There aren’t a lot of Romney campaign offices in Minnesota and judging by how things are going with the Minnesota Convention delegation, I doubt that the number is going to increase.
I watch Pat Shortridge put the best face he can on the GOP situation right now, but the evidence keeps mounting that the state Party is divided and in turmoil.
This tidbit from the convention probably didn’t help:
(Ron) Paul did get a last minute invitation to speak to the convention but there were strings attached that caused him to reject the offer. Paul reportedly would have had to unequivocally endorse Mitt Romney and let Romney review his speech. Paul refused, saying “It wouldn’t be my speech.”
Marianne Stebbins has made a few appearances on the Almanac couch as one of the usual two GOP reps to discuss politics. But when she talks, the discussion is not really about the current GOP. Rather it is more about the GOP that she envisions and that party most certainly is a different animal.
As we move past Labor Day and into the serious campaign season, the evidence is mounting that the State GOP is fractionalized and the moving parts will be on their own.
Kurt Bills is the US Senate candidate because of his support for Ron Paul. Forget the public statement that he is “fully backing” Mitt Romney. That is a desperate campaign tactic of a candidate that is 30 points behind with no money. The Ron Paul people will forgive him for that because they know he has to say it….but they also feel that the day will come when he won’t have to cater to the “powers that be”.
The National GOP party (the party of Romney) is fearful of appearances at the convention. Too many Ron Paul hats might give the TV audience the wrong impression. The Minnesota delegation has become a wild card at the Romney party. And the less than subtle hints that the Ron Paul “movement” is not welcome are getting more frequent.
The biggest party lockdown came when Ben Ginsburg orchestrated a national rule that would have (had it been in place now) kept the majority of the current delegation at home. In the future, more restrictions about delegates will be coming from the top rather than relying on the judgment of the grass roots.
Surely that will seriously irk Marianne Stebbins and her disciples.
When the delegation comes home after getting knee-capped in Tampa, how much activity will they be encouraging their activists to do for November?
And how will the House and Senate caucuses tip toe the fine lines between party faithful and party insurgents? It looks more and more like each individual House and Senate race will be on their own.
How deep is the rift? The next two months will be telling us more. We will have to try to read between the lines…
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