Crazy old Ron Paul.
Maybe, crazy like a fox.
There is a plan in the Ron Paul camp that has been in effect for years, but most don’t know anything about it. It’s the delegate strategy and it works like this:
Ron Paul’s 2012 campaign has taken an unorthodox tack, hoping to draw state delegates to his camp rather than simply winning the popular vote. As such, he is stacking up delegates who once backed Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum and other fallen candidates.
And the strategy is not unprecedented. Warren G. Harding pulled off a surprise win at the 1920 Republican convention, where he eventually won the nomination despite heading in with the fewest delegates of any remaining candidate. And Harding went on to sweep into the White House.
I saw the power of the Ron Paul organization at my own caucus in Missouri. In fact, events across Missouri were rocked by the presence of Ron Paul supporters who were simply more organized than the opposition. So my county, which voted overwhelmingly for Rick Santorum in our primary, will now be sending a majority of our delegates to the convention to vote for Ron Paul.
And the campaign isn’t hiding this strategy, unless you call talking about it on MSNBC hiding it, which I can totally understand:
While Ron Paul has not won any popular votes in any primaries, he has won a majority of delegates in many.
In Iowa, Ron Paul supporters have become delegates for other candidates. Under party rules, if the convention is brokered at some point those delegates could be eligible to throw their support behind Dr. Paul.
In Georgia, Paul forces took over or as local GOP officials called it “hijacked” the DeKalb County delegate-selection convention in eastern metropolitan Atlanta. They also missed by a whisker doing the same thing in populous Cobb County.
And in Clark County, Nevada, home to Las Vegas, at the county GOP convention made up of over 2600 delegates, Paul supporters organized and triumphed by electing Paulites to all 14 seats on the ballot for county GOP executive committee board. These 14 new members of the board will make up two-thirds of the ruling body. Consequently, that county’s GOP platform now calls for holding elected officials to their oath to the Constitution, repeal of the 16th Amendment, and a full audit of the Federal Reserve.
While the “official” delegate tally might show Mitt Romney has ten times the number of delegates Ron Paul has, the question I have is, “How many of Romney’s delegates will cast their vote for him and how many are Ron Paul supporters hoping for a brokered convention?” That’s an important answer considering this:
According to explicit language in their rules, Republicans can’t bind delegates from a state to vote only for one candidate by a winner-take-all rule, for example, nor are they supposed to allow non-Republicans to vote in their contests.
Given the rebellious spirit within the Republican Party embodied by a tea party movement that demands respect for the Constitution, party leaders can’t just wish away departures from the rules. Indeed, the national convention in Tampa just might take us back to a different political era: one in which delegates act on their power to choose the nominee that they think best represents the Republican Party — even if that is someone other than the apparent winner through state primaries and caucuses.
As set out in the Rules of the Republican Party, delegates have the ability to vote according to the delegates’ preference, even if that is contrary to the outcome of each state’s primary. According to one source, the legal counsel for the Republican National Convention in 2008 stated: “[The] RNC does not recognize a state’s binding of national delegates, but considers each delegate a free agent who can vote for whoever they choose.” Thus, if a delegate were to challenge his or her ability to vote as a free agent, he or she would have grounds under Rule 38.
Is it possible that states that voted for Mitt Romney are actually sending delegates to Tampa that will instead cast votes for Ron Paul? That’s the Paul campaign’s plan, and if they are as organized nationally as they were in Missouri, it’s probable. This explains why Ron Paul continues to campaign, despite the evidence he’s so far behind.
I’ve seen first hand what these folks are capable of on the local level. I would not be surprised to see a convention in Tampa more raucous than the state-wide caucuses here in Missouri.