The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Expectations, Inc.

Posted on | March 12, 2012 | 18 Comments

Ed Morrissey on tomorrow’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi:

Gingrich really needs to win both states to remain in the race, or split them with Santorum at worst case. If Romney wins in Alabama, he can claim to have won in every part of the country, while Gingrich can’t even claim to have won all of the Southern states that he feels is his natural base.

Ed suggests that the Rick Perry VP trial balloon was an attempt by the Gingrich campaign to boost Newt’s support with “very conservative” voters, many of whom once supported Perry.

Given the relative paucity of polling data, the evident closeness of the race, and the level of volatility, it is very difficult to make any prediction beyond “too close to call.”

We know that late-deciding voters are highly suggestible and subject to bandwagon appeals to vote for the candidate they perceive to be the eventual winner. That factor favors Romney, and if it weren’t for the fact that Santorum is being hit with negative ads from every direction (including the pro-Gingrich “super PAC” radio ads I first heard two weeks ago in Michigan), I’d be tempted to predict a third-place finish for Gingrich in both Mississippi and Alabama.

Because there is no way Newt can actually win the nomination, I’d say a vote for Gingrich is a vote for Romney, except that keeping Newt in the race might, by some unforeseen future turn of events, result in Romney being deprived of a majority of delegates going into the convention. Every delegate Romney doesn’t win — no matter whether the delegate is for Gingrich, Rick Santorum or Ron Paul — increases the possibility of a non-Romney candidate getting the nomination in that political wet dream, the “brokered convention.”

“Brokered convention” is, like “beautiful nymphomaniac,” too much of a fantasy to be believed. Political journalists dream of brokered conventions the way teenage boys dream of smokin’ hot babes who just can’t get enough, but in all honesty, which one are we more likely to encounter in Tampa in August?

Yeah: Tampa’s going to be crawling with sex-crazed hotties, except they’ll all be hookers whose ability to simulate erotic enthusiasm is a requirement of their profession. Nevertheless, there will certainly be GOP convention delegates willing to pay for that kind of fantasy-fulfillment action, although it’s highly improbable the delegates will then be so gracious as to fulfill the “brokered convention” fantasies that excite the press corps.

Michael Steele is just teasing us with this “brokered convention” talk, and I’m resisting it the way Republican primary voters are resisting Mitt Romney: Sure, they would like to believe he’s really conservative, just like a GOP delegate might wish to believe that hooker in Tampa is really hot for him — the fulfillment of his adolescent fantasy — but the motives seem rather suspicious.

However, this is not to say that there is no such thing as a beautiful nymphomaniac. After all, I married one. But I’m not sure that has any relevance to the GOP presidential nomination campaign.

UPDATE: King Shamus fears the fantasy:

The fear of a brokered convention forcing the party to put up a weak candidate against President Obama is too horrible for many GOPers to even contemplate.

Look, Shamus: If you think there’s a chance of the GOP putting up a strong candidate, could you please explain that to Karl Rove? Because Karl keeps going on TV to tell millions of Fox News viewers that Mitt Romney’s got this thing locked up.

The possibility that a brokered convention could result in Republicans nominating a weaker candidate than Romney is something that hadn’t crossed my mind. Now that you mention it, though, I suppose Jon Huntsman might be available . . . 

But don’t worry about it, Shamus. All this talk about a “brokered convention” is one of three things:

  1. Liberals messing with our heads by suggesting that the Republican Party is about to collapse in ruins;
  2. Mitt Romney’s supporters threatening us with a nightmare scenario if we don’t vote for Mitt; or
  3. Political reporters talking about their fantasy the way some bloggers talk about Christina Hendricks.

Uh . . . NTTAWWT.


18 Responses to “Expectations, Inc.”

  1. Info
    March 12th, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

    “[B]eautiful nymphomaniac” is not too much of a fantasy to be believed, a “beautiful nymphomaniac who’s interested in you too” is.   

    Just sayin’ …

  2. robertstacymccain
    March 12th, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

    Of course, but in the fantasies of teenage boys — and GOP convention delegates — beautiful nymphomaniacs are interested in them. And, as viewers of Dateline NBC may be aware, there are some guys who believe this fantasy right up until the moment they’re encountered by Chris Hansen and informed they have been chatting online with an undercover cop.

  3. Steve
    March 12th, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    >”  I’m resisting it the way Republican primary voters are resisting Mitt Romney”

    Oh, dear. It seems that I must point out once again that REPUBLICAN primary voters are not “resisting” Mitt Romney at all. They vote for him, case closed.

    The fact that Santorum is able to keep things somewhat close in spite of this is due to two factors. (1) The primary rules this year – made by the “RINO Republican establishment” which gets a lot of hate around here – are explicitly designed to make it difficult for any candidate to clinch the nomination quickly. There are no “winner-takes-all” states early in the process, as there were in 2008. (2) The primaries are still open, however, and in these open primaries, while Republicans are supporting Romney, Santorum is able to keep things close via his considerable support from Democrats and independents.

    These are what are called ‘facts”.

  4. Adjoran
    March 12th, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    There will be no brokered convention this cycle, or any cycle in either party under the present rules or even with some minor tweaks.  It’s a fantasy of media and political junkies and you hear about it every cycle at some point, but it just can’t happen in the real world. 

