Can Paul delegates cause mischief at the RNC national convention?

posted at 2:41 pm on May 2, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Last week, I wrote about the Ron Paul movement’s success in Minnesota, organizing effectively to take delegates in the Congressional-district conventions that elect delegate to the big show in Tampa.  Minnesota isn’t the only caucus state where this has taken place, the Washington Times reports, and the Paul campaign may end up with a more significant presence on the campaign floor than the official caucus/primary counts suggest.  Will they be able to create “mischief” on the floor and disrupt Mitt Romney’s smooth ascent to the top of the ticket?

Mitt Romney may be the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, but Rep. Ron Paul of Texas is quietly racking up some organizational victories that could complicate Mr. Romney’s anticipated coronation at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., this summer.

Exploiting party rules, loyalists for the libertarian congressman from Texas in recent days have engineered post-primary organizing coups in states such as Louisiana and Alaska, confirming what party regulars say would be an effort to grab an outsized role in the convention and the party’s platform deliberations.

In Massachusetts, the state where Mr. Romney served as governor, Paul loyalists over the weekend helped block more than half of Mr. Romney’s preferred nominees from being named delegates at state party caucuses — even though Mr. Romney won his home state’s primary with 72 percent of the vote. Many state GOP establishment figures, including longtime state Republican National Committee member Ron Kaufman, won’t be going to Tampa in August as official delegates.

Mr. Paul, who is Mr. Romney’s only active challenger with the expected withdrawal Wednesday of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, “is doing more with less than any modern presidential campaign in recent memory,” said Doug Wead, a Paul campaign adviser who served as an aide to President George H.W. Bush.

“More surprises coming,” Mr. Wead, an evangelical Christian, blogged this week. “It means that Ron Paul will be a factor in Tampa.”

Ralph Hallow writes that a few more surprises might make Paul strong enough to deny Romney a first-ballot nomination, but that’s unlikely.  Massachusetts aside, the Paul campaign has mainly flexed its muscles in states where Romney didn’t do well — and where Rick Santorum succeeded, such as Minnesota, Iowa, Louisiana, and probably Missouri when they hold their fourth or fifth event that will actually select delegates.  The net effect of the Paul conversion will be to weaken Santorum’s influence, not Romney’s.  Romney will win enough bound delegates from primary states to secure the nomination on the first ballot.

At this point, what would Paul gain from disrupting the convention?  He won’t get the nomination, and he’s not going to get the VP slot, either, especially if he disrupts the convention.  Neither will his son Rand, who only just started his first-ever political office.  The Pauls want to play a long game, transferring the movement leadership from father to son, while maintaining their influence with the GOP.  Rand has much more potential than his father ever did within the party, and everyone knows it.

That potential will be destroyed if Ron Paul and his movement derails the convention and it leads to a second Obama term; they will take all of the blame, and they will deserve it if they pursue that strategy.  The Pauls are more rational than that, and they have used a frankly brilliant strategy to lay the groundwork for Rand in the next few cycles.  They played by the rules and won these obscure battles.  The big question — at least here in Minnesota — is whether they will stick around and do the work that these jobs require.  Paul movement members have a reputation for a lack of follow-up in this state, and we’ll see whether that applies after these victories.

This does point out the need to end the caucus system, however.  People who cast presidential-preference ballots in caucus states are almost entirely unaware that backroom machinations could produce a much different result than they intended.  Minnesota and other states that have clung to the antiquated, 19th-century caucus systems — especially states like Iowa, Maine, and Nevada, where the state parties couldn’t properly count their ballots — need to join the 21st century and give Republican voters a direct method to choose their representation in presidential nomination processes.


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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IWDJEc92d38

They’re backed by the same elites of Goldman Sachs and Bros.

Why? Because they’re there to “manage the decline of the U.S.”

They won’t and can’t change anything in a drastic way which will alter our current track toward insolvency.

Romney will just as easily get us involved in a 3rd world war, as Obama will.

It does not matter who you pick. Obama, Romney.

It’s just an illusion of a choice to keep you from rioting.

