Saturday, August 25, 2007

RNC Observations and MRP Politics

Today I was a guest at the Michigan State Republican Committee meeting in Lansing, traveling with our county GOP chair and our county's representative to the committee.

The key issue of the day was the manner in which Michigan Republican Party delegates to the 2008 GOP national convention would be selected. It is still unknown (read my next entry for further information) whether the Democrats, after their DNC meeting today and the spanking of Florida, who run the MI state house and have yet to vote, will follow the lead of the MI Senate and pass legislation—which our Democratic governor has said she will sign—to move the Michigan presidential primary up to January 15. If they pass the legislation, we have primaries for president on that date. If not, the "fall-back" option for the Republicans is a state convention to select those delegates.

I had never been to a State Committee meeting before. This group numbers about 120 and there were an additional 30 or 40 others present. A great deal of preparatory work had already been done to achieve difficult but reasonable consensus on a convention and delegate-distribution plan. For this the state GOP party is to be commended. But thirteen amendments to the "Unity Plan," as it was dubbed, had been offered.

Some of these amendments were, in a word, buried; they had no real level of support. A few others drew passionate discussion (in the case of one amendment, passionate frustration), and some of these were passed. At the end of the day, nearly everyone was behind the idea that a January 15 primary was the preferred option, and that the convention plan passed today was the best possible "second-best" option. Some had to admit that their amendments lacked majority support and others were pleased that their own point of view carried the day; but in the end, it seemed that most everyone was on the same page.

It will be interesting to see if the Republican National Committee will follow through on its threat to decrease the Michigan delegation by half if the state holds its primary (or convention, which FYI, is scheduled for January 25-26) before the important February 5 date. There is a school of thought that says they would not dare do so, and it's augmented by the fact that most of the major candidates have assured Michigan (and Florida) that they will see to it that their state delegations are seated at the convention if each is the eventual party candidate.

Politics in Michigan is so interesting.

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