Okay Delegates, This is what I think you should expectSubmitted by MoonShadow on Fri, 08/17/2012 - 16:23
TL;DR = I believe that, in the event that Ron Paul & Company succeed in forcing a brokered convention, Romney will lose and Sarah Palin will walk out with it.
Before anyone starts complaining, I wouldn't post this if I didn't think that it was already too late to matter. Nor would I post it if the actions of the Romney campaign didn't imply that they already suspected this....
For many months now, the media has been pondering why Ron Paul would be so damned determined to accumulate delegates (and keep them) heading into a convention for which he has already admitted that he cannot win. It's a good question that I'd been pondering as well. The common theories seem to fall flat to me. The idea that he's doing it solely for an effect on the national platform & a prime time speaking slot is rediculous; the platform because everyone knows that Romney would pay it lip service only until he won the election (or more likely did not) and my own impressions of Ron Paul is that he is a very politically savvy player but doesn't have the ego for a loser's final speech before retirement. For that matter, he'll get plenty of attention for his speech on Sunday before the convention. It also doesn't explain the Romney campaign's willingness to risk alienating us Paulites (not a few of whom are under 30 and former Obama voters) by using legal challenges to attempt to deny Paul his 5 state plurality. By my own research, Ron Paul has (at least) seven states for his plurality, because a plurality of delegates is different than a majority of same, nor is it particularly related to who those delegates are 'bound' to, since nominations from the floor are different than that actual roll-call vote. Of course, this is all irrelevant if Romney actually has greater than 1144 votes on the first ballot, but his actions imply that if he does have that many it's not enough over that number for him to feel comfortable in a first round victory. Yet, Santorum also has a five state plurality, and the Romney campaign has done nothing to prevent his name being placed into nomination. Neither Paul nor Santorum have anywhere near the number of delegates to challenge Romney under normal circumstances, even added together they couldn't make much of a dent and there is no way that any of them are going to broker for a Paul victory, and Paul knows this. Gingrich has some delegates that he won't release early because he & Paul have a bad history, and Gingrich has publicly stated that he doesn't like Romney on a personal level. Santorum is more likely to make a deal with Romney for some prominate position in the adminstration in exchange for releasing his delegates for the first vote, which would scuttle a last ditch effort to nominate Paul from the floor.
Furthermore, Ron Paul has been running an education campaign like he did in 2008; not one intended to be broadly desireable to the Republican base, which is a little different than how he ran his local campaigns to be relected. This leads me to believe that not only does Ron Paul not think that him winning the nomination at the convention is possible, it's not even desireable. He just wants to retire and let someone else take over, and I don't think that his son is ready for that himself.
Considering all this, I contemplated what was the real goal for Ron Paul, and concluded that he is still trying to force a brokered convention, just not for himself. While it's never happened before, there is nothing in the rules that would prevent a candidate from asking his delegates to nominate someone else entirely; and this is just the kind of long shot chance that Paul might attempt right before retirement.
So the next question then became, who?
I came up with a set of criteria for said person, as follows....
1) Must be someone that could crediblely be endorsed by Paul, without a significant minority of his fans responding with a "WTF?" reaction. IMHO, this would require someone who is already fairly well liked by the liberty wing of the Tea Party.
2) Must be someone with an existing national 'brand', who's name is fairly well known, particularly across the conservative spectrum. This eliminates Gary Johnson, even if ballot access laws didn't prohibt him from the Republican nomination since he has already accepted the Libertarian Party nomination.
3) Should be someone who didn't compete for the nomination in the primary, since otherwise enough of the unbound delegates in Tampa would think "that person already lost to Romney" and vote for Romney to throw him over the 1144 on the first round.
4) Should not be a person who has spoken ill of Ron Paul or of the Tea Party movement.
5) Should be a person who appeals, generally, to both sides of the Tea Party (i.e. both the libertarians & the social conservatives)
Bonus if said person has some demographic advantage over old white men.
The only person that I could think of that fits this profile is Sarah Palin, and after coming to that conclusion I discovered some interesting things.
1) ...has never endorsed Romney in any real sense.
2) ...has never spoken ill of the Paul movement, at least not during this cycle; and has repeatedly warned the other candidates to not alienate the Paulites during public speaking events over the past six months or so.
3) ...seems to have kept four or five of her campaign team on retainer via SarahPAC, which could be contractural but that seems odd during an election year. While none of these five appear to be involved in any campaigns, they are not idle either as several of them have had guest spots on FoxNews & FoxBusiness networks.
4) ...has been doing an excellent job of keeping herself in the limelight over the past six months, including a great average in endorsing Tea PArty type people for Senate primaries.
5) ...has significantly educated herself with regard to national and international issues since being thrown onto the national stage without a safety net four years ago.
6) ...has openly stated that she believes that she could win the nomination if there was a brokered convention.
So there it is. I think that Ron Paul has had a secret deal with Sarah Palin since the fall, that if she did not run in the primary (and thus bleed off liberty minded votes from the Paul campaign) then if a brokered convention were possible Ron Paul would do everything in his power to get her name on the nominating ballot. And what does Ron Paul get out of it? His son gets first refusal for VP. And no, I don't think that Rand nor most of the Paul campaign staff were at all aware of this "plan B".
Thus, Sarah Palin, not Ron Paul, is my Dark Horse candidate. And if Ron succeeds in this endeavor and gets Sarah's name officially on the ballot, I believe that she will win it [i]so long as Romney cannot get 1144 on the first ballot[/i].
Some of my links follow, although in many cases the part that I think supports my view is not evident. This might be confirmation bias, but here it is, nonetheless, in no particular order....
Close! but no cigar!
Again, very close. Back in 2008.