There’s been a lot of chatter lately about the GOP race coming down to a brokered convention. Senator Jim DeMint says it’s a real possibility, and this weekend Sarah Palin said it would not hurt the GOP.
Jonah Goldberg writes for Real Clear Politics:
I could live with either man [Romney or Santorum] being the nominee. And while I would happily vote for either in a contest against Obama, I honestly have no idea who would be more electable. Frankly, I find the prospect of any of them becoming the nominee worrisome and hard to imagine. A brokered convention seems ever more plausible –— and desirable.
Let’s be clear: there is not going to be a brokered convention. Period. The RNC is not going to let it come to that. If it becomes clear that we are heading in that direction, there will be negotiations, agreements and deals made, everything done beforehand to avoid it. Why? For the simple reason that a brokered convention will only help Barack Obama.
As far as the RNC and the GOP are concerned, the Republicans need to get to the general election as quickly as possible. The longer the primary drags out, the more in disarray the republicans appear and the more time the democrats have to organize without having to spend much of the $1 billion on hand.
I’m not saying I like it, but it’s a fact. Two months for the general is just not long enough. So you can be sure that the RNC will do whatever it takes to avoid it.
But for the sake of argument, should it come to it, who does a brokered convention really help?
For all those who are complaining about the establishment running things, the definition of a brokered convention is nothing more than “the establishment running things.” In a smoke-filled back room, they get together and do their political horse-trading, choose the candidate and come out and tell us who the nominee will be.
The theory a new candidate may emerge at a brokered convention is just that – a theory. Imagine the scenario where that happens. There will be an outcry from the primary voters. It is one thing to accept that the candidate they voted for didn’t win in their state. At least the guy they didn’t vote for won in a fair race. But to let someone who didn’t even compete get the nomination? People will simply not accept that. This is 2012, not 1912. It’s safe to say that in a brokered convention one of the candidates currently in the race will get the nomination.
With the establishment running things, who do you think that helps? Newt Gingrich? No way the establishment will even let him get any close to the nomination. They loathe the man. Ron Paul isn’t even running for the nomination, he’ll be easy to do a deal with. A prime time speech at the convention will do it for him.
That leaves Santorum and Romney. While Santorum may be an “acceptable” candidate to the establishment should he win the nomination outright, he will not be the one the establishment picks should it come down to a brokered convention. At that point second place will look pretty good for Santorum, and he might even settle for a cabinet position deal.
A brokered convention guarantees Romney gets the nomination. The only way it affects him is that he might have to settle for Santorum on the ticket rather than picking the VP of his choice.
With all the chatter of a brokered convention, Romney has us exactly where he wants us.
Be careful what you wish for.