Will Romney Respect Paul Tomorrow Morning?

Washington Post’s Ezra Klein predicts that Mitt Romney will enjoy three big primary wins today with: voters, GOP endorsements and the media. I agree for reasons I enumerated yesterday. But how will this new, victorious Romney treat Ron Paul? Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum are important enough GOP figures that they’ll get prominent convention roles and/or spots in the Romney administration. But will Romney and Paul’s alleged flirtation in the primary result in a full-blown love affair or a break-up going forward?

 Unfortunately, I noted yesterday in The Daily the latter is the more plausible scenario:

Paul is in it for the long haul because he is using the GOP primary not to win the nomination but to build a movement. He wants an impressive enough delegate count to force the GOP to show him some respect at the convention and give his base tangible proof of his powers. But, sadly, after today, the GOP will begin marginalizing him.

Despite Paul’s impressive gains this time, he will still have fewer delegates than either of the other candidates -- and they are less manipulable for political ends. Therefore, they will be less useful for Romney even if he needs them. But he won’t. So Paul will be in no position to call the shots at the convention.

Paul will get a speaking role. But the pressure will be on him to moderate his anti-war and “anti-American” views – not on Romney or the GOP-establishment to tone down their saber rattling. Paul’s foreign policy views are in sharp conflict with those of the hawkish conservative base -- to whom Romney has been shamelessly pandering. Therefore, the choice that Paul will confront will be to stick to his fiscal and economic messages and tone down or altogether nix his foreign policy positions in exchange for a prime-time speaking spot. Or keep them and compete for attention with daytime soaps.

Although Paul has made impressive progress, his movement is still not strong enough to move the GOP in his direction. In fact, that might never happen because his ideas might have reached the outer limits of their appeal in the GOP. To grow his movement further, he might have to look for other pastures.

Paulistas have been hinting that Paul is working on a secret strategy to exploit the GOP's arcane caucus rules to pick up delegates. But Washington was the first test of this strategy and it got Pual an estimated 5 delegates – the same as Santorum -- to Romney’s 30. Now Paulistas are pinning their hopes on Idaho. In fact, reports the Guardian:

In a cheeky move aimed at tweaking the nose of the Romney campaign, the Paul team in Idaho has recruited members of Romney's family; the campaign is touting five distant relatives who all bear the surname Romney but at the caucuses will be urging Idaho residents to vote for Paul.

"I support Ron Paul because he defends the constitution, loves America and understands what it means to be an American," said Travis Romney, who is a second cousin once removed to the former Massachusetts governor.

But uber-statistician Nate Silver sees Paul picking up only 25 delegates today bringing his delegate count to a grand total of 45. The number needed to win the nomination is 1,144, a goal that Paul hadn’t formally abandoned as of last weekend. (Wink, wink.)

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  • sarcasmic||

    Romney: "Ron who?"

  • ||

    Of course, Paul is holding a serious card in his pocket--the threat to run independent. That would likely be quite disruptive.

    I don't think he'll actually do it, but don't think there isn't a hefty concern that he might.

  • sarcasmic||

    Paul has already declared that he will not run as an independent.

  • ||

    I believe him. You believe him. The venal, dishonest people running the GOP? They don't believe anyone, because they aren't trustworthy themselves.

  • Bill||

    They'll BEGIN to marginalize him? When have they not? If he was not fighting an uphill battle against the GOP establishment AND the left and right wing press, he would be doing even better than he is now.

    A lot of people won't vote for someone if they think they don't have a chance. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. If they never hear he was 2nd in the early Iowa polls because his name was never even mentioned, they won't vote for him and he gets fewer votes in Iowa than he would have. When he's 3rd instead of 2nd there, it hurts him. When he only gets 12% vs. 15% in one of the recent states, he gets no delegates at all. When people minimize the fact that he may get more delegates than it looks due to the straw polls, again he is hurt. Amazing he has done as well as he has given this constant bias.

  • yonemoto||

    ron pual!

  • Joe M||

    Disappointing, again. All of these delegate totals assume proportional distribution in line with the caucus vote totals, when we all know that Paul's people are far exceeding that with county delegate representation. Saying he only got five in Washington is premature, because that same estimate only accounts for half the delegates anyway. Give it time. In May, after the state conventions occur, it'll be a lot clearer how many delegates Paul has racked up. I'm predicting somewhere in the neighborhood of 200-300.

  • Da Nile||

    Ain't just a river in Africa

  • Fluffy||

    I think you underestimate the willingness of the Paul people to usurp delegates by hijacking the convention process.

    Frankly, judging by what happened in Nevada last time, in states where the Paul people bring enough county level delegates to conventions, they're going to move from the floor to change the entire delegate award process and hand all state delegates in a lump sum to Paul. So a state like Maine might turn from proportional to "Paul delegates only" based on a convention parliamentary maneuver. The Paul people complain about getting fucked by the establishment, but as soon as they have the machinery in hand they're going to hand out fuckings like no one has ever seen, going by what I've heard.

  • Bill||

    I hope so.

  • Ruffleburg||

    Turnabout is fair play.

