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Sarah Palin, ruler of the Republican National Convention?

February 17, 2012

I understand Sarah has hinted her involvement in the process isn’t over. I read the Fox News Insider piece and I didn’t quite get that impression, but apparentliy others did. If we go to a brokered convention – and it looks more likely than not, right now – she could have enormous influence. And, since she’s been publicly vetted at least a much as the current crop of candidates, dropping her name in after the first ballot would be easy. I think. She’s been running all this time, but doing it in her own way without being forced into the petty bickering that has pretty much the last few months of campaigning.

Do we want a candidate who was selected, not elected? Well, see, that was the intention of the system. Some states don’t bind their delegates at all, some do only on the first ballot. We’re really choosing people to go to the convention and vote our intentions as our representatives. (I’d draw the parallel to Congess, but there is a huge difference between representing us for a few days at a political convention and being a career congresscritter.)

I remember the convention of 1968. While everyone talks about the Democrat convention in Chicago, the Republican one in Miami Beach was pretty wild as well. Richard Nixon won on the first ballot, but he received only just over half the delegate votes – both Ronald Reagan and Nelson Rockefeller received a significant number of votes, and several governor “favorite son” candidates picked up anywhere from 20 to 50 each. A plan was in place that, should Nixon not receive the 677 votes required in the first ballot, many delegates were going to switch to Reagan for the second ballot. Nixon received 692 votes and that situation was avoided. He was in no way the runaway choice of Republicans that year.

Depending upon how the next few months turn out, the Republican convention could easily require more than one ballot – and the winner of that one could be anyone who is nominated from the floor: Jeb Bush, Bobby Jindal, Sarah – anybody. I think a lot of conservatives would be relieved if the final choice really was “none of the above” on the first ballot!

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