I WILL NEVER VOTE FOR OBAMA OR ROMNEY.

PERIOD.

fatlibertarianinokc on May 2, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Exactly. But at least Obama is making the Republican Party stronger. Mitt would destroy the Republican Party. He seems to have no problem criticizing the base but considers most items off limits in attacks on Obama.

Steveangell on May 2, 2012 at 4:50 PM

The problem is not the Caucus system.

It’s the people’s general ignorance about the caucus system.

The mainstream media certainly does not want to educate us about it.

Why? So candidates can be chosen by the media.

In one debate Ron Paul was given 90 seconds of time to speak.

90 SECONDS. Thanks CBS.

And it’s not like a brokered convention has not happened before.

I believe they’re actually very healthy for a party.

It’s similar to getting “bad debt off the books”.

It would be better if Santorum and Gingrich were still in it though.

fatlibertarianinokc on May 2, 2012 at 4:52 PM

FloatingRock on May 2, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Caucuses (Caucusi?) are the home the backroom deal.
They are the means for “party leaders” to get together to award delegates to whoever they think is the best candidate.

I’m not going to go all Populisty and start arguing for a National Popular Vote for the general election… but Primaries (where the public at large actually votes) are a much better reflection of the will of the people.

A Caucus is the realm of the hyper-motivated few. These can be entrenched “Establishment” types (which was the original intention, I am sure).

Or… they can be used by small groups of zealous people to force an unpopular candidate to get delegates (even though he does not have the votes to justify the awarding of more delegates).

RightWay79 on May 2, 2012 at 4:59 PM

This is what happens in a one party state. Your candidates are picked on which of them has the best connections within the parties inner- circle, not who can run the best campaign. I’m sure she could check off all the boxes on the “who makes a good liberal” checklist, but has she ever done anything that actually involved the possibility of failure on her part?

Fred 2 on May 2, 2012 at 5:03 PM

Sorry. Wrong thread. I don’t know how that happened.

Fred 2 on May 2, 2012 at 5:07 PM

…the Paul campaign may end up with a more significant presence on the campaign floor than the official caucus/primary counts suggest. Will they be able to create “mischief” on the floor and disrupt Mitt Romney’s smooth ascent to the top of the ticket?

We can always hope.

RJL on May 2, 2012 at 5:16 PM

If you knew who was running the Republican party in Alaska, you would support the takeover. It’s not just the Paul people. The ONLY people who supported the old guard were the crony capitalists. Every conservative I know was doing back flips on Monday after the weekend takeover.
If you would like my take on it call me at 9O7-eight two one-OO78 Tom

“Ron Paul Supporters Join Joe Miller to Take Over Alaska Republican Party”

Bridge2Gravina on May 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

So if I understand right, any vote we cast is a vote for Barry 0hBummer?

Vote for Mittens, same as 0hBummer, vote for Paul, same as 0hBummer….

Not much of a choice. I’ll stick to voting for the most constitutional of the three.

Heck, one probably isn’t even eligible, so there’s one out already!

Between Mittens and Paul…….. hmm….. who would defend my 2nd Amendment Rights the best?

Remember, the previous election was anyone but boosh, this one is anyone but 0hBummer…. Can we vote FOR someone rather than against someone?

How about this, Anyone But the Status Quo…

armedcitizen on May 2, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Nevada has had two caucuses. What a farce. I want to vote not spend my day being droned on about someone I already know about. They end anytime they want so many didn’t get to vote who wanted to.

BullShooterAsInElk on May 2, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Based on everything I’ve seen so far, Paul is working for Romney anyway. He’s probably just doing this to extort a little more from Romney.

tom on May 2, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Ed – Don’t we (as in Tea Party conservatives) want a guy like Paul to have a prominent platform at the convention? Wouldn’t that be a serious shot across the bow of the establishment republican party? Since the Tea Party came out in full force during the summer of 2010 the rallying cry has been against a big evasive government. It’s been against the establishment – especially the Republican one. Paul was and is the only non-establishment small government guy running for President.

