Inside the Capitol

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

4-13 Will GOP have a brokerd convention?

41312 brokered
SANTA FE – Will the national GOP treat us to a brokered convention this year? I doubt it but it won't be because the national media hasn't encouraged it.
With national conventions of both parties are getting more monotonous every year, something like a brokered convention would be quite a gift.
Many conventions in the 1800s were brokered. Party bosses would wheel and deal in smoke-filled back rooms and sometimes would come up with big surprises.
It has been talked about in recent times. We heard it about the Democrats in 2004, when they were having trouble selecting a nominee. It wouldn't have been party bosses doing the brokering that time so much as the big interest groups that traditionally support Democrats.
If Republicans end up not agreeing on a nominee this year, the guesses are that the billionaires with their super-PACs will be making the decisions. The Tea Party also will have to be in on the action somehow. It supposedly is an unorganized grassroots movement but we could be sure to see some leaders suddenly emerge when it comes to the big decisions.
But this is the year of the super-PACs. And it doesn't seem that the billionaires who back them have much loyalty to any particular candidate. Some of them have publicly switched candidates. Others have been quietly talking to possible candidates who aren't in the race yet. If the big guys ever agree on one candidate, it may be over.
Most likely, however, Mitt Romney will sew it up. He's been the choice of the Republican establishment all along.
Then comes the decision about who will fit best as a vice-presidential running mate. Nice-looking moderate guys without much charisma need not apply. Someone who can add some punch to the ticket is badly needed.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the most popular choice. He says he won't take it but we heard that from Gov. Bill Richardson in two different elections and we know it doesn't count until the request actually comes.

Gov. Christie would add life to the campaign. He might add too much.
Some people are turned off by the way they play in New Jersey. Romney might be turned off because he may be upstaged.
Sarah Palin added life to John McCain's campaign four years ago. But she ended up being too new to national politics to handle the issues. She was even new to state politics.
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has the same problem. She still isn't familiar enough with the breadth of state issues to feel comfortable about being very accessible.
Running for vice president would require her to almost immediately become familiar enough with national and international issues to handle half-hour televised interviews with national news anchors.
That is why presidential nominees often choose senators as vice-presidential running mates. The U.S. Senate does the heavy lifting on international issues such as treaties and ambassador confirmations. Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, John Edwards and Al Gore are recent examples.
Dick Cheney hadn't been a senator but he had held enough top administrative posts that he was extremely confident about everything he said. And President George W. Bush didn't seem to mind being upstaged.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio qualifies as a top candidate. He hasn't been in the Senate long but he seems to be a quick study. He is from a large swing state, he's charismatic and he is Hispanic.
As a Cuban, Rubio might not be as attractive to the nation's Hispanics as Gov. Martinez or Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada. Though young, he already has been involved in some controversies which won't help.
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman merits a look. He's from a big swing state, which has to be won. He can talk on budget matters but as President George W. Bush's budget director when everything tanked, his record would be paraded for all to see.


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