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February 17, 2012

RNC Spokesman: Odds of a Brokered Convention About The Same As A Visit From Space Aliens;
Sarah Palin: Nanoo-Nanoo

Unlikely, says an RNC guy.

"The last time we had a brokered convention was in the 1940s, and were four contests in that have awarded delegates," Mr. Spicer told me on Wednesday. "We are four weeks and four states into a process. I get that its the buzz, but I literally spend as much time worrying if some space alien attack happens."

Unlikely, but not as unlikely as a space alien attack. It would require Newt Gingrich to catch some fire again, then lose a bit of it. It just basically requires three, not two, competitive candidates trading victories and losses.

However, the tendency has been there is One Front-Running Not-Romney, and then most of the Not-Romney votes flock to that candidate. One catches fire; the other gets no oxygen. That's why, for this to happen, we'd need the less-likely situation where Gingrich rises, then falls, then maybe rises and falls again (and Santorum falling and rising in opposite tandem).

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is encouraging just such an outcome, and offering herself as a draft candidate in brokered convention:

Former Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, though, is supportive of the idea of a brokered convention in August. She recently told Fox News Channel's Eric Bolling, when he asked if she would still be interested in a White House run if a brokered convention were to happen in Tampa:

"Well for one, I think it could get to that. And if it had to be kind of closed up today, the whole nominating process...then we would be looking at a brokered convention. Nobody is quite there yet." Palin then added, "So I think that months from now if thats the case, then all bets are off as to who it will be willing to offer themselves up in the name of service to their country. I would do whatever I could to help."

John Ziegler thinks Palin should be suspended from FoxNews for these comments. Before anyone goes Ape Bomb on him (a new film to be written by Cackfinger, released by Asylum Productions), his logic does seem reasonable: FoxNews has decided that anyone campaigning for office should not be an on-air commentator, as that person is therefore strongly biased towards his own candidacy.

Since Palin is making, at least, baby steps in that direction, isn't she campaigning for the nomination, albeit in an "unconventional, nontraditional" manner? (Which was frequently the way her hypothetical campaign for the office was predicted to be.)

On the other hand, she's not really a candidate.

On the other other hand, she does seem to have the characteristic that requires suspension: A personal (or political) stake in the outcome which creates a conflict of interest in her commentary. She has an "interest" in legal terms; she is not a disinterested party.

Of course, that could be said of Mike Huckabee or any other potential candidate as well, I imagine.

Is it even likely that should the unlikely happen, Palin would come out with the nomination?

Are the delegates -- mostly GOP insiders -- really fertile ground for a bit of Palin prairie-fire?

I'm wondering about the GOP psychology in this eventuality. We'd be worn out, chewed up, demoralized and gas-lighted by an unending, brutal primary that yet failed to produce a winner. We'd probably be very worried about winning a race with only two and half months to put together an entire 50-state campaign apparatus.

In that situation, would the party, as a whole, be looking for additional drama and infighting?

Or would it try to beg some kind of nonpolarizing figure like Jindal to step in? Or a blank like Jeb Bush?

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posted by Ace at 11:55 AM

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