My Dad remembers needing to keep score to know the Republican nominee. I listened to Reagan fail as a kid in 1976.
This year if the GOP Convention is more like a Professional Wrestling match than a real sporting event. We know the outcome: it will be R and R for recovery. A no-tension convention is fine with most of us, but for the political geeks (looking at you Dad), it is a bit disappointing. For your viewing pleasure, here are five things to watch at this years GOP Convention.
First, what will be the fake media story of the convention? Dan Quayle’s National Guard service . . . if you remember that story you are both old and need more of a life. There are huge number of reporters that don’t like Republicans trapped with Republicans . . . and like kids in the back of the van on a long road trip behavior will fray.
My prediction: Mike Huckabee will get a great deal of attention and a “split” in the GOP over Akin. This split will consist of almost all the GOP disliking Akin and wishing he would quit . . . but that is less interesting than pretending social conservatives are mad at Romney or some such nonsense.
In the fall social conservatives will vote for R and R overwhelmingly.
Second, who is the break-out star who will lose to Vice-President Ryan for the 2020 nomination. Republican nominate the next in line and Ryan will be next if he is not im-Palin-ed. The media will look for a new Christie Todd Whitman figure who will moderate the party or reach out to women or hug squirrels.
This person will not be the nominee, but make a great many network television appearances in the next eight years.
Third, what overweight white person in a stupid outfit will be on television almost as much as the nominee? Networks love the comic relief shot of the funny hat on the Designated Redneck. . . and these have gotten harder to find in the modern convention. As a result, some sod will be chosen . . . extra points if he is picked by several networks.
Fourth, what speaker will damage his career by being Jindal-ed. The Jindal is the speaker who fits certain media stereotypes and so becomes a figure of unfair fun. If done to a Democrat, this would be viewed as Evil. Jindal himself will be off doing his day job as governor, so the Jindal position is open. Chris Christie sweating too much is in danger of the full Jindal . . . turning into William Jennings Bryan in his decline.
Fifth, look for the iconic moment: you will need two. If the balloons don’t drop, it will become an omen for a failed campaign . . . if the campaign fails. If Romney’s square jaw makes him look like Superman gazing over the arena, then that photo will be a forerunner of success, if he wins. Look for the image that writers will use for President Romney or the post-mortem on a loss.
The post-convention bounce? My experience is that it does not matter at all (see McCain/Palin). Fundamentally, the election will be about the President: majority like him, a majority think he has failed. The economy is bad, the GOP nominee is mainstream, and so Obama will lose 52-48.
His fans will be shocked. I am shocked that they will be shocked.