Here we go.
So now come all these news reports (just for example, here, here, here, and here) that Team Romney has decided deliberately — deliberately — to trash Sarah Palin by not inviting her to the Tampa convention.
And they expect people to rally to their candidate when they are out there sticking their finger in the eye of the party’s base? Sending a message to the Tea Party to go take a flying leap?
If this is true, and no less than Governor Palin herself has said she is uninvited, one can only wonder:
What are these wizards of smart thinking?
Historically, people who are trashed by their own party employ the one entirely fatal weapon they have at their disposal: they stay home in November.
Having a unified convention is Politics 101.
Having — make that deliberately sponsoring — a convention inevitably perceived as being run by small people with no agenda except their own routinely yields the same results: defeat.
What should be done? Having had the opportunity to once upon-a-time work on this kind of issue myself, here’s the answer.
First, quickly and publicly remedy this by graciously inviting Governor Palin.
Second. As the 2008 nominees, Senator McCain and Governor Palin should have some place and/or role of honor at the convention — in this case, yes, speaking slots for both.
Third. Make certain that all of the nominee’s defeated rivals — Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Pawlenty, Perry — are given some public role at the convention. Have a unity dinner/breakfast/lunch with Governor Romney — lots of pictures. If there is a running mate selected by then — include the running mate.
Fourth: Get the platform under control — consult, consult, consult, consult. And have the votes in subcommittees, full committees and on the floor to get it done.
Last but not least: The night that Governor Romney accepts the nomination, at the conclusion of his speech and his bows with his running mate — flood the stage with McCain, Palin and all the defeated rivals.
Message: We are not Team Romney — we are Team America. And yes, Barack Obama, we are as one on the mission to stop you and your “transforming” of America in its tracks.
But for heaven’s sakes — be inclusive.
Get Governor Palin invited now. Post haste.
She was the first woman VP nominee of the Republican Party. She has more than earned simple, basic respect.
Don’t add to Governor Romney’s problems by making him seem like an ungracious, small man.
He quite decidedly isn’t. But the lights are on now — people are paying attention. He has real enemies out there. He will need all the help he can get not just to win, but to govern.
And that specifically includes Governor Palin.