Being the presumptive nominee ain’t what it used to be, as John McCain found out this weekend when Nevada Republicans convened in Reno for the seemingly routine business of selecting the state’s GOP delegates. Mitt Romney won Nevada’s caucus and Ron Paul nudged McCain into 3rd placed by 200 votes. The Paulettes had a surprise waiting for the party and the state Republicans’ pre-approved slate of delegates this weekend, and managed by their vituperative support of their man to have the entire selection convention suspended.
Romney is being the good soldier in the hopes of getting a spot on the ticket with McCain and is encouraging unity, but Paul’s supporters want their due, and at the very least aren’t going to let the state Republicans rubber-stamp 31 delegates for a man who took a smaller 13% than their guy.
Gloated Paul’s regional coordinator, “I’ve seen factions walk out. I’ve never seen a party walk out.”
This is the last thing John McCain needs as he’s been enjoying a scrutiny- and judgment-free pass normally reserved for persons with Down Syndrome or debilitating brain injuries. Senator McCain has been a tower of babble the last several weeks and he hasn’t gotten a whit of critical review from the mainstream media. If CNN and MSNBC and FOX News aren’t going to step up, apparently there’s still a cadre of Ron Paul supporters who won’t answer the news that the war is done, and they have a lot of grenades left over that they’re going to use. Sing it, people. This is our REAL democracy in action.
In case you haven’t been paying attention to the bumper stickers or the seeming rabble waving signs at you from the overpasses and freeway exits, Ron Paul is a former obstetrician and Congressman from Texas. He ran for President in 2008 and set at the time a single-day fundraising record, gathering $4.5 million in Internet donations in a single day. He’s often derided as a Libertarian nut job, and he voted for the quixotic Secure Fence Act of 2006, but he’s anti-war and he’s got some lunatic ideas that American terror war detainees might actually be entitled to the right of habeas corpus.
Ron Paul hasn’t endorsed John McCain. He won’t endorse John McCain. And he won’t hit the stump for John McCain. This is a bit of a problem for the party’s standard bearer, and it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. After John Hagee and his flip-flops on every principled position he’s ever had–Jerry Falwell, the war, torture, etcetera–the war hero deserves to catch a little flak.