If the reports from this weekend’s county conventions are any indication, the upcoming Republican district and state conventions are going to be something else.
The Ron Paul presidential campaign and its ardent, and sometimes obnoxious, supporters appear to be serious in their quest to secure as many delegates as possible through the caucus to convention process. While the Paul campaign showed some signs of strength at the county convention, there is still no guarantees that they will end up with a majority of delegates. The delegates will not be selected until June.
Putting forth an effort to secure national delegates doesn’t violate any convention or Republican Party rules, but it is rubbing some people the wrong way. Ron Paul has yet to win a single contest in the Republican nomination fight. There is a zero percent chance that Paul will be the Republican nominee. Yet, for one reason or another, the Paul campaign seems determined to prove a point by securing delegates in Iowa.
This is problematic for Iowa Republicans for a number of reasons. First, the Iowa Caucuses already suffered a black eye following a close contest between Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, where Romney was initially deemed the winner. Many Santorum supporters already feel as if they were robbed of a win from caucus night. If Santorum is ultimately denied delegates by the Paul campaign’s effort, the caucuses will likely endure another black eye because winning Iowa basically meant nothing.
Paul’s actions also hurt Romney, who also deserves a fair number of delegates for his second place finish. Securing the necessary 1,144 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination will be incredibly difficult for a candidate like Santorum, but Romney may need the dozen or so delegates that Iowa should provide him. It’s not inconceivable that Romney could come up a handful of delegates short of the magic 1,144 delegates. If he, or any candidate for that matter, is denied delegates that they had a claim to, Iowa’s process and standing in the nominating process will be even more heavily scrutinized.
Paul’s supporters, and other agitators who are always game for creating chaos, may want to fully consider the ramifications of their actions should they attempt to essentially render the results from the January 3rd caucuses meaningless.
1. Despite what the Paul campaign and his supporters may think, Paul will play an insignificant role at the national convention. There is no way he will be the nominee or have much influence on who is selected to be the nominee’s running mate.
2. The nomination could be secured before the Iowa Republicans head to the state convention, which means a nasty delegate fight is unnecessary and unproductive.
3. The convention process should be used as a tool to unite Republicans heading into the fall, not divide them.
4. As mentioned above, if the delegates don’t reflect the results from the caucuses, it just gives candidates and the RNC more reasons to strip Iowa’s First-in-the-Nation status.
5. Iowa may be the most organized state for the Paul campaign and the Campaign for Liberty. If U.S. Senator Rand Paul has any thoughts about running for president in the future, the Paul activists may want to avoid a nasty convention fight over delegates that are not going to lead to a Ron Paul victory anyway. Basically it might be wise to live to fight another day.
6. The Campaign for Liberty and Ron Paul supporters have not hidden their intentions to take control of the Republican Party of Iowa. What they don’t realize is that they already control it. This is the time they need to blend in, not act out, because they have acquired the control they have sought.
It’s still early in the caucus to convention process, but it maybe time for Chairman Spiker and Iowa’s Republican National Committeeman and Committee woman to talk to all the parties involved about doing what’s in the best interest for the caucuses, not a particular campaign. Failure to do so should have consequences.
Photo by Dave Davidson – Prezography.com
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