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12/19/2007
THAT WAS A CONVENTION TO REMEMBER (PART 2)

Note: We’re going to play a little counterfactual game today based on the following input: Suppose the primaries end and no GOP candidate has achieved a majority of delegates? In that case, the role of the Republican convention will revert to what such conclaves used to be about; a venue where nominees were actually chosen rather than the idiotic beauty pageants and love fests they’ve become today.

Following are some excerpts from my blog posts from the time I arrived in Minneapolis on August 30, 2008 to the end of the convention.

(I will update this post for the next few days) Part 1 is here.

********************************************************

September 1: 8:00 AM

Got up early this morning thanks to Fausta falling out one of the hammocks Ed had strung up in the living room. Apparently, the poor dear fell right on top of Frank of Political Vindication who yowled in protest. This caused his partner Shane to wake up with a start and hit his head on the underside of the First Mate’s 18th century walnut Louis the XVI Gilded Trumeau, the poor guy forgetting he had fallen asleep underneath it.

Shane didn’t cause too much damage and I’m sure after applying a little Super Glue and chewing gum, the priceless antique will be as right as rain.

At any rate, the opening of the convention isn’t scheduled for another two hours but there’s big news coming out of the closed door meeting of the Rules Committee this morning.

According to Rule 16 (f), there is no appeal of the sanctions applied by the RNC to the 5 states who violated party rules by holding their primaries before February 5. But when did rules ever stop politicians? The deal worked out involves suspending the rules and seating the delegates anyway. This will be accomplished by the chair recognizing Florida and Governor Charlie Crist asking for the suspension of rules regarding infractions. The other 4 states will second the motion while a 5th state - probably New York - will also second thus fulfilling the rules requirement that 5 delegations be in favor of the rules suspension. The chair will put it to a voice vote where the “ayes” will have it.

Thus, a bloodbath is avoided - temporarily. It seems with the whole world watching, everyone so far has seen it in their own interest to try and maintain some semblance of decorum and unity. As Samuel Johnson said (or maybe it was Ben Franklin), “The prospect of being hung in the morning concentrates the mind wonderfully.”

Indeed.

A couple of notes on speakers. As you know, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will be the keynote speaker tonight. The speech is being billed as a plea for unity (duh) and a call to defend America from all enemies both here and abroad. I would hope that Governor Jindal has a few words of comfort for Democrats who may not be able to stomach voting for Hillary. There are certainly enough of them and reaching out to centrist Democrats would be a good idea politically.

Also, CNN is reporting that James Dobson is upset at his being slotted tomorrow afternoon. Did the guy think he rated a prime time shot? Pretty arrogant considering the fact that he’s still threatening to bolt the party if Rudy gets the nomination.

Finally, President Bush’s speech tomorrow night will probably begin around 9:00 PM local time (10:00 PM eastern). There was some thought given to shortening Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin’s speech but in the end, it was decided that the “anti-Hillary” concept was too important to shortchange.

Mostly boring rules debates this morning. Senator Coleman’s speech tonight is probably the next bit of news so I will update this post after he’s done.

UPDATE: 1:00 PM

Just got handed this press release from Mark Sanford’s people:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(No Embargo)

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA - South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford has announced his candidacy for President of the United States today.

“This is not a ‘Favorite Son’ candidacy. I am offering myself as a compromise candidate and hope that the convention will put aside its differences and come together as all Republicans should.”

Governor Sanford will address several southern delegations later this afternoon in an effort to garner support for his campaign…

Not entirely unexpected. Sanford mulled running this year but held off, smartly in my opinion. The tip-off to this move came when he failed to endorse McCain last January (after endorsing him in 2000) following the Arizonian’s shocking win in New Hampshire. It was at that point that talk of an up-for-grabs convention really started to become more than idle curiosity and perhaps Sanford saw a possible opportunity.