    Back in the days when only a few states chose delegates via primaries or caucuses, it was possible to get to a convention without knowing who had how many delegates and how firm their commitments.  Now it’s a matter of public record accessible by anyone with an internet connection. 

    The removal of the mystery also means it takes more money to stay in – if you are going to win delegates, you have to organize and campaign in primaries, the fundraisers you did last year for the state party may earn you some help, but few direct votes and no delegates.  At the same time, the donors know who hasn’t got a freakin’ chance, and there is no incentive for them to pour their money down a rathole.

    By the time the primaries pass the halfway point, there will be NO MORE than two candidates with any practical chance to win.  The rest may stay in, but will be marginal and able only to nip a few delegates on the fringes.  As always, the voters will begin to coalesce around the perceived winner, and he pulls away.

    Math + Human Nature (History) = No Brokered Conventions.

  5. Ivan Yurkenov
    March 12th, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

    I’m sorry, I just can’t help myself: “… this is not to say that there is no such thing as a beautiful nymphomaniac. After all, I married one.”  How happy must be your mailman, milkman and pool cleaning service boy!

    Now, to be serious after having my laugh at your expense, there is growing suspicion that the Paulbots intend to hijack any brokered convention by stacking stealth delegates and using point-of-order procedural objections to get their guy into the driver’s seat.


  6. The Republicans Might Be A-Strugglin’… « Blog de KingShamus
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    […] let’s check in with The Other McCain, who reports on the GOP’s current quagmire, whoops, I meant the Alabama and Mississippi primaries happening tomorrow. We know that […]

  7. Adjoran
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:03 pm

     As for Alabama and Mississippi:  they are NOT “must win” for Gingrich – even if he wins both, he isn’t viable and has no chance at all, and if he loses both he will stay in, because his original purpose was free advertising for books/speaking fees/consulting jobs, so why drop out now?

    They are, however, very close to “must win” states for Santorum.  If Romney snatches either, it’s a breakthrough for him in the South and both the Aura of Inevitability and the delegate math starts glowing for him.  If Gingrich wins either, his few supporters in the many states he can’t afford to campaign in are motivated to keep voting for him, which hurts Santorum’s chances over the long haul.

    If Santorum doesn’t win at least one of them, his chances going forward are better of meeting the hawt nympho than of winning the nomination.

    Santorum’s adviser Yob has put forth a memo detailing a plan to “win” a brokered convention which assumes all sorts of things that won’t happen (Santorum wins CA and NJ?  Right, sure, uh-huh).  Perhaps this is an acknowledgement that he can’t win a majority of delegates and will have to change the rules to take the nomination.

    Or maybe an enchanted unicorn will crap Skittles for the delegates and they will turn to Magic Rick, Tamer of Fantasy Beasts.  Because if Santorum doesn’t win Alabama and Mississippi, that’s a more likely scenario for him than actually winning the nomination.

  8. richard mcenroe
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:14 pm

    Ivan, that’s exactly what they try over and over again in CA. 

    If they actually got Ron Paul into the WH, the wizened little horn-toad would have no idea what to do with the place.  And the booster seat for the Resolute Desk would just be embarrassing.

    Almost as embarrassing as having to face Joy McCann after Stay calls his wife a nympho in print.

  9. Steve
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

    There are some “winner-takes-all” states near the end of the primary process. These states are California (169 delegates), New Jersey (50 delegates) and Utah (40 delegates).

    That’s 259 delegates right there, out of the 1144 needed to clinch the nomination.Who do you think is going to win California,  New Jersey and Utah? Romney, or Santorum?

  10. robertstacymccain
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    Ivan, just because she’s a nymphomaniac doesn’t mean she can’t be monogamous. Which reminds me, gotta go buy some more Vitamin E …

  11. KingShamus
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:51 pm

    First of all, thank you for the linakge Stacy.

    Second, if you’re wondering if the GOP could possibly find a weaker candidate than Mitt Romney or Jon Huntsman, gaze in terror at these two words:  Jeb. Bush.

    You know the gutless Republicans dying for Arbusto III

  12. Ivan Yurkenov
    March 12th, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

     Robert, no insult intended toward the Mrs.  It’s just that I lack the will power to walk past such a wide open door and not step in it.  And would not we all like a reason to take in more Vitamin E?


  13. robertstacymccain
    March 12th, 2012 @ 4:33 pm


  14. Adjoran
    March 12th, 2012 @ 5:13 pm

     California is winner take all BY Congressional District.  They have lots of CDs, because most people haven’t left yet, so it’s almost unthinkable one candidate will win them all.  However, the size of the state means you need a large organization and plenty of money to compete seriously.

  15. Bob Belvedere
    March 12th, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    That’s scarier than The Exorcist.

    The Bushes: They Are Legion.

  16. Dave
    March 13th, 2012 @ 12:42 am

    It’s extraordinarily likely that someone will win the vast majority of delegates in winner-take-all by congressional district states unless the statewide race is very close or highly regionalized. McCain beat Romney by 8% in 2008 in CA, but earned the overwhelming majority of delegates. 

  17. Deep South Tuesday: Antic-i-pa-a-tion, It’s Making Me Wait « The Camp Of The Saints
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    […] on the possibility of a brokered GOP Convention: “Brokered convention” is, like “beautiful nymphomaniac,” too […]

  18. GOP PRIMARY RESULTS HQ: Mississippi, Alabama, Hawaii Tonight : The Other McCain
    March 13th, 2012 @ 9:32 pm

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