Thursday, April 14, 2016

Place an order for one room worth of smoke

Now that the health Nazis have got us all off tobacco, you cannot have a real smoke filled room today, nobody smokes anymore.  Especially not in public.  But I am sure there are numerous suppliers who will fill the gap.
   Way back when, American party conventions were big get togethers at which the party bosses, office holders, and assorted hangers on, would select the party candidates and just spring them on the voters.  It wasn't all that bad a system, it gave us a series of pretty decent presidents, starting with Lincoln.  If you read your modern history, the US was governed by a class of politician a couple of grades better than anyone in Europe.  This smoke filled room selection process lasted until the Kennedy-Humphrey West Virginia primary in 1960.  Then for some reason (probably media love for Kennedy) the single West Virginia primary was deemed totally representative of the national electorate, and JFK became the democratic nominee that year.  I'm pretty sure that Humphrey and Lyndon Johnson didn't go along, but the convention did, although Kennedy had to offer the vice presidency to Johnson to press on over the top.
   Since then, more states have set up primaries.  New Hampshire has done exceptionally well with its first in the nation primary.  It brings zillions of dollars into the state from newsies, candidates, and just plain tourists, and we need the business. Up until this year, the primaries decided the nominee on both sides, and the national conventions dwindled in importance to the point that the big TV networks would not carry them live in prime time. 
   Even though the national conventions were no longer decisive, everyone always wanted to go as a delegate.  Even my mother managed to become a delegate to the the Republican convention one year.  Each state party set up some elaborate scheme to allocate delegates spots to loyal and deserving party members.  The Donald is beating the drums about the Colorado system being unfair to him since Ted Cruz got all the delegates and he got zip.  Not surprising.  The newsies haven't actually figured out the Colorado system and told us about it, but I can guess it favors loyal and deserving party members, all of whom who detest The Donald. 
   Anyhow, the newsies are salivating about covering the Republican convention this year because it looks like nobody will have the votes to lock it up going in, and there will be demonstrations, floor fights, slanging matches, and wheeling and dealing, all of which makes good copy. 

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