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TAC: What Ron Paul Delegates Can Do - A Game Plan for Tampa

The GOP has a long tradition--shared by George Romney--of open disagreement at the convention.

By Jeff Taylor • July 16, 2012
The American Conservative

A recent Huffington Post piece highlights the possible use of Rule 40 by the Ron Paul campaign at the national convention in Tampa. The story seems more interested in the prospect that the Republicans’ gathering could become “convention chaos” than in putting the tactic into the context of freedom of expression, democratized politics, or convention history. Unfortunately, deep thinking and historical awareness are rarities among mainstream pundits on both sides of the aisle.

Rule 40 allows a presidential candidate to have his name formally placed in nomination — through nominating and seconding speeches — at the Republican National Convention if his candidacy has the support of a plurality of delegates within at least five state delegations. For months, the question on the minds of Paul supporters has been, “Do we have five states?” Maine, Minnesota, and Iowa are clearly in the Paul camp. Then there are states in which a plurality of delegates are pledged to Romney but are personally committed to Paul. Finally, there are states that have had divisive state conventions, which resulted in murky outcomes. Nevada, Colorado, Massachusetts, Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Arizona may fall into the latter two categories. (Apparently, Rule 40 does not specify that the plurality has to be bound to the candidate it wishes to place in nomination. Despite press reports that the result at Nebraska’s state convention ensured that Paul’s name won’t be entered, the Credentials and Rules committees in Tampa may decide otherwise.)

Some have confused the five-state rule, which applies to the eligibility of a candidate to be placed in nomination, with the ability of delegates to vote for a candidate during the presidential roll-call balloting. A candidate need not be placed in nomination to be on the receiving end of delegate votes. A delegate is free to vote for whomever he or she wishes, unless that delegate is bound to a candidate who remains in the race.

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Can we flip any of the VA delegates?

Ron Paul already has quite a few district-wide elected delegates in VA, and even though they're pledged to Romney they can still work to get Paul on the ballot (rule 40), if they form a plurality.

So my question is, do we already enough Paul supporters among the VA delegates? If not, then we should be trying to persuade Romney-supporting VA delegates to come over to our side (or possibly Santorum-supporting ones, if any exist). That way VA could be our 6th state (or 5th if the GOP plays dirty tricks on our Louisiana delegates). Are any of the VA delegates persuadable enough?

RP does have a campaign

I am sure that the Ron Paul campaign has a strategy for the convention that is being conveyed to the delegates so that they are in sync and know the queues.

The biggest problem that I see with RP supporters is that they think they know more than the campaign when it comes to political maneuvering.

You must be joking....

...The campaign strategy is to hand the nomination to Romney.

I would vote Ron Paul every

I would vote Ron Paul every chance I got and suffer the Consequences. This is a revolution isn't it?

I'm not saying cause a ruckus. Just simply check Ron Paul's name.... If it came back to haunt me... oh well... What good does it do to toe the party line? (unless you are now an elected party official who could lose your seat).

We have been cheated by the press, state governments, the GOP, and electronic voting machines. If not out right cheated they have fought hard to bend the rules against us. Tampa just may be our chance to bend the rules back in our favor.

the platform

Is a presidential candidate (or any othere candidate to the House or Senat) somehow bind to platform agreements?

Ron Paul not invited


Just read this article saying Paul has yet to see an invite to the republican national convention

They have invited no one at

They have invited no one at this point... This is another non story... Until the plans are firm we don't know who is invited...

Well I have a guest pass...

Well I have a guest pass...

Great Post!

Keep these informative posts coming! I strongly believe we all need to get together and get a game plan going for what we can do to get the Romney delegates on the Ron Paul camp. The question is, how and what is it? We all need to share emails, messenger contacts and talk and get to know each other and come up with something. We are all like a family here. I trust you guys. So does anyone have an idea to help Ron Paul's chances at getting the nomination? Ron Paul 2012!!

Great Article!

This was a very well thought out, very well explained piece of writing. Though I don't agree with everything in it (who ever agrees on everything? :), kudos to the author for being easy to follow and raising some very valid points. I appreciate the time you took to educate readers on the precedents set before. They are very important when going into the convention in Tampa. I also appreciate how you grasp the reality that bound delegates are bound. Thank you!


Paulites and Palinites UNITE

Sarah Palin recently spoke to Newsweek's Peter Boyer, who writes:

"Queries to the Romney camp about any possible Palin role at the convention meet with a stony silence. Palin does not seem surprised. 'What can I say?;' she responded in an email from Alaska, when asked by Newsweek about the convention, just before heading to Michigan to deliver an Obama-thumping speech. 'I’m sure I’m not the only one accepting consequences for calling out both sides of the aisle for spending too much money, putting us on the road to bankruptcy, and engaging in crony capitalism.'"

