Sarah Palin and the Brokered GOP Convention Fantasy

Mark my words: A brokered convention in August means a broken party in November.

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Forget the four horsemen of the GOP-ocalypse, pounding each other into a Stupor Tuesday stalemate--Sarah Palin is waiting in the wings. The Sarah-cuda surfaced briefly on CNN tonight, roiling the political waters with a wink toward the brokered convention crowd.

According to CNN:

In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin did not shoot down the idea of accepting a proposal to run for president should the Republican presidential race lead to an open convention in August.

"Anything is possible. I don't close any doors that perhaps would be open out there, so, no, I wouldn't close that door," Palin said after casting her vote in Alaska's Republican caucuses. "My plan is to be at that convention."

Sure she was asked the question by a CNN reporter. But the Sage of Wasilla could easily have replied that she looked forward to getting behind one of the four great candidates when they’re nominated in Tampa; she could have said that the only people talking about an open convention are liberal reporters intent on sabotaging the eventual GOP nominee; she could have spouted any sort of bland non-answer answer, but instead she deliberately left the proverbial door open.

[ Check out political cartoons about Palin.]

Her response brought to mind two observations.

First: For all the fantasy talk about an open or brokered GOP convention, the only people who are mentioning Sarah Palin as a possible white knight candidate are Palin herself and the CNN reporter. The names that usually come up are Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan … even Jeb Bush. Palin is last cycle’s news.

Second: The whole notion of a brokered convention should be a nightmare for any sober-minded Republican. For one thing, all of the would be white knights have weaknesses: Daniels annoys social conservatives and has a charisma deficit; Christie suffers from moderate apostasy on issues like immigration, gun control, and climate change; Ryan’s Medicare “overhaul” plan is politically toxic; Bush is, well, a Bush.

[ See editorial cartoons about the 2012 GOP primary field.]

But there’s another problem. As I wrote in my column a month ago:

Suppose even that the dream comes to pass and a deadlocked GOP convention closes with the establishment producing a Daniels or Christie or Ryan from the proverbial smoke-filled back room. As Hot Air's Ed Morrissey sketched out in the Fiscal Times last month, it's a suboptimal scenario: "Ten weeks from the election, the party would have a nominee for which no one had cast a ballot in a primary, who has raised no money, who has built no organization, and who has articulated no platform."

This would be the political equivalent of plucking an untested rookie who hasn't played baseball in months and starting him in the World Series.

Let's be clear: Every political reporter in America wants a brokered convention, but no GOPer should be encouraging it. A brokered convention in August will mean a broken party in November.