Brokered convention!

Shame on me, but I’m watching all the cable garbage about the Republican primary and I’ hearing a lot of BROKERED CONVENTION, from Michael Steele, from Joe Scarborough. Scarborough claims that Erick Erickson and Bill Kristol are also talking about it, but I I’d never know, because I wouldn’t read the filthy motherfuckers. (Not true, I do read EE sometimes.) Atrios’ post on brokered conventions is one of my all-time favorites:

Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!! But I started to think about how the news media would deal with such a thing if it were necessary. The primaries are early. The convention is in August. Between the primaries and the convention the bobblehead discussion would be unbearable. I don’t know how the campaigns themselves would deal with it. They couldn’t go dark, but they couldn’t campaign as the presumptive nominee either. There’d be calls and pressures from various quarters for one of the candidates to “do the honorable thing” and bow out for the sake of the party, or Tim Russert’s Nantucket vacation, or whatever.






73 replies
  1. 1
    Lojasmo says:

    FIX THE EDIT

  2. 2
    patrick the pedantic literalist says:

    Yeah, I can just see Newt doing the honorable thing and bowing out.

  3. 3
    Angry DougJ says:

    @Lojasmo:

    Talk to John. I can’t do it.

  4. 4
    EconWatcher says:

    To state the obvious: If Bill Kristol is predicting a brokered convention, it cannot happen. It’s a law of the universe, akin to gravity.

  5. 5
    Lojasmo says:

    @Angry DougJ:

    You CAN do it, little camper!

    I would love to see a brokered convention. Don’t recall one in my lifetime.

  6. 6
    dmsilev says:

    A brokered convention would be a disaster for the Republicans, and hence is something for us to hope for. First off, the candidates would have to stay in “appeal to the base” mode all summer long to avoid pissing off the maniacs who are the voting delegates. Secondly, what a wonderful way to solidify and exacerbate the fault lines in the party. Thirdly, if they choose a None of the Above candidate, that person has exactly two months to go from zero to Presidential Election. That’s a recipe for a highly amusing disaster.

  7. 7
    Roger Moore says:

    It’s only about two months between the last primary (Utah, 26 June) and the convention (starts 27 August); if it’s going to be brokered, all the primaries will be important and newsworthy. I suspect that what would happen in the intervening two months is that the remaining candidates would all ramp up their attacks on Obama in an attempt to prove that they’re the best choice in the general. That would give them something positive to do in public while they’re lobbying the superdelegates in private.

  8. 8
    MattF says:

    ‘Brokered convention’ meaning smoke-filled rooms, wheeler-dealer stuff? Gosh, you’d think Mitt and Noot would be above that sort of thing. Or, below it. Or, something;

  9. 9
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Yeah, talk of “brokered convention” in 2012 is responsible and respectful. Stephen Colbert, well hell, that’s just wrong and journos should ignore that, because . . well just because.

  10. 10
    KG says:

    Things they said would never happen in my life time:

    A sitting president impeached
    A president losing the popular vote but winning the electoral college
    A black man being elected president
    The Red Sox winning the world series

    And that’s just in the last 15 years or so, and doesn’t count things like 9/11 and Iraq and the rest

    So, is a brokered convention possible? Sure it is… But a lot has to happen before we talk about it as anything other than blogspheric wanking

  11. 11
    Yevgraf says:

    Today, I couldn’t watch sports because of JoePa’s passage, and couldn’t watch all the Gingrich-fluffing on the news. I think I’ll hit literotica or YouPorn, as the experience will be more edifying.

  12. 12
    cbear says:

    @Lojasmo:

    I would love to see a brokered convention

    I would love to see a Brokeback Convention and watch all these reprobate gooper assholes trying to fuck(over) their buddies.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    OT: But holy fuck, Steven Tyler is singing the national anthem.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    @Baud: Well that was different.

  15. 15
  16. 16

    Watching the pre-game blather on TV here in Central FL, and Mittens’ Super PACs have swung into action, carpet bombing the Newtster with flashbacks of him sitting with Nancy Smash, reminders about Freddie Mac, ethics investigation, etc.

  17. 17
    cmorenc says:

    @patrick the pedantic literalist:

    Yeah, I can just see Newt doing the honorable thing and bowing out.