The greatest failing of both the Paulites and Palinites is not to unite to stop Romney. IT IS NOT TOO LATE! The Paul forces have the delegates to place a name in nomination in the first round. However, it seems Ron Paul has lost the gumption to fight (Why didn't he go go Nebraska?). He seems content to settle for a few planks in a worthless platform rather than to stop a liberal statist progressive like Romney from usurping the nomination. Let's face it, Dr Paul is 76 yrs old. Sure he is a marvel for his age, but America is so utterly shallow, he will never be elected president, if only for his appearance. It's his ideas that are important, not the person.

Now hear me out. I believe the delegates should instead of placing Ron Paul's name in nomination should nominate Sarah Palin. She will bring conservative constitutional delegates along with the Paul delegates to hopefully keep Romney from winning in the first round which opens the convention. Romney is Sarah Palin's mortal enemy. Given the opportunity, she will rip him a new rectum. The objective is to keep Romney under 1144. The second round is up for grabs. May the best person win.

Thinking out of the box here. This may be the only way to open the convention.

Come Tampa

I hope that Sarah's love for this country trumps her personal ambition. She needs to spend that political capitol unselfishly and help save this country. I've got a bad feeling that she wants us to support her, but that she will not support us. I hope that she proves me wrong, because she will go down in history as a hero if she does.


Iono I like this angle but honestly no. We're gonna march into Tampa in force and we're gonna take the RNC if we have too. Honestly I have this vision of physical person attendance for Paul to outnumber the RNC if nothing more than at least giving Paul the crowd he deserves for his delegate talk.

At this late in the game I say we just basicly do everything we can attempt to nominate him or demand debate or whatever else and at least let the GOP know where there jobs are going to be over the next election cycles if they don't listen.

Good angle though ~ I'm not a Palin fan but she's definitely a powerhouse and if pressed would spill into the hyper-pro-life and (claimed) "constitutionalists" that she really wants think that she is sometimes. Therefore she is potentially an "anti-Romney" if she really wants to attack him on "principle" but so could Sanatorium if he was smart. Rickie's problem is that he wants to fight Ron on Israel and/or killing everybody. Its this idea that we have to defend Israel (and/or chain them with foreign aid in some cases) versus following what Jesus said and openly talk to people and have a more sensible foreign policy - "love thy neighbor." (attatched to that big stick we carry.)

I feel like she should have endorsed Paul way early instead of kinda saying to everyone "ya'll should prly listen to these guys even though he's "fringe." etc. etc."

"It's a Konspiracy!"
Konspiracy Entertainment LLC
Satirical uderboss who loves his country.

I believe

You have forgotten what website you logged onto.

Ron Paul convert from the Heart of Dixie

The Tone Of The Jesse Benton Email Was "DON'T MAKE WAVES"

I honestly think Jesse Benton and his campaign staff and advisors 'DO NOT' want a 'FLOOR FIGHT' or any kind of 'CONVENTION CAOS'. What is the campaign afraid of?

Are they afraid "THEY" won't get what 'THEY WANT' put into the republican platform? Why should the GOP or the Romney camp agree to allow us to place anything into the platform that would help us in the future. Besides, tomorrow is promised to no one..

It seems that it is a "FOREGONE CONCLUSION" that Romney is going to be the GOP nominee. It seems the campaign expects to attain only 300 delegates, even if all the delegates were termed, "UNBOUND". (ref: email to the delegates)

It may be the strategy for the campaign team to pursuade the delegates to "COOPERATE" with the Romney camp and the GOP and allow the coronation to go as planned without incident in the hopes that WE may hope to get some sort of specific language added to the republican platform.

Additional, by agreeing to cooperate this election cycle, in all likelyhood, ir may be THE PLAN" to position Rand Paul as the next liberty candidate for president in the next election cycle. It may be a good move for us to go with Rand Paul, a more "FRIENDLIER", more compromizing, less abrasive candidate than his dad, Ron Paul.

This is all about setting the stage for Rand Paul as the air apparent to the liberty movement..

Many of us are fed up with the disgusting dirty trick, lies and vote rigging. Why should we trust that the GOP will behave any better the next go round? Why should we sacrifice now for latter? There are no promises for a better tomorrow. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

The encroachments upon our liberties have escalated at lighting quick speed. In four years ther may be nothing left to build on. There are no jobs, no industrial base, the money has been completely destroyed, the police state apparatus is just about in place, and many, including me, are predicting that america will go over the cliff economically by years end.

