By Chris Ingram
The Tampa Tribune
Published Saturday, August 25, 2012
The hype and hoopla surrounding the arrival of the 40th Republican National Convention is coming to a head.
Convention planners have spent two years planning the event, scheduled to start Monday. So far, things appear to be going well for RNC planners, the City of Tampa and other convention organizers.
I have attended three previous conventions — including as a delegate in San Diego for Bob Dole at the 1996 convention — but I never realized how much effort goes into putting on what amounts to one giant four-day made-for-TV infomercial.
Some 50,000 delegates, journalists and VIPs from across the country are descending upon Tampa. Of those visitors, just 4,411 are delegates and alternates to the convention. The chosen few will nominate Mitt Romney next week.
So who chooses the delegates? Every state party has different rules about how its delegates are selected, and there are multiple ways to get one of the coveted slots. In many states, delegates are elected at a congressional district convention by rank-and-file Republicans. While Florida delegates are picked at the congressional district level, most are selected by a few local party leaders, rather than grassroots’ activists. The process is mostly a back-scratching affair.
For example, in Congressional District 11, three of the four delegates have already been to one or more prior conventions as delegates, and all three are current or past local party leaders. Among those three, one was run out of a party leadership position a few years ago for sending racist emails; but apparently she’s a good back scratcher because fellow party leaders selected her to attend the convention.
Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Irreverent View. Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, and National Review online. He is the Republican political analyst for Bay News 9, the only 24 hour all news channel in Florida’s largest media market. The opinions expressed here are those of author and do not represent the views of Bay News 9. E-mail him at: Chris@IrreverentView.com.
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