|By Jared Allebest |
Obviously, the Paul campaign will continue with its strategy of urging supporters to swamp state conventions and get themselves elected delegates to the national confab. As we’ve written before, this is a clever, cheap way of using complicated delegate-allocation rules to Paul’s advantage.What the Texas libertarian may be doing is amassing “stealth delegates” – delegates bound by primary or caucus vote to Mitt Romney, or one of the withdrawn GOP candidates, who are personally in favor of Paul. It’s hard to count how many such delegates there are – or whether they’ll abstain in the first round, or otherwise cause some sort of disturbance, in Tampa.
Massachusetts aside, the Paul campaign has mainly flexed its muscles in states where Romney didn’t do well — and where Rick Santorum succeeded, such as Minnesota, Iowa, Louisiana, and probably Missouri when they hold their fourth or fifth event that will actually select delegates. The net effect of the Paul conversion will be to weaken Santorum’s influence, not Romney’s. Romney will win enough bound delegates from primary states to secure the nomination on the first ballot.
The elder Paul’s continued presence in the 2012 presidential race is in large part an effort to secure funds and infrastructure for his son’s own possible White House bid in 2016.“If [Ron] hadn’t stayed in through the last few weeks, he would not have made those trips to the donors on the West Coast, in California,” said the adviser. “That’s 30 percent of his campaign’s income that will help build his movement for years to come. Yes, Ron is 76 years old, but he has a son.”