Why should we play politics as usual and wait for tomorrow, when tommorrow is promised to no one..

We don't have the time to build on. Our country is almost totally gone. How can we expect that there will be an america in four years time?

We must act now. Time is NOT on our side. We must go for go for the gold now, while we can still win..We mustnominate Ron Paul in Tampa and we must fight for our very lives.


"It may be the strategy for

"It may be the strategy for the campaign team to persuade the delegates to "COOPERATE" with the Romney camp..

There is no 'may be" about it. The 'fix' was in by the campaign to let Romney slide into the nomination for at least a couple of months now.

The only option left is the federal lawsuit to unbind the delegates.

Should the lawsuit be successful it is a whole new ball game. All Ron Paul supporters/delegates should sign on.

You can still be revolutionary, yet still be respectful.

And this is what I plan on doing while in Tampa. This does not mean I'm going to roll over and endorse Romney, nor vote for him (I am unbound). However, I do believe if a delegate is bound, they should do what they were elected to do (per the rules they were elected under), because they knew before they were elected, AND after elected they would be bound to the primary winner...So, find a way to win - still playing by the rules, or change the rules. If neither are able, then don't grasp at straws and be a sore loser. Keep fighting, and working for the next go 'round.


You are BOUND to vote for the candidate that best represents the

GOP. You're not BOUND to vote for Romney just because the state from which you represent says you have to vote for. You have a conscience and a heart, so use it. Do you actually think the RNC rules say you must vote for the candidate you were bound to? They do not. The RNC rules WILL NOT ENFORCE STATE PARTY RULES...PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT AND USE IT TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. THE DELEGATES ARE A VERY POWERFUL FORCE AND THEY WILL DECIDE WHO THE NOMINEE WILL BE, NOT YOUR STATE!

Remember 1920? Warren G. Harding allegedly had only 6 delegates prior to entering the convention, yet he became the nominee. Why? Because the delegates voted their conscience. The voted for the man who they believed best represented the party. He later went on the win the presidency.

The RNC rules basicically say they will NOT enforce any delegate BOUND to their candidate. There is a reason for it, which i have already stated...

Read the RNC rules and understand the main idea behind having a convention. TO VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATE THAT BEST REPRESENTS THE PARTY.


We still can win this thing, but first and foremost, we need to get Ron Paul nominated. There are procedures for doing this properly. learn the procedures and requirements backwards and forwards.

T-minus 6 weeks and counting...You're on the clock...Make the most of it!

We are Ron Paul!

Please link where exactly it says in the RNC rules

what you are claiming. I just re-read the entire document and found no such thing. Rule 38 does not apply, because it is in regards to a unit rule (ie..the state cannot make the entire delegation from that state vote as a unit - which they get around by unbinding at least one delegate, therefore the rule doesn't apply). This is far different from "voting your conscience." You are bound to vote for who your state's rules dictate (per Rule 15 - which states the opposite of what you claim). The ONLY way to get around this, from what I can see, would be to propose an amendment to the rules, which would require a majority to adopt or to suspend a specific rule allowing for a loophole to open.


Where in the rules does it say the RNC will not enforce state rules?


according to federal rules,

according to federal rules, every vote in a federal election is a free vote of conscious. otherwise a penalty incurring after voting or the threat of penalty would be a form of punishment or coercion, respectively, which is illegal.

the establishment has gotten around this for many years by having "competing" candidates conveniently "drop out" before the national convention, therefore their delegates have no rational reason to vote for someone other than the soon-to-be nominee.

RP is throwing a wrench into the machine by sticking around and having a dedicated base of supporters, he's slowly exposing the farce of a system, as shown by their blatant corruption and conspiracy to marginalize him and his delegates.


Most of what you wrote is factual and I agree with, but:

"Remember 1920? Warren G. Harding allegedly had only 6 delegates prior to entering the convention, yet he became the nominee. Why? Because the delegates voted their conscience."

He didn't win as a result of delegates ignoring the binding rules. There were no bound delegates voting for Harding on the first ballot except for Harding delegates, which was a bit more than 6.


He won, because no other candidate was able to reach the magic number during the first round of voting or subsequential rounds, which then unbound said "bound" delegates. The point the campaign has been trying to make (which is not being understood) is that Romney will have that number in the first round, not allowing for us to use our arsenal of "stealth delegates" who are bound to Romney, but truly Ron Paul supporters. We CAN still affect the platform and rules and this is where we should begin focusing our attention. Yes, it sucks, but at some point, people need to stop grasping at straws and start facing reality.


if we have a lot of stealth

if we have a lot of stealth delegates but who are committed to romney, who says we can't just abstain on the first round thereby unbinding them later?