It’s clear he won’t get the nomination or ruin Rands chances. So the concern over “mischief” is overblown. I say give him the biggest presence possible in Tampa in hopes that it pulls our party back to it’s constitutional roots.

aduneman on May 2, 2012 at 7:16 PM

They are the means for “party leaders” to get together to award delegates to whoever they think is the best candidate.

RightWay79 on May 2, 2012 at 4:59 PM

Then why are the “party leaders” complaining that Ron Paul is winning because he has more grass-roots support that money can’t buy? Are you saying that the “party leaders” support Ron Paul? Of course not, you are simply wrong.

FloatingRock on May 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

As if it wouldn’t be seconded by the thousand or so of other Romney delegates. As if the chair (John Boehner, IIRC) wouldn’t accept a vote viva voce and nominate Romney by acclamation.

JohnTant on May 2, 2012 at 3:38 PM

On national worldwide television?

Oh, that would be amusing…

JohnGalt23 on May 2, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Then why are the “party leaders” complaining that Ron Paul is winning because he has more grass-roots support that money can’t buy? Are you saying that the “party leaders” support Ron Paul? Of course not, you are simply wrong.

FloatingRock on May 2, 2012 at 7:19 PM

No.
I mentioned in my post that the real reason behind caucuses was to be used as a tool for the party leaders.

The PaulPeople are now using the caucuses to give more delegates to a candidate with very little real support. (Paul’s support is more about quality than quantity… no one votes for the guy… but the 3 people who do are quite loud about it).

My point was:
The Caucus system can be gamed. “Establishment” folks have done it. And now, PaulPeople are doing it.

I stand by my assertion that Primaries are much more reflective of the will of the people at large.

RightWay79 on May 2, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Bottom line is all you so called conservatives will get what you deserve if mitt is the nominee…Obama for another four years. And you will have deserved it; because you have not learned your lesson. No Ron Paul supporter will EVER vote for some fake flip flopping liberal self proclaimed “conservative”. The problem is most of you will disregard your principles and vote for the lesser of two evils, which is still evil.

Without the Pual supporters you establishmnet supporters are screwed…your heads are just buried in the sand and you can’t see it yet. You’re spending too much time in Talk Radio land where they talk a good game, but when it comes right down to it they ALWAYS push the establishment candidate.

Republicans and Democrets are the same…they just take different paths to the same destination. It’s all about the illusion of choice.

dom89031 on May 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM

Republicans need to wise up. It wouldn’t be bad if the Paulistas simply supported their candidate like we all do…then joined the party to support the nominee…as almost all of us do.
Instead, they use our rules to “win” the backrooms and the parliamentary battles when they can’t win at the ballot box. They displace REAL republicans who have worked long and hard for the Party. Then to top it off on election day…they stay at home or vote for whoever the Libertarian candidate is.
Here’s an idea…ALL delegates to the national convention must swear their INTENTION to vote for whoever the party nominee is.
It’s time to stop being used…and to force the libertarians to join the party faithful and fight for their place and ideas but make them secondary to beating the Dems in the end. Otherwise STAY OUT of the party and hold your own damn primaries.

camaraderie on May 2, 2012 at 8:08 PM

The problem with the Paulbots in Nevada is that when people came to the caucuses, they were told that delegates would be awarded proportionally to the candidates AND the delegates were bound to the candidate on the first vote.

Now, the Ronulans say that, if elected as “Romney” delegates to the National Convention, they can’t or won’t cast their vote according to the rules, thereby disenfranchising those who voted for Romney in the caucuses.

They want everyone else to follow the rules, but when push comes to shove, those same rules don’t apply to them.

Reno_Dave on May 2, 2012 at 8:14 PM

On national worldwide television?

Oh, that would be amusing…

JohnGalt23 on May 2, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Per the Ronulan rhetoric, the vast majority of people watching wouldn’t care, and of those who do understand, 90% would understand it as a parliamentary maneuver to counter Ronulan mischief-making.

Besides, in the 2008 Dmocratic Convention, Obama was nominated by acclamation and nary a peep was heard. I think you overestimate quite a few things in your zeal to cast this as “amusing.”

