By Carole on Jan 20, 2012
The GOP primary process isn't going according to the usual script. Longtime frontrunner Mitt Romney is stumbling at just the wrong time and no longer looks like the presumptive nominee, Newt Gingrich is surging again but after so many ups and downs, his prospects seem as unstable as his temperament. Ron Paul keeps raising enough money to remain in the race and play a serious spoiler role in state after state. And Rick Santorum, buoyed by the recent news that he actually won in Iowa, has become the anti-Newt in the race to be the anti-Romney. Could these characters and their campaigns be just the opening scenes in what may be a summer blockbuster - a brokered Republican Convention?
A brokered convention, one at which no single candidate has secured enough delegates to win the nomination, would release all delegates won during state primaries and caucuses from their obligation to vote for a particular candidate. Starting from scratch, the nominee would then be chosen via contested ballots instead of the usual anti-climactic roll call and the contenders would not be limited to the candidates who participated in the primaries and caucuses.
Granted, the idea of a brokered convention comes up during almost every election cycle as it brings some unpredictability and excitement to a traditionally dull process. But this year, the inability of Governor Romney to close the deal after 5 years of campaigning combined with three other candidates who each have strong support from different segments of the party's base makes the possibility more likely than it has been in quite some time.
On today's Morning Joe program on MSNBC, host Joe Scarborough claimed that he's "been talking quietly to the most powerful, I think, conservative movers-and-shakers in Washington over the past couple weeks, trying to get their read...Every single one I've spoken to is trying to figure out a way to get to a brokered convention."
That seems to be supported by the fact that many conservative leaders have so far declined to endorse any of the current candidates. Recently tea party favorite Sarah Palin even went so far as to encourage votes for Speaker Gingrich in tomorrow's South Carolina primary. She did so not as part of an official endorsement of the former Speaker of the House, but because she wants the primary process to continue without a clear victor.
Certainly the desire for a brokered convention would explain why the tea party movement, so instrumental in securing Republican gains in the 2010 mid term elections, seems to be on the sidelines during the early phases of the 2012 campaign.
The conservative website BigGovernment.com has gone as far as listing their Top Ten Republican Candidates for President in a Brokered Convention offering a list of dynamic individuals with strong conservative records that could capture the nomination and the imagination of the nation.
And that just might be the best reason to hope for a brokered convention no matter whether the eventual nominee is one of the current candidates or someone else. During this time in our nation's history when the upcoming election is so very important to all our lives, the electorate seems less and less interested in politics. Cynicism and apathy are running rampant and, as the 2008 election proved, many are only interested in who puts on the best show not who has the best ideas and the ability to implement them.
A brokered convention in Tampa this August may be just the kind of "Must See TV" that gets voters to wake up and pay attention so they can make a more informed decision in November.
|« Obama's Running For Another First Term||Perfect Candidates Don't Make Perfect Presidents »|