    EXACTLY. Newt so far hasn’t shown the slightest bit of regard for avoiding the infliction of severe collateral damage upon the rival GOP candidate the party elders consider the most electable, and has the most massive ego this size of the planet Jupiter. If they cannot beat up on Newt enough to eliminate the possibility he could deny Romney’s ability to assemble enough delegates to make a brokered convention unnecessary, what can they possibly do to buy him off or circumvent him at the convention, at least without alienating Newt’s tea party supporters?

    The tea party types aren’t going to gladly accept being told by the elders that they’ve had their indulgent bit of fun, but now it’s time for the adults to step in and decide what’s best for them, especially if it’s something or someone the tea partiers weren’t sold on the first time around.

  18. 18
    Baud says:

    @JPL: Posted 30 seconds before the football thread went up. Sorry.

  19. 19
    EconWatcher says:

    I think a more likely prospect than a brokered convention is party bigwigs taking some kind of drastic and unprecedented move to knock Gingrich out during the primaries. I’m not sure what it would be, but there are plenty of dirty players among them, and I have no doubt they’re more creative than my feeble imagination can countenace. And Gingrich may have more enemies, more baggage, and more skeletons than anyone in DC.

    You really can’t overstate how much the party establishment types–even the most far-right ones–fear the prospect of a Gingrich candidacy and almost universally loathe the man himself. I hear this from my brother, who is a very well-connected professional wingnut.

  20. 20

    We, the Balloon Juice commentariat and a few of the front pagers here, have often derided the low information voter for being more likely to know who got “voted off the island” than knowing anything about the candidates. I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t just some innate defense mechanism, and that we ever-so-informed and ever-so-smart “high information voters” aren’t just gluttons for punishment.

    DougJ maybe you could do some sort of survey and find out how many of us don’t also peruse the BDSM fetish sites as well.

  21. 21
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @12 cbear:

    You need to come over to my place and clean the coffee off of my screen for that comment.

    Tampa 2012 – The GOP Brokeback Convention!

    priceless!

  22. 22
    Professor says:

    Anybody knows what has happened to Joe the Plumber?

  23. 23
    dmbeaster says:

    The brokered convention is never gonna happen. Why it is such a fetish of pundits is beyond me (except for the obvious explanation that everybody loves a train wreck, and the pundits’ preference is to promote the entertainment value of the process rather than political analysis worth listening to). It used to occur in the old days when the parties did not have primaries and sent “favorite sons” to the convention to bargain with one another for party leadership and the perks and privileges to be doled out by the leader. The convention, in essence, was the primary.

    The only way it would be possible now is if no one has 50% of pledged delegates going into the convention. That is very unlikely as I don’t see the candidates slogging through weeks of primaries and caucuses and trading even on delegates so that no one gets an advantage. And it requires the minor candidates to peevishly stay in with no chance for the nomination, but retaining a rump faction of delegates simply to mess with the two leaders. It just is not going to happen.

  24. 24
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    “Brokered Convention” is Villager pr0n. It keeps the Horse Race going, and provides a meager ratings boost, for the next few months.

    Nothing more.

  25. 25
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    So if we go 10 ballots then it will be Warren G. Harding, if it is 30 or more then it will be James Garfield. if we can only get a Voudou shaman to resurrect Reagan

  26. 26
    Schlemizel says:

    @Lojasmo:
    Don’t you think if it were that easy it wouldn’t already be done? Its not like JC wrote the POS this runs on. Relax, type carefully, live with your mistakes. Its not life or death

  27. 27
    Anya says:

    Wasn’t the brokered convention a fantasy for some during the 2008 Democratic Primary? It didn’t happen then and it will not happen in 2012. Besides, Republicans are more disciplined than the Dems.

  28. 28
    jheartney says:

    Aside from the fact that always-wrong Kristol is predicting it, a brokered convention is just unpossible. There’s too much time and too much pressure to get it all decided one way or another.

    Over the next few weeks an enormous amount of GOP establishment firepower will be aimed at the amphibian. It’ll be like the Fourth of July in January. Video demo of what it’ll be like.

