None of the Above?

Although the chances of a brokered convention this summer in Tampa are now greater than getting hit by lightning, winning Powerball, or seeing the New York Mets vs. the Baltimore Orioles this October in the World Series, it is still not as great as a blizzard on Easter (4/8/2012), the Yankees not participating in the coming World Series, or Obama and Boehner agreeing and supporting a bill to be passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.  Nonetheless, since first place is not good enough, one must go to the convention with at least 1,144 delegates to be ensured nomination and for the convention to be just air time for the nominee and selected VP, pundits on both sides continue to have fun speculating.  As Bob Shieffer on CBS’s Face the Nation and the syndicated McLaughlin Group have mentioned, it may not be Romney or Santorum or even Paul or Gingrich.  Many states with late primaries have not closed their deadlines on candidates entering the race and being on ballots in their respective caucuses and primaries.  Albeit after Super Tuesday (3/6/2012), any late comer could achieve 1,144 delegates, one could succeed in keeping anyone else from achieving that magic number.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has decided to endorse Romney and is unlikely to agree to it.  But names like Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley, Bob McDonnell, a revival of Tim Pawlenty, and Brian Sandoval, whose names have been kicked around as VP hopefuls; any one of them can get in as a late arrival, use the caucuses and primaries as more of a pulpit than vehicle for the nomination, and work on getting chummy with power brokers who could be pressed into service in Tampa.  If the convention is brokered, it is not guaranteed to end in four days.  There is not guarantee any one candidate will go over the top on one ballot and candidates, delegates, and media will all be detained in the Sunshine State.  The nomination of Wendell Willkie by the G.O.P. in 1940 was the last time this process was used.  Sight modifications were made for the Republican National Convention in 1964, where several states wrote in the name of Henry Cabot Lodge and Mr. Lodge chose to take an ambassadorship and declined to run for president.  Also in Chicago for the Dems in 1968, where the assassinated Robert F. Kennedy was the frontrunner; there was an unusually high number of uncommitted delegates who had open votes to cast.  In both cases though, Barry Goldwater and Hubert Humphrey respectively were nominated on the first ballot.

Once the Republican delegation has a nominee, [he] will need a vice presidential running mate.  The usual procedure is for the candidate to choose [his] running mate and on the last night of the convention, the delegation votes to confirm the choice.  This was not the case in 1956 when Democrat candidate Adlai Stevenson chose to let the convention select his running mate; the delegation selected Estes Kefauver from Tennessee.  This is yet another possibility in Tampa.  I am not sure if None of the Above gets nominated, but if either Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum is nominated in a brokered convention, this would be my advice.  With Romney having issues of being “not conservative enough” for the G.O.P., and the reluctance for even the most conservative groups to endorse Santorum with too much uncertainty of him beating Obama in November, either man would have to unify the party.  If everyone is going to be detained in Tampa beyond the allocated four days in July anyway, this would be a fitting conclusion.  This would get the candidate off the hook if the choice does not satisfy or please a high percentage of voters, committees, or the RNC itself.

Hall of fame third baseman Wade Boggs played eleven seasons with the Boston Red Sox and five seasons with the New York Yankees.  He had notable accomplishments on the field and at bat in both uniforms.  As any baseball fan knows, the Yankees-Red Sox is the biggest rivalry in Major League Baseball and the two teams hate each other.  When the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown gave the nod; he had make a choice and if he had chosen one, it would have angered the other team’s fan base.  He played his final two seasons with the Tampa Bay
Rays where his performance was for the most part, ignominious.  Nonetheless, he chose to go into the Hall of Fame as a Tampa Bay Ray to get out of the loop.  The HOF committee stated that would make a travesty of the Hall and Boggs and the committee agreed to let the committee pick for him and the other fan base could blame them and not Mr. Boggs.  The committee chose the Red Sox and the rest is history.  For Romney or Santorum to allow the delegation to select his running mate, especially if the convention is brokered, would be best for the candidate to not have to choose between the best conservative running mate or the running mate that adds the most to produce a winner in November, and it is in the party’s best interest for the same reason.  If we are going to be brokered, let’s be brokered right to the endpoint.


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