March 12, 2012

Surprise: Mitt Romney's Against A Brokered Convention

Internal debate is ultimately a healthy thing.  We're not Democrats.
Mitt Romney says a brokered convention would be bad for the Republican party and by Republican party, he means him.

Via Politico;
“Look, if we go all the way to the convention we would be – we would [be] signaling our doom in terms of replacing President Obama,” Romney said on Fox News.

“You’re going to see me getting the delegates I need to become the nominee and we sure as heck are not going to go to a convention. All the way to the end of August to select a nominee, and have campaigns working during the convention?” Romney said. “Why, can you imagine anything that would be a bigger gift to Barack Obama than us not having a nominee until the end of August? That’s just not going to happen.”
That's not really an argument against it, he merely posits that it's bad and a gift to Obama.  He doesn't say why it would guarantee and Obama win.  That's not an argument it's a plea.   With the likes of  Sean Trende saying the possibility of a brokered convention is on the rise (personally I believe it is a distinct possibility), Mitt Romney has to offer more than scare tactics of 'doom' to convince me that a brokered convention is a bad thing.

What the race needs is a shake up. Why?  I don't know I just said it, so believe me.  Actually, I'll go one better than Mitt Romney.  I'll explain my logic. Mitt Romney has no more than a plurality of support.  He has not convinced a majority of Republican voters that he's the right guy to face, and beat, Obama.  He still has time to convince enough primary states that he is indeed the guy, but he still has yet to achieve a runaway victory.  As a result he cannot rightly claim he has the mantle of conservative support nor Republican support.  

Voters are not fully decided and still need time to settle on a candidate.  Chances are increasing that they will not fully do so before the convention.  The party will need the convention to resolve the unanswered question.  That actually works to Mitt Romney's favor in winning the primary.  But it also might point out that the "party of Reagan" isn't really a grassroots party, or even Reaganesque.  As painful as that truth might be to find out because a brokered convention just settles on Romney the way voters could not, if it is the truth it needs to see the light of day.  Truth revealed.  That helps conservatives to understand where the GOP really stands.

But wait, there's more.  Conservatives would have a chance to coalesce around a not Romney candidate if there's a significant level of buyer's remorse as the convention approached.  

There would be a truly heightened attention on the convention as the media which, despite the media's inevitable attempt to portray the Republicans in a bad light (disorganized, unsure, at odds with themselves, etc.) they have to cover the events at the convention in great detail.  There's an aura of unknown, and it's close to the general election.  A few good speeches would enhance interest in the GOP as a real alternative to Obamanomics.  that's a good thing.

What Romney might argue is a negative - the media portrayal of the GOP - is overcome easily enough, particularly if the convention ends with a truly inspiring message that comes from the supposed chaos.  An image that springs to mind is a solid platform, forged from the ideas of all the candidates that will march forward together to face Obama.

Makes you quiver a little, doesn't it?

I could be wrong.  There are indeed potential downsides to a brokered convention (even I can think of several).  But let's face it, Romney didn't make that case.  He just wants you to vote for him now, while you still can.  And that sort of negative campaigning has worked for him in primaries past, but it's not enough to beat Obama and it seems like a hint of fear to me.
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