  29. 29
    cmorenc says:

    @EconWatcher:

    To state the obvious: If Bill Kristol is predicting a brokered convention, it cannot happen. It’s a law of the universe, akin to gravity.

    Oh, it can happen just like Bill Kristol imagined and predicted the Iraq invasion should and would happen. What will go haywire is that it won’t unfold anywhere remotely the way Bill Kristol imagined and predicted it should and would happen. I agree that the problems will begin with the fact that the tea party types won’t be happy at all with any party establishment efforts to cram anyone down their throat whom they don’t enthusiastically like, and that all the people jockeying to be the eventual anointed one will spend much publicized effort pandering to the hard-core red-meat base of the party that will make moving to the middle awkward to impossible for the general election. And then there’s the problem that there isn’t an arena in existence big enough to hold Gingrich’s ego, or enough pain-killer in the universe to salve down the raw wounds the party establishment will have tried to inflict on him to avoid having to go to a brokered convention in the first place.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @patrick the pedantic literalist:

    Yeah, I can just see Newt doing the honorable thing and bowing out.

    Aha! Then there IS hope that Scarlett Johansson will show up on my doorstep later today and beg me to take her right there with the neighbors watching.

    Hmmm…I’ll have to invite her inside, or we’ll have to do it on the porch…can’t leave the door open, the cat might escape. Probably would, too.

  31. 31
    cbear says:

    @MikeBoyScout:

    The GOP Brokeback Convention!

    Slogan: Kill the Faggots (except the one who’s fucking me).

  32. 32

    The primaries are early. The convention is in August.

    Unrelated to the brokered convention discussion but the Mr. and I were talking about this after Mitt said he’d release his tax returns after he secures the nomination in April … we were thinking, dude, the convention isn’t until the end of the summer. You’re not securing anything in April.

  33. 33
    KG says:

    @dmbeaster: Paul has enough money and ground game to stay in for a long while (plus the Not-Mitt faction has to go somewhere in Virgina). If Santorum can pick up another state, he could have enough money in the bank to stay in for a while. I don’t know that Santorum would stick around, but Paul has said he wants to win delegates to be a player at the convention

  34. 34
    cmorenc says:

    @EconWatcher:

    I think a more likely prospect than a brokered convention is party bigwigs taking some kind of drastic and unprecedented move to knock Gingrich out during the primaries. I’m not sure what it would be, but there are plenty of dirty players among them

    I don’t think you’re going to have to wait long at all to see this happening; it will likely begin at latest by early next week in the run-up to the Florida primary. Something’s going to happen that will have Karl Rove’s M.O. written all over it, even though Rove himself is usually meticulous about wiping his fingerprints clean off any of his handiwork.

  35. 35
    Lojasmo says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Oh shit, I was joking. The FYWP version of “first!”

    Chillax.

  36. 36
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @KG:

    The Paultards have this fantasy that Paul will pick up enough delegates, and have enough “stealth” delegates, that if a 2nd roll call takes place, he can sweep to victory (as all the delegates are released from their first roll call pledges) and insure an Obama and Democratic landslide in November.

    Well, they don’t think that last part, that’s the practical effect, but their stupid enough not to realize the practical effect of Paul as the nominee.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ack, I need the edit button back to fix my stupid grammatical errors that the damn spell checker refuses to pick up!

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    Atrios via DougJ @ Top:

    Yes all political junkies dream of the brokered convention. It would be exciting!

    I don’t think it would be exciting. I just don’t see how any of the current participants can win the nomination.

    I know the conventional wisdom is that Romney will eventually get the nom, but I can’t a party filled with evangelical neo-Confederates will vote for a Massachusetts Mormon.

    Ron Paul isn’t bloodthirsty enough, and Newt and Santorum are both suspiciously Papist.

    If I had to guess the winner at this point, I’d pick Newt, because the base has been riled into an angry(-er) frenzy for the past 3 years and they want a bomb-thrower.

    But that seems even less likely than a brokered convention.

    Whatever happens, it’s gonna be ugly, and the ugly won’t peak until August or September.

    .

  39. 39
    gbear says:

    @jheartney: I’m hoping the explosion will be more like this.

  40. 40
    RSA says:

    Wikipedia says the last brokered convention that led to a candidate winning the Presidency was FDR.