Enjoyed the article

Especially the fun facts about George Romney and comparison with this year's national convention.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

ytc's picture

George Romney certainly was more principled and worthy of

the trust he gained among his friends throughout his ordeals. He was far from being a flip-flopper that his son is, who can't even see the futile reality of Afghanistan/ Pakistan "wars". George R had the conscience & principled will power to face the reality in Vietnam and accept the logical consequence of what this country should do based on that reality.

the first Gov. Romney

I think George Romney was often wrong in his political views, but he was pretty consistent. Sincerity and good intentions are not enough but they're something. How can you respect a professional flip flopper?

I agree

Unlike his father, Mitt Romney does not stand for anything in particular. Or he stands for everything. He is a textbook example of an opportunist. JT

The State Of Journalism.

"As was the case four years ago, delegates to the 2012 convention will be able to cast votes for Paul — provided they are unpledged to Romney. Some Paul enthusiasts, possessing more zeal than knowledge, believe that no delegate on the floor of the Tampa convention will be bound in any sense, that all will be free to follow their own consciences. Barring a revolutionary change in convention practice, this is clearly not true."

Listen up, kids, this is real journalism. They all had a meeting last year and decided that facts and proof were over-rated. Instead, statements like "..this is clearly not true." will suffice.


Jeff Taylor is associate professor of political studies at Dordt College and author of Where Did the Party Go?: William Jennings Bryan, Hubert Humphrey, and the Jeffersonian Legacy. He is an unbound delegate to this year’s Republican National Convention. The views presented in this essay are his own and are independent of any campaign or other organization.

So Mr. Taylor is a professor, author and unbound delegate to this year's RNC. Normally you might think that those qualifications are enough for us to take him at his word on the paragraph above.. but ironically, to me, it seems that the paragraph above is an indictment on his qualification to be a professor, author and delegate.

He seems to be tuned into the history of the Republican Party, but he's omitted all the cases of National Conventions where delegates voted their conscious, rather than their binding. He also either ignored, or hasn't figured out, the reality that Primaries are beauty contests. Good one!

The article comes across as paying lip service to Ron/Rand Paul.. 'just in case', while trying to be impartial, yet supportive, of Romney, so that he might be able to get a job in the Flip Flop Administration.

Just sayin'..

Believe me...

...I'll never be offered a job in the Romney administration!

I've been an admirer of Ron Paul for 36 years, so I've done more than pay lip service since 1976.

Most primaries are not beauty contests. The delegates are bound/pledged, either proportionately to the popular vote or winner-take-all. Beauty contests (non-binding popular votes) are the exception, not the rule. That's the way it's been since 1912.

When have bound delegates to national conventions voted their conscience? Any specific examples of pledged delegates voting for someone else without being released?

I can give you specific counter-examples. For instance, in 1976, there were a bunch of California delegates bound to Reagan in his tight contest with Ford who were actually Ford supporters, including the state GOP chairman. If only he'd been aware he could have just voted his conscience and abandoned Reagan! You also had the reverse in 1976. There was actually a thought on the part of the Reagan campaign that year to bring a rules change to the floor of the convention that would unbind all the delegates. They didn't do it, but the fact that they considered doing it proves that bound meant bound.

Delegates can try to vote their conscience, but the delegations are usually polled prior to the voting of the convention floor. If a bound/pledged delegate does not follow the state party rules, the delegation chair will almost certainly replace that person with an alternate who will discharge his/her duties properly. We may not like it, but those are the rules of the game. Everyone understood that going in. I doubt that the federal lawsuit is going to succeed, but if it does, that changes the rules. Unless that happens, the convention Rules Committee--dominated by Romney forces, I assume--will have the final say. It won't matter what we think or what some RNC attorney thought in 2008 (in a different context).

We, as Paul supporters, have to ask ourselves: Do we want to see the world the way it ought to be or do we want to see the world the way it really is? I'm in the latter camp. We need the ideal because we need to know what our goal should be, but we also need the reality because otherwise we're just kidding ourselves.

I'm a DP member since January and a reader since 07/08, but I didn't write this piece for us. I'm not surprised if many of you are annoyed by parts of it.

You don't have to take me at my word based on a bio sentence. That's not really the point of the identification. I'm not infallible but I am honest. If you're skeptical, do your own research and find out the facts.

Great article

I posted on the other thread about this article; one of the most balanced and historically-informative articles I've seen here, though I have only been reading here for about a year.

You are right about people needing to do their own research. I work at a University, and discovered that many students lack basic research skills. And it there is a dangerous trend forming, that people are now waiting for information to come to them, rather than going out to find it.