JohnTant on May 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM

In Alaska the Paul guys came in with some new ideas and they did their homework. From what I understand everyone was on-board with the platform Paul-Miller’s people submitted. Don Young was the guy who closed the deal, it passed unanimously. The only contention was the leadership positions. The Paul-Miller people won every seat even with 30 of their people disqualified for lame reasons. $100,000 changed bank accounts during that leadership change. Ron Paul’s people weren’t polite but the old guard broke the rules.

Bridge2Gravina on May 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM

It’s time to stop being used…and to force the libertarians to join the party faithful and fight for their place and ideas but make them secondary to beating the Dems in the end. Otherwise STAY OUT of the party and hold your own damn primaries.
camaraderie on May 2, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Be careful what you wish for. Look at the demographics of the party. The youth is overwhelmingly for Paul. If you decide to disenfranchise them now, it is likely that they won’t turn out for the GOP in the future. All of the passion in this party is with the Paul supporters, especially the under 40 crowd.

iwasbornwithit on May 2, 2012 at 8:52 PM

i don’t have archived copies but i’m sure they are out there, the man has a decades old connection with these people
golembythehudson on May 2, 2012 at 4:47 PM

The link you provided says nothing about Ron Paul writing for Spotlight. Once again, you are lying. This is like the fourth obvious lie that I have caught you in. You obviously don’t have enough sense/shame to know when to quit. Pathetic.

iwasbornwithit on May 2, 2012 at 9:01 PM

One of the ideas the Paul people had was to stop the federal government from declaring the Tongass or ANWAR or any land that still has not been turned over to the state but promised at statehood, a world heritage preserve. hence turned over to the united nations. Their is real fear here in Ketchikan that the Tongass will be declared a World Heritage site. I don’t know numbers but the timber wealth is huge in the Tongass.

Bridge2Gravina on May 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM

That’s it, end the caucus system in the states and end the turnout to the conventions. Have you ever tried to generate turnout from the masses? It is not easy because people don’t want to vote, much less be involved. I say let those involved generate some excitement.
Our State (NC) forced delegate candidates to state whom they would support, we haven’t even voted for a candidate in NC yet. How can they declare and sign a document stating they will support Romney? That was the way the fat cat Republicans won their Romney delegates.

livermush on May 2, 2012 at 9:25 PM

camaraderie on May 2, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Not if the party nominee is no better than Obama.

Not if the party nominee wants to destroy liberty rather than defend it.

Not if the party nominee wants to police the world.

NO. MORE. I am a Ron Paul supporter and I voted for Bush.

I voted for Bush twice. So don’t give me this crap about how we’re “not really Republicans”.

Get a new argument.

fatlibertarianinokc on May 3, 2012 at 2:37 AM

Can Paul delegates cause mischief at the RNC national convention?

I hope to be there to find out in person and cast my vote for Newt.

Mitt would destroy the Republican Party. He seems to have no problem criticizing the base but considers most items off limits in attacks on Obama.

Steveangell on May 2, 2012 at 4:50 PM

It is heartening to know that I am not the only one capable of seeing that clearly.

DannoJyd on May 3, 2012 at 3:23 AM

Per the Ronulan rhetoric, the vast majority of people watching wouldn’t care, and of those who do understand, 90% would understand it as a parliamentary maneuver to counter Ronulan mischief-making.

JohnTant on May 2, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Uh-huh.

90% of those watching wouldn’t know the word “parliamentary”. But they sure as hell know when someone accepts a nomination under a cloud.

Which makes 90% of them a full leg-up on you…

JohnGalt23 on May 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Uh-huh.

90% of those watching wouldn’t know the word “parliamentary”. But they sure as hell know when someone accepts a nomination under a cloud.

Which makes 90% of them a full leg-up on you…

JohnGalt23 on May 3, 2012 at 10:18 AM

So where’s the outcry about Obama accepting his nomination “under a cloud?”

For a guy who likes to accuse others of being ignorant, you sure seem to be a stranger to that beam in your eye.

JohnTant on May 3, 2012 at 10:37 AM

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