    A lot of the Republican base talking about a brokered convention seem to want a candidate who hasn’t even seriously been in the running so far: Christie, Ryan, Bush, etc. I don’t know much about these things (I first heard the term “brokered convention” here on BJ), but that sounds totally nuts.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    RossInDetroit says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Paultards, etc.

    Every one of the Paul fan base that I know is dead certain that he will be the next president. Just as dead sure as they were 4 years ago. Not “I hope he does well” or “He’s making an important contribution to the dialog”, but “President Paul!!1!”.

  43. 43
    Michael says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, they don’t think that last part, that’s the practical effect, but their stupid enough not to realize the practical effect of Paul as the nominee.

    This is hardly surprising.
    An inability to realize what the practical effects would be of imagined action is a prerequisite for believing the garbage Ron Paul peddles.

    The smug intellectual superiority of his faithful is what makes it all especially rich.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @RossInDetroit:

    So, they’re (got that one right, by gum!) very much like Millerites, then.

    A “Great Disappointment” doesn’t shake their faith.

  45. 45
    Hungry Joe says:

    Almost every election there’s talk of a brokered convention because it’s so much fun to fantasize about. So — strictly in the realm of fantasy, mind you — a GOP brokeback (now in the lexicon) convention would be especially juicy because every mother’s son & daughter in the hall would stand firm in the belief that compromise is treason. It’d be a true hoot.

  46. 46
    patrick the pedantic literalist says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    After her short fling with Sean Penn, I think Scarlett may have a soft spot for ugly ol’ liberals — and therefore I think your chances are better with her than Newt give up the nomination for the good of the party.

  47. 47
    Ap Politika says:

    They said we’d never get lucky enough to have Newt as a serious candidate either.

  48. 48
    efgoldman says:

    @Hungry Joe:

    ….a GOP brokeback (now in the lexicon) convention would be especially juicy because every mother’s son & daughter in the hall would stand firm in the belief that compromise is treason.

    And they believe there’s nothing that can keep them from carrying a gun!
    Large popcorn with extra butter, please.
    May be a fantasy, but its a fun one!

  49. 49

    WHY CAN’T ROMNEY SEAL THE DEAL?

    Waiting for the Sunday morning bobblehead show devoted to THAT topic …

  50. 50
    Chad K. says:

    Saw some comments that said a BC would be a disaster for the GOP. I think you’re extremely wrong. A BC would have major appeal to Republicans and if it happens, you’ll see a giant wave of momentum for whoever was chosen. Any Democrat should probably panic in the rare event that a BC occurs.

  51. 51
    Hal says:

    Newt’s win should also start the next round of “What happened to my level headed and fair GOP” hand wringing from Frum etc.

    One thing that occurs to me is the direction the party takes based on what happened in the fall.

    1. If Romney loses, whether close or not, the reaction will be that he was a Rhino and the GOP should have picked a “true” conservative like Newt. The Republicans will move further to the right which could end up pushing them to become the party of white southern Republicans, and their won’t be much success in that.

    2. If Newt is the nominee and loses, especially if he loses big, then many moderate GOP may come out in full force to try and push the party back to the center. Suddenly being frothing at the mouth barely hidden racists who hate the gays might not be the best way to win an election anymore.

    The latter scenario seems far better for the future of the GOP, so it will be interesting to see what direction they go in.

  52. 52
    Wee Bey says:

    A brokered convention is unlikely.

    But the one thing that makes it slightly more probable is the presence of Paul.

    He can stay in for all 50 states and suck up 15-20 percent of the delegates.

    That makes it harder for Romney. Combine that with the GOP going to proportional awarding of delegates… Well, if it’s a three-way the whole way (hi, Newt!) it honestly could happen.

    We know Paul won’t drop out.

    Question is if Mitt can put enough of a beating on Newt on Super Tuesday to make the pressure unbearable.

  53. 53
    merrinc says:

    @Roger Moore:

    That would give them something positive to do in public while they’re lobbying the superdelegates in private.

    I don’t think the GOP has superdelegates. That’s a Democratic party idiocyidiosyncrasy.

