Blow, wingnuts, and crack your cheeks [Updated]
So, as Bette notes, the 2012 GOP Convention looms large on the horizon, and I’m sure we’re all agog at the prospect of the week ahead.
We already know the draft platform that’ll be *ahem* revealed at the Convention and that Mitt’ll sign off on because, with typical efficiency, GOP staffers hit “Publish” on an online draft and preempted the heck out of themselves.
We also know the themes of each of the four days:
Planned Convention Schedule
Monday—“We Can Do Better”
Tuesday—“We Built It”
Wednesday—“We Can Change It”
Thursday—“We Believe in America”
Though this, of course, has been subject to last-minute revision following Gov. Rick Scott’s declaration of a State of Emergency, including distribution of sandbags to some of those in the Tampa area, given that Tropical Storm Isaac’s currently bearing down on early-arriving delegates:
Revised Convention Schedule (Outdoors On Roof If Wet)
Monday—“Onward To 2008, Because That Worked Out So Well”
Tuesday—“Let Somebody Else Pick Up The Pieces As Usual”
Wednesday—“We Screwed Everything Up Before, And By Golly, We’ll Do It Again If They Let Us”
Thursday—“We’ll Say Anything”
We also know that Mittens, egged on by Peggy Noonan, is at last exploring his legendary unzipped wisecracky fun side, so there’ll be human touches this year on top of the usual Baboon Choruses of OO-ESS-AY, ritual slutshaming, forced repatriation of any undocumented convention center staff, and all the other palaver.
Mitt and Ann have been busy trialing the all-new GOP Jumbo Salute:
And continuing the elephantine theme, there’ll be some very fetching merchandise for sale:
In brief: not great.
The sop of a Monday speaking slot for wee Rand and his pet tribble and the promise of an ego-pumping Tuesday night movie show tribute/obituary for Ron haven’t been grasped as sufficient reward for the months of campaigning and battling among rattlin’ Ron’s more hardcore supporters.
RonPaul.com currently leads with:
This comes hard on the heels of:
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – The Ron Paul 2012 Presidential campaign released today details of its much-anticipated ‘We Are The Future Rally’ that will occur just ahead of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Sunday, August 26th at the University of South Florida Sun Dome from noon until 5:00 p.m. Congressman Paul will speak at or around 4:00 p.m. and will be introduced by his son, U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky.
“Ron Paul’s rally will enable supporters, the public, and media to further witness the ideas and people that are the future of the Republican Party,” said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.
The main Paulite idea that’s been adopted in the platform is to audit the Fed, which Ron’s Twitter feed is banging on about constantly at the moment, along with a drive to seek a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution
The Sacramento Bee relays an AP piece:
TAMPA, Fla.—Mitt Romney loyalists, seeking a show of strength and solidarity at next week’s GOP convention, struggled Friday to placate restless Ron Paul supporters while also weakening the powers of such insurgent candidates in future Republican primaries.
Pre-convention haggling annoyed devoted backers of Paul, the 77-year-old Texas congressman who was among Romney’s primary challengers. One Republican National Convention panel voted to replace 10 delegates from Maine who are supportive of Paul, deciding that they came to Tampa through a flawed state selection process. A second pro-Romney committee moved to adopt a rule narrowing the routes for delegates to national conventions in 2016 and beyond.
“It sends the message that when the establishment doesn’t get the outcome they want they will use the process to change it,” said Mike Rothfeld of Virginia, who tried in vain to block the ouster of Maine’s delegates partial to Paul. “It will not be good for the party. It will not be good for Mitt Romney.”
Paul didn’t win a single presidential primary, yet he was able to amass 177 delegates, according to the Associate Press tally. That’s due to an intense effort, particularly in caucus states, to swarm state conventions that took place after the primary elections. His followers won a majority of delegate slots in Iowa, Maine, Minnesota and Nevada.
But the Maine delegation underwent a makeover on the convention’s eve. After several hours of discussion, the credentials committee voted overwhelmingly to substitute 10 Paul delegates with 10 aligned with Romney.
William McGinley, a lawyer pressing the case for the delegate swap, said the Maine convention was invalid because it was riddled with problems. Some party officials complained of lax floor security and dubious identification of participants.
