Mitt Romney has a big problem. Between Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, he may not be able to capture enough delegates to seal the nomination after the primaries end. To that end, Santorum's delegate counter put out a memo (PDF) outlining the pathway to a brokered convention. It's a two-pronged approach, involving a similar strategy to Ron Paul's, which is to be involved in the election of delegates at state conventions.
The Daily Beast explains:
"The state conventions will ultimately determine the outcome of this race," wrote John Yob, who was hired by Santorum this month to oversee his delegate operation.
Yob, who was deputy political director for Sen. John McCain's (R-Ariz.) 2008 presidential campaign, wrote a more than 2,000 word memo to lay out the Santorum campaign's view that time is on their side, rather than running out. The Santorum campaign first released the memo to Politico's Mike Allen early Monday morning.
Yob's messaging memo is intended in some part to relieve any pressure on Santorum to win both Mississippi and Alabama's primaries on Tuesday. But Yob's memo also lays out a case for how the process of electing delegates to the national convention in Tampa, Fla., this August could reduce the lead Romney currently has in the race to reach the magic number: 1,144.
The whole Republican primary race has been a study in mixed narratives. We hear over and over again from Republicans about how a protracted primary did not hurt Barack Obama in 2008, since he went on to win the election. I disagree. The divisions that existed after that primary battle exist today. They are, in my opinion, part of the reason the 2010 midterms were such a disaster.
But even if you disagree with me and think it was a good thing for Democrats to have gone through that battle, there are distinct differences between the Republicans of 2012 and Democrats of 2008. For starters, Democrats did not get as personal with each other. Yes, Hillary's campaign originated the smear points that still exist in today's politics -- Bill Ayers, the "madrassa" accusation, and others. But fundamentally, the two candidates were in agreement on policy, with very little daylight between them, even with regard to Iraq. The same is not true of the current GOP field. Also, Obama stayed far away from using Bill Clinton's womanizing ways to hit Hillary. If he had done that, I think the Democratic party would have lost and likely would not have recovered from it.
The remaining Republicans divide sharply into three camps. There is the Magic Morph Romney camp, where he morphs into whatever he needs to be that day without regard to the past, present or future. There is the Nasty Newt camp, where he just oozes nastiness and unwarranted certitude with every lie that comes out of his mouth, and focuses most on fiscal conservatism. Finally, there's the Sanctimonious Santorum camp, where women are chattel to be used as wedges against his opponents, where he praises Jesus while stomping on those Jesus ministered to, and where the only thing thing that matters is absolute fealty to God, guns and bitterness.