  54. 54
    zzyzx says:

    It’s harder to get delegates than you might think. It’s not that a person who gets 30% of the vote gets 30% of the delegates. SC was pretty close to winner take all under the rules that split them by the winner of congressional districts.

  55. 55
    Anonymous At Work says:

    Brokered conventions require 3+ candidates with delegates and no one nominee with 50% or more. A Newt-Romney slugfest would likely result in one or the other having 50% with the other having just under 50%, and Paul/Santorum having too few delegates to matter since GOP rules are winner-takes-all. Only Democrats have a more proportional system.

  56. 56
    dmbeaster says:

    @Wee Bey: I agree that Paul’s presence makes a brokered convention theoretically possible. He is the third leg that might suck up a few delegates and wont quit, thereby becoming the rump voting block. But I dont think he will get many delegates under Republican rules, and I just cant see Newt v. Romney remaining evenly balanced for weeks on end. Someone is going to cold cock the other, and the Republican faithful will close ranks around the apparent winner, even if they are holding their noses while doing so.

  57. 57
    captain howdy says:

    Atrios: overreated

  58. 58
    captain howdy says:

    Atrios: overreated

  59. 59
    jheartney says:

    Also, you need money to keep running in all states. If it looks certain that one or the other is a loser, money will dry up and the race will be over.

    GOP does have superdelegates, just not as many as the Dems. Not enough to save Mitt’s bacon if he can’t suppress Newt.

    Florida has already started voting, so it’s too late for a come-from-behind crushing upset as in SC for Newt. But if Romney barely wins it he’ll be damaged goods going into Super Tuesday.

  60. 60
    General Stuck says:

    There is a reason that SC has picked the eventual GOP nominee since Reagan, and that is momentum. People get tired of wringing their hands on who to vote for, and after the third primary vote, they start saying fuck it and flow with the momentum. And that is always strongest for the person who won the last race. And in this case, by a crushing margin. I suspect Florida will be the last go around until things start congealing into a solid wingnut choice. Or, Romney wins big and everything turns to a vortex of murk.

    Often the party bigwigs and DC wizards can mold the results to a nom they prefer, but the GOP base at least, is having none of that this time. They are full of piss and vinegar and saying fuck you to the powers that be, we will pick our nominee, fuck you very much. It is all so entertaining, I can barely stand it.

  61. 61
    Wee Bey says:

    @dmbeaster:

    GOP rules have changed, though.

    They aren’t as proportional as the Dems, still, but they are proportional.

  62. 62
    Amir Khalid says:

    If it becomes a two-man race for the nomination between Noot and Mitt, it might not come to a brokered convention. Mitt has an organization. It’s not as big or as well-drilled as Obama’s, but it’s way better than whatever Noot has. Noot might score some successes by force of personality, as he’s just done in South Carolina. But where he needs a team to beat Mitt, in bigger, not so Southern states, I think he’ll come up short. (Assuming, of course, that Mitt doesn’t creeped out the base by failing to mimic a human well enough.)

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @dmbeaster:

    The only way it would be possible now is if no one has 50% of pledged delegates going into the convention. That is very unlikely as I don’t see the candidates slogging through weeks of primaries and caucuses and trading even on delegates so that no one gets an advantage. And it requires the minor candidates to peevishly stay in with no chance for the nomination, but retaining a rump faction of delegates simply to mess with the two leaders. It just is not going to happen.

    It could also happen if you have three serious candidates (e.g. Man on Dog, Dog on Car, and Wants a Dog), each of whom manages to win enough delegates to be credible but not enough to lock up the nomination. Also, too, minor candidates may not be staying around purely out of peevishness; they may be sincerely hoping to bargain their pledged delegates in exchange for power in determining the party platform (e.g. demanding an end to the Fed and a return to the Gold Standard) or in exchange for an important position in the administration.

    There’s also the question of superdelegates, who are less important for the Republicans but could be the deciding factor if the result of the primaries is very close. That would be one way for the party bigwigs to make their influence felt.

  64. 64
    Wee Bey says:

    @dmbeaster:

    As to the rest, I agree.

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    (Assuming, of course, that Mitt doesn’t creeped out the base by failing to mimic a human well enough.)
    Reply

    Darn you all to heck, WordPress! I want my Edit button!