    I my county we will most likely have a majority and are actually having a hard time deciding if we are going to go with a full slate of our people or give some of their "elders" honorary spots. We don't wanna be complete douchbags but they would probably do the same to us if they had the numbers so it leaves us in an akward position.

  • kinnath||

    Take a full slate. The "elders" need to earn their own way. If they can't, then new "elders" need to take their slot.

    The primary purpose of the Paul campaign is to force the party into a new direction. That means replacing the party operatives that took it in the wrong direction.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    http://www.statesman.com/news/.....selby.html

    we sent this bitch to state in an effort to play nice (before she called us Nazis). I'm not necessarily saying you can't extend an olive branch, but be damn sure the recipients see it as such, and don't send any pure TEAM RED tribalistic dunderheads.

  • Robert||

    I was part of an effort to take over a county party 30 yrs. ago. The 1st effort failed due to county committee candidates being knocked off the ballot. 2nd time, we used the same tactics on those who had been in before that they'd used on us, we took over, and have been in charge ever since, even though the state leadership that's come in since doesn't like us.

  • Hugo Longbone||

    The only thing the elders deserve is notice marked 3-7-77

  • Joe M||

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

  • Apatheist ಠ_ರೃ||

    Yes I don't think he is getting as many as the paultards claim but the numbers in this article are pure horseshit.

  • Ruffleburg||

    Someone doesn't understand the arcane caucus rules. The popular vote doesn't matter and the estimates based of the popular vote are just plain wrong. If Newt drops out before the convention, it is looking likely (won't know for sure until district conventions in april) that Ron Paul will have delegates from Georgia. You think if his supporters are picking up delegates in georgia, where the offical campaign isn't even involved, he won't be taking delegates from these caucus states well in excess of his popular vote numbers? It'll be interesting to see what kind of coverage this gets when district and state conventions start happening around the country and the real delegates are chosen.

  • The Thinking Man's NASCAR||

    My thoughts exactly.

  • Robert||

    Gingrich is enough of a jerk that he might not drop out even after the election!

  • ||

    It appears that the intelligence and quality of writers at Reason has gone downhill with this tripe, because the author has no clue about the delegate process.

  • Bee Tagger||

    Finally, a real Ron Paul supporter. Everyone knows that to be a true supporter you have to do more than just point out errors in an article. You also have to link that to an overall trend and/or ulterior motivation by the author and, if feeling bold, the publication.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    But he didn't say "Cancel my subscription!", so I'm suspicious.

  • ||

    Worse, because he didn't cancel his subscription, I'm still thirsty.

    Won't somebody cancel their subscription? Please?

  • sloopyinca||

    I'm not going to go that far, Mr Dean, but I will say, if Virginia Postrel were still here, this would not have been written.

  • sloopyinca||

    Thanks, spam filter. I just posted a great comment and you blocked it.

    I didn't even post a fucking link.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Sometimes I'll type my comments in another program and copy/paste, that way I don't have to re-type everything again if I get spamboted or locked up or any of the other squirrel related things that go on here.

  • Sam Grove||

    After typing your comment, ctrl A, ctrl C, to copy the text to your paste buffer.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I'm in Ohio. Haven't voted yet but printed off a sample ballot. Didn't know this until now but there are actually two different sections for voting for delegates for the presidential nominee. The first section relates to 15 Statewide delegates that in the case of a 50% or more victory (highly unlikely), all would go to the victor otherwise the 15 will be split by percent of vote they receive. The second section relates to district level delegates. Each of 16 districts get 3 delegates each, winner in each district gets all three, do not need a 50% majority. I'm thinking of voting for Paul in the first section so he can get his share of his vote in delegates. For the secong section, since there is no way Paul could win my district, I may go Romney in that section since I really, really hate Santorum (not that I'm in love with Mittons)and I don't want those 3 delegates going to him.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I guess in the first section a candidate has to get at least 20% statewide to get any of the share. Paul's polling 8 to 16. I'll go ahead and vote for him anyways. Never can tell and I'll feel better doing it.

  • A Serious Man||

    Regarding the headline, phrasing!

  • @AgoristDon||

    Gee, another writer who doesn't understand the delegate process. I wrote this on 2/17 and it's really not rocket science...

    Delegate Count Media Misinformation - So you've heard Romney's ahead? Well, sort of...

    http://tirelessagorist.blogspo.....ation.html

  • romulus augustus||

    "Although Paul has made impressive progress, his movement is still not strong enough to move the GOP in his direction. In fact, that might never happen because his ideas might have reached the outer limits of their appeal in the GOP. To grow his movement further, he might have to look for other pastures."

    Yep, until RP's supporters are the balance of power, the GOP won't move. That means, RP supporters shouldn't waste their vote in 2012 by voting for Romney. The only votes that will cause the GOP to sit up and take notice will be votes for Gary Johnson.

  • AlmightyJB||

    "his ideas might have reached the outer limits of their appeal in the GOP"

    I disagree. Four years ago the mainstream GOP was calling his ideas batshit insane and now many of those ideas have becaome mainstream themselves. makes me excited about four years from now. His foreign policy ideas which get the most resistance will continue to grow in popularity as more Americans wake up and become angry over the perpetual war for perpetual peace policy of the neocons.