Regardless of what he says, he is, in fact, a “favorite son” candidate - and a regional one at that. His goal is to force the number of ballots go beyond 4 or 5. At that point, if he has a pocketful of delegates, he could probably name his own price in a Thompson administration (most observers see him leaning toward Fred). If Fred has retired at that point, he may offer himself as Romney’s Vice President.

How many delegates could he realistically hope for? A nice round figure would be 100. And in a close race where every single head is being counted, 100 votes is a huge number.

Sanford is a very capable and attracive politician - a man whose time may be in the near future. Is there any scenario where the convention could stampede his way? I would think only if the delegates were exhausted and had no where else to go would they consider someone outside of the Fab Five who are already here.

One humorous note: There’s a rumor that Rudy’s people are hopping mad at the order in which the candidates will be nominated on Wednesday night. Each candidate will be allowed one nominating speech and one seconding speech lasting no more than 5 minutes. They have also limited the “demonstrations” of support to no more than 15 minutes.

The Giuliani people are upset that since they are going first the speeches and demonstration for Rudy will begin before prime time - around 5:30 eastern. The order was determined by lots so I don’t exactly know what Rudy’s people think the RNC could do about it. The rules require that the voting begin immediately after the nominating speeches are over. Since it’s already likely to be a long night, I think the RNC is doing well to get the speechifying and demonstrations over by 8:00 eastern so at least people can see a little of the drama of how this convention will play out in prime time.

More after Coleman’s speech.

UPDATE II

And so ends Day I of what is proving so far to be something of a love fest. The two speakers tonight acquitted themselves well. Norm Coleman’s welcoming speech was short, sweet, and funny. The bit about Minnesota being in the midst of an Al Gore caused heat wave was priceless.

Everyone was interested to see Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s new governor and someone many believe might make a run some day for president. As keynote speaker, his job was to hit the themes of the convention and inspire some optimism about the future. An impossible task given the circumstances. Still, he also did pretty well. I think they could have gotten a better speaker (Alaska governor Sarah Palin would, in my opinion, have been a better choice) but Jindal wasn’t a disaster.

Debate on the platform began this afternoon and surprisingly, the social cons were holding their fire. Of course, the real controversy comes tomorrow when the convention takes up the controversial plank on gay marriage.

Given that no one wants to alienate anyone else’s supporters, there haven’t been the bruising fights on the platform this year as there has been in the past. Almost all the major disagreements were worked out in the last two weeks behind closed doors in the Platform Committee.

But the libertarians are not going to sit still for the Huckabee-inpsired amendment on gay marriage which goes far beyond the 2004 GOP platform which didn’t mention gays, only “that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage.”

Huckabee’s swipe at homosexuals to include the word “unnatural” in the plank has set off a firestorm. This morning, the debate hits the floor with James Dobson taking the stage to defend the wording. It will be interesting to see how the party wriggles out of this one.

Back to the Morrissey Hotel for a couple of hours sleep.

By: Rick Moran at 1:38 pm
5 Responses to “THAT WAS A CONVENTION TO REMEMBER (PART 2)”
  1. 1
    Stephen Said:
    7:04 pm 

    Hanged! HANGED! HANGED!!!

    The stockings were hung by the chimney with care.

    But …

    The assassin was hanged from the gallows with great fanfare.

  2. 2
    America Needs Me Trackbacked With:
    8:46 pm 

    Huckenstein…

    Huckabee’s rise should panic the villagers enough to unite behind a real candidate….

  3. 3
    Palin for VP! Said:
    1:18 am 

    Just found your blog, but love the convention so far…I can’t wait for the veep nomination process, and thanks for giving Gov. Palin a prime-time speech!

  4. 4
    Old Mike Said:
    11:36 am 

    I am a fundamentalist Christian and I feel strongly on what might be called Christian moral issues. I perfer the 2004 wording. We Christians need to remember that Satan is the enemy not sinners. I oppose gay issues across the board but villifying gays is just plain wrong. There is way too much religion in this election.

  5. 5
    tHePeOPle Said:
    12:44 pm 

    It would be cool if America Needs Me would describe which candidate(s) would be considered a “real candidate.”

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