The possible GOP convention of a lifetime could be just around the corner in Tampa,Florida. I know many of you are thinking that Romney already had it in the bag, which is what the main stream media would have us all believe. But an obscure GOP rule change passed in January, 2008, has opened the way for Ron Paul delegates to place his name in nomination for president at the RNC in Tampa.
Under Rule 40, Section B in the Republican National Committee’s rule book, a presidential candidate must demonstrate the support of a “plurality of the delegates from five or more states” to get his or her name entered for nomination at the convention. It means that a candidate can be nominated for president or vice president if he or she has the most delegates in at least five states. As you can see below Ron Paul has crossed that threshold.
Colorado: Paul 18, Romney 16
Iowa: Paul: 23, Romney 2
Louisiana: Paul 27, Romney 19
Maine: Paul 21, Romney 3
Minnesota: Paul 32, Romney 8
Nevada: Paul 22, Romney 3
This may explain why the Romney forces have been apoplectic, even self-defeating, in their crushing of the duly elected Ron Paul delegates at the various remaining state conventions.
The big question is what happens to the 281 delegates Santorum won over the course of the campaign.
It depends on the states in which Santorum won them.
Of Santorum’s 281 total delegates (according to the Associated Press count), 84 were won in five states that award their delegates in nonbinding contests.
That means that the delegates from those five states — Iowa, Colorado, Minnesota, Washington state and North Dakota – had already been free to vote for any candidate at the convention and remain free to do so.
Then as we speak, a new lawsuit against the GOP by delegates to the Republican National Convention claims that they have been illegally coerced into voting for Mitt Romney for the party’s presidential nominee and they are demanding to be “unbound” to vote their conscience in favor of another candidate. A total of 200 plaintiffs in the case are from California,Arizona,Maine,Texas,Georgia,Nevada,South Carolina,Missouri,New Jersey,Michigan,Massachusetts,Louisiana,Illinois, Colorado and Alabama.
How can I as an American believe that 200 fellow citizens have had to file a law suit just to enable them to “Vote their conscience”?
The Paul campaign believes it has have a plurality of delegates in at least nine states and are also represented in non-Romney slates of delegates from other states headed to the national convention. These activists originally supported someone other than Romney during the primaries and aren’t bound by state party rules to vote for the former Bain executive’s vice presidential pick, which could present a challenge to Romney during the symbolic procedure of officially endorsing the nominee’s pick for vice president.
In the contest for vice president, there is not much that Romney can do to stop Ron Paul delegates from putting his name in nomination. Unless they find a way to quickly change the rule.
The Republican National Committee could change Rule 40 in the week leading up to the convention, but that would risk the appearance of jamming Romney’s nominee through, and likely cause a subsequent backlash.
Republican officials are still waking up to the fact that Paul loyalists — who control the majority of delegates in Maine, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota and Iowa, and have sizable contingents in a number of other states — could very likely enter Paul’s name into nomination for vice president. This would force a roll call vote where each delegate of each state is polled on the floor of the convention.
Such a move would transform a symbolic procedure that has taken mere minutes in the past several conventions into a chaotic and time-consuming spectacle that could eat up the better portion of a day.
Not only would such a floor fight step all over the message of party unity and strength that the Romney campaign hopes to drive through the convention, it would also open the door for alternatives to Romney’s choice to gain momentum and further drive the process off the rails.
If Ron Paul gets the nomination it would be clear sailing straight through to the White House, because the polls clearly indicate that Ron Paul actually beats president Obama in a face to face contest, doing better than Romney, because Paul pulls strength from general election voters, youth, Independents, Hispanics and Democrats. Ron Paul represents its future and its most important general election voters.
Wake up America.
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