Party far from united as Ron Paul supporters dominated
In a stunning turn of events at the Saturday Republican convention, the McCain forces, seeing their own blood in the water, not only withdrew from the important state meeting to select national delegates, but asked to recess the meeting to a future date, for a “do over,” in effect walking out on their own convention.
Under pressure, Republican state Chairwoman Sue Lowden, capitulated and announced the convention will resume at a later date in Las Vegas to complete the delegate selection process.
A large contingent of Ron Paul supporters challenged other delegates to get more representation on the state GOP’s delegation to the national convention to be held in St. Paul, Minnesota in September.
As a result, the state convention shut down without final action on the national delegates, according to a report in the Las Vegas Sun. Rep. Ron Paul followed his second-place finish in Nevada’s January presidential caucus by out-organizing the state’s Republican establishment. In the process, the Paulites embarrassed the campaign of Arizona Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee for president.
McCain’s slates have encountered problems in various Arizona legislative districts as his committed delegates to the May 10 state convention have been trounced.
Nevada Congressman Dean Heller offered various conservative resolutions, including English-only ballots, English as the national language, an immigration policy that doesn’t include amnesty, and a definition of marriage as a union only between a man and a woman, further signifying the split from McCain’s views.
Although it is largely papered over by the GOP establishment’s unifying behind McCain, party regulars are debating the future of the party, and especially whether to return to the small-government principles of the late Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican presidential candidate.
Republican conventions are usually well-organized, rather staid affairs for bashing Democrats and rallying around the presidential nominee, in this case, McCain.
Not so this time, as many of the more than 1,300 delegates were Paul supporters who viewed themselves as insurgents taking on the establishment.
Arizonan Jeff Greenspan, Paul’s southwest director, said the Paul convention plan had been in the works for months, dominating county conventions. In Reno on Saturday, they communicated strategy on the convention floor by mass cell phone text messaging, which no doubt kept them a step ahead of party leadership.
“Our people were so well trained and laser focused that once they saw they couldn’t budge us, the McCain people were swarming the convention chair and state party chair to end the convention and all of a sudden the convention chair, said OK, we’re in recess and will reconvene on Tuesday or Wednesday. The entire delegation was astounded and the entire state executive committee and people on the stage just walked out and the lights went off,” according to Greenspan.
The Las Vegas Sun runs a second article detailing the convention McDisaster here.