Ron Paul’s delegate strategy may be the worst kept secret in Republican circles. And while most observers are treating Mitt Romney as the presumptive nominee, it looks as though Republicans are getting nervous that they may have a floor fight at their convention in Tampa:
Paul supporters swept this weekend’s state GOP conventions, picking up 21 of 24 RNC delegates in Maine and 22 out of 28 delegates in Nevada. The twin victories come on the heels of Paul’s surprise delegate wins at district caucuses and state conventions in Missouri, Minnesota, Colorado, and Louisiana, as well as a Paul-friendly takeover of the Alaska GOP.
Paul supporters have managed to stage these state-level coups despite significant resistance from local Establishment Republicans, many of whom are predictably reluctant to relinquish their power to the insurgents. So far, however, the Paul campaign has attributed most of the Establishment’s “shenanigans” to local animosities.
But there is growing evidence that the Romney camp — and the national GOP — are stepping up their efforts to prevent an embarrassing Ron Paul uprising on the floor of the Republican National Convention.
In Maine, for example, the Romney campaign dispatched its top lawyer, Benjamin Ginsberg, to oversee the state convention proceedings this weekend. (It’s worth noting that Ginsberg is best known for his work for George W. Bush during the 2000 Florida recount.)
Even if the nomination is not in play, an army of Paul delegates could cause significant problems for the presumptive nominee, who needs a smooth convention to assuage concerns about his ability to unite and energize the Republican base.
Yeah, I realize that I’m a bit late on this, but I’ve been busy today and haven’t had a lot of time to catch up on my blogging. I did manage to catch Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech last night from the bar at the Hyatt, not far from the Times forum, which is hosting the Republican National Convention.
Ryan hit a homerun last night. There’s no question about it. No, I don’t agree with everything he said. I don’t agree with his record. But he came across as a decent, concerned guy. Everyone in the bar, mostly Republicans, were glued to the TV, clapping at some of the more direct lines attacking President Barack Obama.
Ryan hit familar notes, noting the mounting fiscal problems that faces the United States. He explained the cronyism of the Obama Administration, the failures of the stimulus bill and unemployment, and cuts to Medicare.
But he also noted his background. Ryan lost his father at an early age and pointed to his mother as a strong influence in his life, which reminds me of my background. And I’m not afraid to admit that it made me think of my mother and what she did for me after my dad passed away.
So-called “fact-checkers” have, of course, ripped into Ryan. Some of the items are legit, others are, well, incredibly wrong. For example, Ryan made a remark about a General Motors plant that closed after Obama took office, something the then-candidate promised wouldn’t happen in 2008. Fact-checkers said that the plant closed in 2008, before Obama took office. Well, the “fact-checkers” got it wrong, as Reason explained. Another example of media bias or lazy reporting. You pick, but it’s not the worst example from this week, that’s for sure.
On Tuesday voters in three more states went to the polls to vote in the presidential primary race. The presidential race took a back seat to the Senate election in Indiana and the marriage vote in North Carolina, but despite what news outlets may tell you, the presidential race still isn’t over.
Last night Mitt Romney picked up the win in all three of these states. The Ron Paul campaign, not even fazed by the results, carries on with its quest of picking up delegates in the various GOP state conventions. Some may be starting to see what’s happening; others still remain clueless.
Take, for example, this map showing the winner of the majority of delegates to the national convention. That’s pretty significant, assuming all of those counts are correct. (The actual delegate count is still a bit of a mystery.)
Some people have told me this doesn’t matter since many of the delegates will have to vote for Romney on the first round of voting at the national convention (because they’re bound to vote according to the official distribution from their state party). If, after the first round, nobody has 1,144 votes, additional rounds of voting will take place, and delegates are free to vote for the candidate of their choice.
On the issue of bound delegates, however, there is some interesting information in this Reality Check segment from Ben Swann. There’s some question as to whether or not the delegates can or will be bound in that first round of voting. Honestly, the whole issue of amending convention rules and changing things like that goes way over my head pretty quickly.