Channeling Teddy White In The Opening Minutes Of 2016 GOP Convention
There is no reporter or political writer that I respect more than Teddy White. I was drawn to the man when I was a teenager and just starting my own fascination with politics. He passed away many years ago but his deep interest and keen insight have never failed to press upon me to strive ever higher for a better grasp of what unfolds in our election cycles.
This afternoon as the Republican National Convention opened with a dramatic floor fight over the rules committee report I instantly thought of White. He would have loved witnessing this high energy during the first minutes of a national convention.
There is nothing dry about procedural chaos! In the end GOP activists unsuccessfully demanded a full floor vote that could have been a mighty club aimed at Donald Trump. The vote would not have imperiled the nomination of the orange-skinned man but would have allowed a true snapshot of the level of dismay and disdain that is felt within the party for Trump.
The frenzy involved two loud and angry voice votes before pro-Trump officials announced that three states that had originally submitted anti-Trump measures had withdrawn them, knocking the anti-Trump movement below the seven-state threshold they needed to move forward with debate.
The news will show the loud and determined “NO” calls from delegates. For those who have insisted that the process of nominating a person was flawed or even ‘fixed’ the chaos from the floor today will only underscore that feeling.
There is no doubt that unity is not to be found at this convention and this afternoon’s display is all the proof needed to come to that conclusion. There are ugly divisions in Cleveland.
Teddy White would most likely counsel–(this is where I channel the great man) that at such times as this there needs the ability for delegates to let off steam and feel that their voices are heard. That was not the case today. There is now an even deeper and more recent sore that will require a political bandage. Who can deliver healing remains unclear.
That all this could have been avoided with a roll call is not in doubt.
What a way to start the convention!!