Reince Priebus’ Sunday Spin

By | 3/20/2016 Leave a Comment

Reince Priebus, The Republican National Committee chairman, appeared on CNN's “State of the Union” on Sunday, claiming that “there's a lot of misinformation” out there about the party’s rules and nominating process – and then gamely went on to add to it.

“The minority of delegates doesn't rule for the majority,” Priebus said, which sounds very fair and democratic on the surface…until you realize that what he’s actually saying is that if Trump fails to reach the necessary 1237 delegates to clinch the nomination automatically, his “majority” of delegates is then to be viewed as a “minority” – a minority that doesn’t rule for the majority of the party’s establishment. 

“This is a delegate-driven process. This is the first time in a long time people actually cared about delegate count, but delegates matter,” he said. Oh yes they do, and how. But as far as people actually caring about it, it’s only been a “long time” if you consider four years to fit that description. I’m pretty certain that in 2012, Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, Perry, Paul and the rest – along with their respective supporters – cared quite a bit about the delegate count back then. That year Romney didn’t sew up the required delegate tally needed until the end of May. 

But my favorite statement from Priebus on Sunday was this little gem: “No one's disenfranchised. In fact, they're empowered by the delegates they receive,” he said.

That is to say, if it does come down to a contested convention in July, delegates – which are, in essence, representatives of their respective states voter intentions – can be bargained and bartered behind closed doors, then put through several rounds of balloting and subsequently awarded to another candidate. Yes, that’s very empowering…just not for the voters.

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