This past weekend, I attended the Washington State Republican Party Caucus.
To be sure, I have never affiliated myself with the Republican Party of any state. But I’m a political junkie, and I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a caucus before.
One of my majors from the University of Wisconsin – Madison is a political science degree major. I completed my marketing majors so I could get a job, but my real passion – my hobby major – is politics. So I couldn’t pass up this chance to see how it all works.
There isn’t much to a caucus. You find the people in your precinct, and the precinct captain leads a discussion around the state and national party platform, then a quick one about some specific issues and finally, he leads the vote for the delegates who will represent the precinct at the County convention.
The first woman who was asked to make her case for why she wanted to be a delegate opened by saying, “I support Newt Gingrich, but I don’t think he’s going to win, so I would vote for Mitt Romney.” She then proceeded to receive a near-unanimous vote to represent the precinct.
I was shocked, impressed and bemused on several levels. I couldn’t help myself. I had to make the point.
“Why would you all send someone who just said they are neither courageous nor principled to represent you at the convention? This is exactly why Mitt Romney is leading in the polls.”
I went on to point out the symbolic nature of a Romney voter being unprincipled, since the major stumbling block for him is that he can’t get conservatives motivated or excited to vote for him. The only case his surrogates continue to make is that Santorum and Gingrich are “unelectable.”
The second and last delegate the group selected made a point of saying she would support Romney. The case she made for him was that people who think he can’t connect with voters are wrong. She had just seen him speak the day before, and she watched him shake hands and make eye contact with people, and she knows he can connect.
Again, I was impressed. Mitt Romney’s troubles connecting aren’t because he can’t shake hands convincingly. The people he can’t connect with are conservatives, and the reason he can’t connect is because he doesn’t understand, nor can he articulate, the philosophy. That’s why he can’t connect.
So, for those of you in Washington State Precinct LFP-1056, rest assured, we’ve got our best people on the case.