A smoke-free smoke-filled room

But what if … what if … no candidate has secured a majority of delegates before the convention?

Big freaking deal, says Bill Quick:

[T]oday’s panty-wetters act as if a brokered convention is both unique and horrible. In 1968 I worked on the RFK campaign. I was in San Diego when he was killed in LA. He’d just won California, but had not clinched the nomination. The battle cry of his victory speech was “On to Chicago!” Where there would be a contested, “brokered” convention. Nobody, myself included, thought this was strange at all.

It was just part of the process.

Go back further, to 1924. Had television been in its infancy in that year, the Democratic convention might have constituted crib death: John W. Davis, never one of the front-runners during the campaign, was finally selected on the 103rd ballot. (The GOP had no such issues; Calvin Coolidge, who became President upon the death of Warren G. Harding the year before, didn’t even bother to campaign, perhaps another reason why he’s so highly regarded today.) Davis wound up carrying only 12 states, all in the South; a third-party candidacy that year managed to win one state, Wisconsin, home of Progressive Robert M. La Follette, who’d bolted from the Democratic ranks rather than support some terrible person like Davis.

Aside: Coolidge’s Vice President, Charles Gates Dawes, wrote (in 1911) a hit record (in 1951):

This is not, incidentally, what earned Dawes a share of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. Then again, the standards were higher back then.

Tweet





2 comments »

  1. McGehee »

    15 March 2016 · 9:19 pm

    THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A CONTESTED CONVENTION AND A BROKERED CONVENTION, GODDAMMIT. I WISH PEOPLE WOULD GET THIS THROUGH THEIR HEADS.

    (ahem)

    Been a little intense tonight. I’ve only had one Angry Orchard, maybe I need another.

  2. McGehee »

    16 March 2016 · 8:01 am

    (After a night’s sleep…)

    In a contested convention, they hold successive ballots, with low-vote candidates eliminated each round (this is the general tendency; different conventions have different specific rules) and his delegates released to vote their consciences (often with their candidate’s endorsement in mind).

    In a brokered convention, delegates are presented with a fait accompli after the candidates have met in a closed-door horse(ahe)-trading session.

    And a brokered convention requires the candidates trust one another to keep promises and honor obligations.

    Ergo, there won’t be any brokering in Cleveland.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a comment