  • Matrix||

    Well, for them to become more popular and pervasive, I think the Republicans have to lose the presidency once again. They should maintain their control of the house and regain control of the Senate. But losing the presidency to Obama will make them look more to the libertarian elements.

    Then again losing both houses along with the presidency would probably be even better at shocking their system. But the rest of us would have to suffer it. And really, I don't think it will happen, losing Congress, that is.

  • BakedPenguin||

    But we have always been at war with NearAsia...

  • BB||

    The delegate *estimates* in caucus states are not correct. Fact remains that no one knows just how many delegates the candidates will get from these states until their respective State Conventions. Paul supporters understand the caucus system and they are working hard to take advantage of it. Expect to see much larger Paul national delegate numbers from these states than reported by the Oh-Holy-Media. As far as I see it, it really won't make much difference in the end. Regardless of whether Paul decides to run third party or not is moot. His supporters have already decided to vote Paul in November regardless of who gets the nomination. If the nominee does not get Paul's voters, they lose. Plain and simple.

  • Fred||

    I really don't care about this. I just have to say that every time I read Dalmia, I just think: what a cranky crank.

  • ||

    Hmmmm... What token posts should be given to Santorum and Gingrich?

    I'm pulling for ambassadors to Somalia and North Korea.

  • kinnath||

    By the time the Iowa convention occurs in June, there will be a presumptive nominee (someone with a plurality if not a majority of the committed delegates at the national level).

    So the real question coming in June will be if the Iowa party aparatus can force a unanimous state delegation for the presumptive nominee to go to the national convention or whether the Paulbots can get some delegates declared for Paul into the state delegation.

    This is the conflict that lead to the cancellation of the Nevada state convention in 2008.

    My ticket to the state convention is already paid for. I plan to misbehave if need be.

  • Robert||

    You think they would do that on a mere national plurality? If that were so, presidential candidates would simply ignore the Iowa caucuses. Unless 2 are tied, there will always be a plurality!

  • HVanDorp||

    I haven't seen anything but respect from Romney towards Paul. Anyone wanting to win in November will need the supporters Ron Paul has garnered in the primary and I don't think Mitt Romney is stupid by any stretch.

  • sloopyinca||

    I'd agree, but would go a bit farther. It appears that Romney and Paul actually like each other. And say what you will about Romney's policies and his flakiness, but I have yet to hear one single person question his integrity when it comes to personal issues.

    So yes, he will respect Paul in the morning (and vice versa). And it will have nothing at all to do with the GOP primary.

  • HVanDorp||

    And I agree that they seem to like each other. I think the impending nomination of Romney is the best case scenario for some Libertarian voices to be listened to within the GOP. Mitt Romney is a pragmatist that can actually listen to another viewpoint without going bipolar. I think the situation brings a unique opportunity to have some REAL influence that comes from discussion rather than being dismissed offhand as a result of "shouting from the street."

  • sloopyinca||

    And wait for the heads to explode when Romney taps Paul for his VP slot. Ms. Dalmia's included.

  • HVanDorp||

    Not so sure Ron is interested in being VP at age 75, but Rand might be.

  • Robert||

    But he is interested in being president??

  • Pythagoran||

    Okay, most of these estimates have Paul with 0 delegates in Iowa when other estimates were giving 2 to perry earlier on. I'm not going to accuse our writer here of anything but a tendency towards pessimism that has marked libertarians for a while. You're usually right to be fearful, but let's not give up just yet. There's plenty of time later to switch to Rothbardian civil disobedience, but let's give this representative system one more whirl.

  • kinnath||

    In 2008, McCain came in fourth in the caucuses and took all the delegates at the state convention. The process is rigged to ensure that the presumptive nominee will earn the entire slate of delegates coming out of the state convention.

  • Robert||

    But that's because by the time of the state convention, he had a majority of delegates for the national, so there was no sense in dragging it out rather than having a coronation on TV. If the nomination is still contested, that won't happen.

  • ||

    I generally agree with you.

    But the estimated 5 delegates from Washington is precisely that - an estimate by the media based on the vote percentage he received.

    The whole point of his "secret strategy" is that he's building up more delegates than the media are estimating.

  • Robert Fellner||

    Exactly. It seems like a pretty poor analysis on the author's part to use an estimate that specifically doesn't address the "secret strategy" as evidence of that strategy's failure.

  • Robert Fellner||

    Paul's entire delegate strategy is to capture a greater percentage of delegates than his straw poll vote indicates he would receive. Regardless of whether or not this will work, it makes no sense to use an estimate of delegates awarded - that specifically ignores this strategy and estimates delegates base on straw poll votes only - as an example of the strategy's failure.

  • ||

    Will that prediction made by the GOP strategist goes down the drain?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StQr-dlxaBM

    We might have our anwser tomorrow...

  • Southerner||

    All right, that headline amounts to one slash fic I'd rather not see written.

  • Matt||

    A speaking spot at the convention would be nice, but -- honestly -- is it really going to change anything? I'd rather see Paul join Johnson in the Libertarian party, and try to parlay his momentum there.

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