Here it is only Groundhog Day, and even that cheap whore Conventional Wisdom can’t fluff the awfulness of nine more months of unmitigated Willard. Dave Weigel at Slate points out that within the GOP compound, the natives are restless:
… It’s not just Bill Kristol worrying about this field. Nearly two out of every five GOP voters exited the ballot boxes, picked up their exit poll forms, and scribbled down that they were “unsatisfied” with their choices. That’s remarkably lousy! If this turns out to be a short primary, with a lot of pundits paid to talk about stuff but lacking stuff to talk about, there’s material here for some more brokered convention/Americans Elect nattering…
GOP voters: Still bored. Total GOP primary turnout in 2008: 1,949,498. Total turnout this year, before the official count: 1,661,824.
But if Alex Pareene’s information is correct, it’s too late for a new White Knight:
We all owe a great big thanks to political scientist Josh Putnam. Putnam actually went to the trouble of looking up the filing deadlines for all the coming primaries and caucuses in order to see whether it would be possible for a new candidate to enter the Republican presidential race and actually win the nomination. Short answer: Sure, if they entered [last Monday] and won enough write-ins and uncommitted delegates. But by [last Tuesday], it would be effectively impossible to win the nomination before the convention…
Please keep this in mind when you read (and you will read) pundits still imagining or praying for some current non-candidate to enter the race. It would only be possible to win, at this point, by specifically planning to turn the Republican National Convention into an unpredictable free-for-all, something I’m not sure even Ron Paul would be willing to do, let alone some staid figure like Daniels.
Or, for that matter, Jeb Bush, whom Fred Barnes theorizes could “emerge as an acceptable compromise nominee” at the convention, assuming Gingrich has enough delegates to deny Romney the nomination. (His other Bush theories: A VP nod or some sort of vague “kingmaker role” in which he instructs Republicans to select either Romney or Gingrich, and they listen to him, because he … is a hypnotist? It’s not clear.)
Imagine thousands of delegates, free to support whomever they choose at a wide-open convention, all magically coalescing around Jeb Bush as the Republican nominee — in late August, following months of bruising battle between Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney — and then feel free to imagine the outfit you’ll wear to Obama’s second inauguration.
The harsh reality of the unworthiness of any of the four still-staggering “serious” GOP candidates to engage the attention of anyone not politically addicted and/or being paid for the task has sent the Media Village courtiers spinning down some very strange tangents. Among those tangents is the WaPo‘s latest happy idea that the Romney and RonPaul campaigns have formed a “strategic alliance“:
… The Romney-Paul alliance is more than a curious connection. It is a strategic partnership: for Paul, an opportunity to gain a seat at the table if his long-shot bid for the presidency fails; for Romney, a chance to gain support from one of the most vibrant subgroups within the Republican Party.
“It would be very foolish for anybody in the Republican Party to dismiss a very real constituency,” said one senior GOP aide in Washington who is familiar with both camps. “Ron Paul plays a very valuable part in the process and brings a lot of voters toward the Republican Party and ultimately into the voting booth, and that’s something that can’t be ignored.”…
And of course the fierce fanboys of the RonPaul Army will happily accept an out-of-prime time convention speech slot and a nice mid-row seat at the imagined Romney inauguration for their Dear Leader and Philosopher. It’s been three weeks since Salon‘s Steve Kornacki labelled Paul an “extortionist” angling for the Jesse Jackson / Pat Robertson / Jerry Brown / Pat Buchanan role at this year’s Tampa convention. The Paulistas are, at heart, sensible people! They know their vanity candidate is nothing more than the figurehead for a niche market of hipsters dabbling at boutique politics! They know better than to turn the serious business of a national political convention into a mock-worthy LARP weekend playing Risk in front of the media!
But then again, here’s Erick Erickson [warning: RedState link] back on January 19:
A prominent friend told me some weeks ago that he noticed an odd thing. In his state, several people who have been successful in getting themselves known as very probably Mitt Romney delegates… are also long time staunch Ron Paul supporters.
Why then would they, long time staunch Ron Paul supporters, align this year with Mitt Romney? He made calls and talked to friends in other states. All of them saw the same thing happening — long time Dr. Paul supporters working to become delegates to the convention pledging to support Mitt Romney and others.
If the field stays fractured at this level, with only a few people, but each getting delegates enough to prevent the front runner from an outright majority, there will be a second vote at the Republican National Convention. Delegates are only locked in for their candidate during the first vote. After the first vote, they can vote for whoever they want. So if Mitt Romney is unable to clear an outright majority on the first ballot, suddenly he could see some of his delegates turn on him — turn and go back to Ron Paul.
It is an ingenious strategy premised on a convention where no one gets majority support early. It plays well to a primary calendar where the delegates are first awarded proportionally. Who knows if it is a campaign strategy or just his volunteers, but the Paul campaign has been active now for four years trying to take over local parties.
Bwah-hah-hah! Of course, now that this clever plan has been exposed, the GOP wing of the Permanent Governing Party and its media minions are no doubt changing the rules to prevent any such shenanigans. But whether or not the RonPaul ReLOVEution gets to play Italy-in-1940 to the Romney campaign’s Germany, we can all be sure of one thing: This is Good News for President Obama!