  66. 66
    Wee Bey says:

    Another factor to look for is geographical/demographic hardening — particularly with the Paul complication.

    If Mitt wins only in the NE and West while Mitt sweeps the South and Santorum hangs in to win some in the Midwest — particularly OH/PA — all while Paul continues to get his 15-20 percent everywhere… You could have a mess.

    Again, unlikely. But one can see the ways it could happen.

    Obama-Clinton was never gonna end that way, because it was two candidates. A brokered convention situation needs at least three.

  67. 67
    catclub says:

    @Wee Bey: “He can stay in for all 50 states and suck up 15-20 percent of the delegates.”

    Nope, only before the winner-take-all states come into play.
    Then Paul gets zero additional delegates

  68. 68
    Nick says:

    @RSA: “Wikipedia says the last brokered convention that led to a candidate winning the Presidency was FDR.”

    And even then FDR had gained a clear majority, but the Democrats’ rules at the time said that the candidates needed a two-thirds majority to become the nominee. The last brokered convention that led to a candidate who didn’t have a majority later winning the presidency was in 1920 with Warren G Harding.

  69. 69
    nota bene says:

    For the record, a brokered convention is still very, very unlikely. The modern primary season is designed to prevent those and force a consensus well ahead of the actual convetion. But it’s not working (not yet, anyway); it’s clear to everyone that the odds of a brokered convention haven’t been going down in the last week or two.

    2nd derivative FTMFW!

  70. 70
    JR says:

    A “brokered convention” is NOT the same thing as an “open convention.” The real difference between the two is that in a brokered convention, the outcome of the nomination contest is settled well before the delegates come anywhere near the site: seeing the delegate counts, the candidates negotiate a settlement among themselves with the help of party elders and name a winner in advance of the convention. An open convention, by contrast, is one that takes place without a foregone conclusion.

    Now, with someone like Ron Paul, I doubt you’ll see him cutting any sort of deal to trade away his delegates, since nobody would consider putting him on the ticket (though he could put himself into a position where he gets some input into who does become Veep, letting him kibosh potential candidates he finds objectionable and suggest ones that fit his style). But if it means getting a Veep slot, I’m betting Li’l Ricky’s willing to hand his delegates over to either Mitt or Newt, depending on which one makes him the better offer if the race is tight enough for him to swing it. And, frankly, being such a reactionary sexless asshole who would give Tony Perkins a totally hetero rubdown in exchange for a kind word makes Santorum a good balance for either Romney or Gingrich.

  71. 71
    Applejinx says:

    Man On Dog, Dog On Car, and Dlog Standard?

  72. 72
    diane says:

    Applejinx;
    Isn’t it
    man on dog, dog on car, mistress on wife?
    Just saying.
    And to add paul in the mix
    crazy on bats-t crazy?

  73. 73
    Glen Tomkins says:

    I assume that Steele et al are talking up a brokered convention as a way of terrorizing anyone within their party and movement who has any sense into getting on some bandwagon or another. Anybody who has much contact with the mechanics has to have figured out that the most salient fact about the “brokered convention” is that it would be an unmitigated disaster because it could never actually be brokered, but would instead turn into a hung convention.

    These national quadrennial political conventions have become what the Estates General was to the France of 1789, an institution of theoretically limitless power, but one which, because it hasn’t actually operated in so many years, has no defined and accepted way of operating.

    You couldn’t broker such a convention because there are no settled paths for any would-be brokers (and many, many people would want desperately to fill that role) to do their brokering, to assemble masses of delegates whose votes they command, or for delegates in turn to have their votes brokered. They wouldn’t get past the seating of delegates without running into irresolvable conflict. There would be no force or institution above the convention available to resolve such disputes abut who gets seated, and so the convention could do nothing except dissolve itself in disarray and mutual recrimination without voting on anything, least of all the nominee. It would be 1860 all over again.

    Some sense that this is the case, that conventions can no longer be brokered, is undoubtedly one factor that fuels “momentum”, the observed tendency for nomination fights to resolve quickly and be decided well before the convention. But that very desperation to get someone, anyone, anointed before the convention, cuts all ways, it doesn’t single out any one of the competitors, it just adds
    more edge to the need to get your candidate over the line.

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