Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Smoke Filled Room

There's been a lot of talk among some Republicans of a brokered convention in August.  They envision some idyllic environment where a sudden spark of inspiration drives the party en masse to one not yet running political figure who will have none of the perceived or genuine faults found in the current field.  This, some feel, will be that moment where the heart of the party seizes control of the party!

Of course this view stems from a certain naivete about what such an event would entail and create.  There are a myriad of problems that would come from a candidate with no money, campaign staff/organization, defined platform, or strong name ID suddenly being thrust into the race with Obama 2 months out, but one of the great misconceptions is the idea that this could be an organic movement.  The brokered conventions of the pre-primary era brought the term of the "smoke filled room" into the American lexicon, and such an occurrence today would likely be resolved by the same conclave of power brokers (after all, someone would have to pick a candidate).

Some would still see this as leading to a better outcome.  Perhaps, but remember this: once they get in that room, they can settle on anyone.

With that in mind, let me take you to a smoke filled hotel room in Tampa, FL on August 29, 2012...

(TV in background) "It has been a long, strange journey for the GOP.  From Iowa and New Hampshire through to Super Tuesday's split decisions and all the way to the late Buddy Roemer surge that swept the last 8 primaries, the Republican Party has been unable to agree on a candidate to lead the party forward to November.  Now, as delegates prepare to cast their 9th ballot for President, reports have emerged that a group of key Republican leaders are meeting somewhere in this city to find a nominee to rally around"

- Turn that off!  Alright everyone, I don't have to tell you how dire the situation is.  Eight ballots in, and we're as divided as ever.
- I really thought Newt was a shoo-in to win last round.
- He was until he promised to fund the Giant Space Umbrella Project to protect the Earth from incoming asteroids.
- Look, we have to face facts.  None of the candidates currently running will be able to unite this convention!  We have to find someone else, someone all of us can agree upon.
- And who can win.
- Right.  So what do we need out of our candidate?  I'll write down the list.
- Well a conservative of course! Not too conservative though: still in the mainstream & able to reach out to independents.
- So center-right?
- (everyone) Yeah.
- Okay, what else?
- Well a new candidate's going to have no money or staff to start, so we need someone well connected that can build both of those quickly.
- Someone who's known on the national stage would be a plus too.  I mean, we only have 2 months before the election.  Can't spend too much time introducing a nominee to the nation.
- I agree.  Of course that probably means picking someone who has served in DC at some point.  No state figure fits the bill here.
- Alright, established on the national stage...
- Executive experience is always good to have.
- A military veteran would be preferable.
- With strong foreign policy credentials.
- ...foreign policy credentials.  Okay, let's stop for a second and think about what we have down so far.
- Hey, I've got it! (writes down a name)
- Hmmm, he does seem to fit the list.  Does anyone disagree?
(no response)
- Then it's settled!

- We should probably find a Vice President too.  I doubt the nominee's thought about a short list recently.
- Agreed.  Let's put together another list for VP.
- Well we have an insider at the top of the ticket, so we should balance it with an outsider.  A governor probably.
- Yeah, but the person should still be well known.  Someone with as much name ID as Biden, or Roseanne's running mate on the Green ticket Tom Arnold.
- Man, who'd have thought that buffoon would be on a Presidential ticket in 2012?
- No one, but Obama's loyal to him.
- People, focus!  We want a fairly well known Governor. What else?
- Someone from a swing state if possible.
- Maybe a person who's popular with Hispanics? We have to do well with them to win.
- It should be a person a little more conservative than the nominee, to appease the base.  Not too much more though.
- Obviously someone who people can see as President should something happen.
- So, a swing state Governor able to appeal to the Hispanic community.  Presidential in nature, and more conservative than the nominee.
- What about... (shows photo)
- Perfect!  Folks, I think we've found the perfect ticket!
- Um, not to be negative or anything, but are we sure THIS is the right message to send America?  I mean, something about it just doesn't scream future to me.
- Look, we made the list and each of them fit what we're looking for.  I don't see how that could be a problem.
- I guess...
- Then we're in agreement.  The team to lead America's future is before us!

"Well the long, strange journey of the Republican Party's nomination battle has come to an end.  With the announcement of the compromise ticket, enough state delegations were persuaded to switch over to win on the 9th ballot.  We expect the ticket to come to the stage at any minute to accept, and as I say that here they come now.  The team that will lead the GOP into the future!"

George                               Jeb
Bush     /     Bush 

Back to the future!

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