprise. right on!
thereby allowing Paul to extract major concessions or even steal the nomination for himself. ahhh, that will be fun times
This isnít going to happen, you and the GOP so desperately hope
but the actual number of delegates that Paul will control is a real mystery at this point, off to the mystery machine
and the final number could be a lot bigger than anyone has expected. Besides the pledged delegates heís won so far and the extras heís collecting through caucuses and state conventions, Paul will also have some supporters disguised as Romney delegates. indeed
To understand how this works, just consider his campaignís mischief in Massachusetts, where Romney won 72 percent of the primary vote in this non binding straw poll with results reported by GOP party officials
Ė and with it, a monopoly on the stateís pledged convention delegates. But to determine who would fill those pledged delegate slots, the state GOP held caucuses recently, and the Paul crowd came out in force, "President Paul, President Paul, President Paul"
gobbling up 16 of the 19 available positions. In how many other states will this happen, or has it already happened? one can only wonder.... until Tampa
And then there are the pledged Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum delegates, which are still committed to each of them, since they only ďsuspendedĒ their campaigns. Are some of these delegates actually Paul backers too? oh noes
And what will they do if and when they are formally released by Gingrich and Santorum? there is a tough one, what will they do?
From an official standpoint, thereís still probably not much that Paul could do at the convention even with a significant chunk of delegates. again, you and the GOP hope and pray
With plurality support from five state delegations, he could have his name placed in nomination. check, Carl Cameron from Fox reported that last night, with Brett acknowledging the "racking up of delegates"
That would give Paul and his supporters a little more time at the podium, presumably in a non-primetime hour, but the roll call of states would still be a formality, with Paul falling short. perhaps
He could also push for (and maybe even force floor votes on) platform planks covering his pet issues, things like liberty, freedom, principles... those kind of "pet" issues?
but again, his side would simply be outvoted. perhaps
And anyway, itís likely that Romney is already planning to accommodate Paul with speaking time and some platform concessions anyway, for the sake of unity. "unity", to get everyone to vote for the Flip Flopper who looses over and over in head to head polling with Obama.... not
The threat of an outsize Paul contingent isnít about platform planks, though. Itís about disruption. or waking people up to actual principles
National conventions long ago stopped being about official party business and became slickly produced infomercials. since the candidates were all bought and sold, they thought the show, err "convention", was a good way to show off the purchased merchandise
But Paulís supporters arenít, generally speaking, party loyalists. "generally speaking" ha!
For them, Tampa wonít be a vacation Ė it will be a mission. With the right numbers, they could slow the convention down with procedural distractions, messing with the partyís careful scripting of the event. you mean "infomercial", as you just said earlier
More alarming for Romney and the GOP
is the prospect of Paul delegates loudly and derisively jeering speakers, calling attention to slicked tongued flip floppers and sellouts of freedom, liberty and the Constitution I think you mean
and maybe even Romney himself, well, there is that whole flip flopper thing
creating an image of chaos and disunity. To understand this threat, just look at what happened at the recent Alaska state GOP convention, where Paul supporters relentlessly heckled two U.S. senators. no comment
Delegate selection for Tampa will continue for the next two months. If the RNCís warning to Nevada is any indication, national Republicans (and the Romney campaign itself) are finally waking up to what the Paul campaign has been up to, some people are just a little slow on the uptake, eh?
and realizing that every delegate he grabs is potential trouble for them. and has the potential to lead the party back to it's roots and restore principle. and maybe help select the only candidate who pulls from the left, the middle, and right - to actually beat Robamney, I mean Obama. Freedom is popular, after all.