McGinley said Paul’s supporters “shouldn’t be able to benefit from this chaos.”
Paul’s allies said it was Romney’s team that threw up obstacles back in May.
The move had immediate repercussions. Maine Gov. Paul LePage, a delegate himself, said he would skip the convention because of the discord. Another remaining delegate, former state lawmaker Stavros Mendros, predicted it would hamper the GOP’s bid to snatch an electoral vote in Maine given its process of awarding those based on geographic vote totals.
“It’s going to be a disaster back home,” Mendros said. “People are going to be out for blood.”
In an adjoining ballroom, allies of Romney worked to make it harder for insurgent presidential candidates such as Paul to have a big voice in future nominating conventions. GOP rule-makers voted to tie the selection of convention delegates to the results of each state’s Republican primary. Supporters of the rule change said primary voters expect national convention delegates to be loyal to the primary winner.
The proposed change is subject to a later vote on a large rules package.
The Guardian promises a three-day Paulpalooza, the PAUL (People Awakening and Uniting for Liberty—they obviously chickened out of my suggestion, Paulites Undermining Mitt Abominably) Festival, on the fringe of the Convention, some of which may be forestalled by the weather. It adds:
Paul’s delegate strategy saw supporters overtake the nomination process in several states, winning large numbers of delegates in places like Massachusetts, Maine and Louisiana. It also saw fierce disputes with party officials, including scuffles that led to arrests and injuries in Louisiana.
However, the number of Paul delegates has since been chipped away with several state delegations packed with Paul supporters being virtually tossed out. Talks between the Romney team and the Paul campaign have now reached compromises in many cases, but at a cost of a reduced Paul presence.
Evan Kenney is a Massachusetts Ron Paul supporter who first won his delegate place, then saw it denied by the local state party, and then had it reinstated on Wednesday along with four others, leaving 12 Paul supporters still left out.
“It’s really tremendous that we did make a difference, but still extremely disheartening that 12 elected representatives were unjustly removed from their rightful positions,” he said.
His team has also urged his supporters to not upset official proceedings in Tampa.
Some experts believe that could be down to ensuring a smooth handover of the reins of the movement to Rand Paul, who did secure a coveted high profile speaking slot at the convention.
“Ron Paul sees this as a multi-generational project. He sees his son as the next stage. You don’t want to burn bridges,” said Professor Cary Covington, a political scientist at the University of Iowa.
Probably not least because of these tensions, the GOP establishment plans to push to have Romney nominated as early in the Convention week as possible. We’ll see how that pans out. If Mitt wants to steady his nerves before his big week, he probably won’t want to visit the Ron Paul Forums.
This just in from Political Insider:
DATE: August 25, 2012
FROM: RNC Chairman Reince Priebus @Reince
TO: Interested Parties
RE: RNC Convention
Due to the severe weather reports for the Tampa Bay area, the Republican National Convention will convene on Monday August 27th and immediately recess until Tuesday afternoon, August 28th, exact time to follow.
Our first priority is ensuring the safety of delegates, alternates, guests, members of the media attending the Republican National Convention, and citizens of the Tampa Bay area. RNC Convention officials and the Romney campaign are working closely with state, local and federal officials, as well as the Secret Service, to monitor Tropical Storm Isaac and preserve Florida’s emergency management resources. Officials have predicted participants may encounter severe transportation difficulties due to sustained wind and rain.
The Republican National Convention will take place and officially nominate Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, and the Party has other necessary business it must address. We also are remaining in constant contact with state and federal officials and may make additional schedule alterations as needed.
The Convention staff is working around-the-clock to ensure the delegations housed in storm-impacted areas have alternative housing if needed. The Committee on Arrangements will provide additional information to delegates and alternate delegates who are affected by Isaac by Sunday morning. We will also provide guidance to those delegates and alternate delegates who may encounter travel difficulties due to the storm.
We will begin issuing revised convention programming as early as Sunday.
We have an experienced team that will ensure changes are operationally smooth and create as little disruption as possible. The most important concern is safety, but our Convention program will proceed.
Hope you’re hanging in there, Betty.