Why GOP Wannabes Must Attend State Convention


Urgent memo to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum: You can still get a cheap, one-day round-trip flight to make the California Republican Convention.

With state Republicans scheduled to meet at the Hyatt Regency just south of San Francisco International Airport on the weekend of Feb. 24-26, Calbuzz has taken to Kayak.com to scope out travel arrangements for the two Republican presidential front-runners who will be damned sorry later if they miss the event.

Yeah, yeah, we get that the GOP field will be a bit preoccupied and focused on the key Michigan primary the following Tuesday, Feb. 28. But we also know that with the race playing out the way it is, it’s looking more and more likely that the June 5 California primary could be the decisive contest of the long campaign – and that anyone with the brains they were born with will hightail it to SFO the weekend after next.

So we’ve found a couple ways for the candidates to have the best of both worlds.

Act now and you can get a $1042 non-stop round-trip between Detroit’s Wayne County Metropolitan Airport in time to make a speech at CRP’s Saturday dinner and back in time for Sunday morning services with a friendly Michigan minister.

Or, if you’re really smart, or excessively cheap, you can speak at Friday’s dinner, grab a good night’s sleep and get back to Motor City for some afternoon pandering for only $702 round-trip.

Close readers will recall that we similarly urged the GOP contenders to show up at last fall’s Republican convention, for the very reason that California, and its huge cache of 172 delegates would end up being the big prize in the primaries.

But no, you – and we’re looking right at you Mittens – thought it would be shrewder to spend your time tramping around New Hampshire and (cough, cough) Iowa instead. How’s that working out for you now?

Since last we wrote on the presidential race, Santorum has suddenly surged and now leads Romney both in national polls and in Michigan. In fact, he’s only two points behind the alleged “front-runner” in California, according to a new SurveyUSA poll this week (if you believe their loopy numbers.)

To his credit, Newt Gingrich, who’s been spending the last few days in the Golden Gate state raising money, appears to be the only one smart enough to have figured out the long game – he’s the current headliner for the state convention. The Grinch, who was in the Central Valley on Tuesday, has more lives than a cat in the primary and seems to have settled on a Southern-West Coast play to accumulate enough delegates to keep things interesting.

And in case the rest of you have forgotten why you need to be here, let us remind you that:

It’s a global media village. San Francisco offers monster free media exposure that will be carried in California and nationally (including Michigan) and clips of you being cheered by thousands of die-hard Republicans – coverage worth millions – will demonstrate your wide appeal.

It may actually matter. With none of the candidates rolling in delegates, the primary season may well slouch right into June, when having throngs of activist California Republicans in your camp could make a huge difference because it’s so damn expensive to advertise on TV here.

It’s a cheap date. Bring along some Michigan reporters and give them one-on-one interviews on the way. Hold a little press conference with the California media. Give Calbuzz an exclusive sit-down. Schmooze with delegates. Show them they really matter. The 24 hours that you miss in Michigan will be a great investment in winning the nomination when crunch time comes in June.

So get the travel office busy, fellas, before these great fares expire. Calbuzz will even schlep you to and from the airport, which gives us an excuse to miss the debate over the party platform.

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There are 5 comments for this post

  1. avatar tonyseton says:

    “that anyone with the brains they were born with will hightail it to SFO the weekend after next.” — You certainly are limiting travel expectations.

  2. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Having just come back from the fountain of knowledge, the 2012 Conservative Political Action Conference attended by 11,000 faithful in D.C., I have concluded that the presidential candidate visits to the Cal Reep convention will work out as follows:

    Gingrich and Paul are out on their feet and will surely go down for the count by California primary time. So, it would be a waste for those two to visit our convention as they will lose the election anyway.

    Santorum and Romney, on the other hand, will be in a “political death” struggle in Michigan, Romney’s birth state and culture warrior Santorum’s “blue collar” themed test case. If Rick can beat Mitt there, and he is slightly ahead according to most polls, he will jump to the lead position for the Republican nomination. So those two boys will have to work Michigan not California.

    As an aside, it appears to me that the First Amendment war President Obama launched against the Catholic hiararchy and, indirectly, against the evangelical christians will help Santorum to overcome Romney. And it is a war. Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of D.C., called on the faithful to demonstrate against the Obama decision on forcing the Church to fund through employee insurance birth control and the morning after abortion pill.

    Glad to be of help CalBuzz, my favorite and my only Obama loving site.

    • avatar chrisfinnie says:

      As an aside, the First Amendment says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” If the Affordable Care Act required Catholics to use contraception, I could see that as a violation of the free exercise clause. It doesn’t. It also doesn’t require Christian Scientists to see a doctor when they’re sick or Seventh Day Adventists to get a blood transfusion. So I fail to see how providing equal access to reproductive care violates the First Amendment.

      I, on the other hand, am not Catholic. So, by elevating Catholic doctrine over my right to have the same access to care as other people in the United States, you are violating the establishment clause of that amendment. You are making laws that establish faith as a foundation for law, even for those who don’t share that faith.

      I have to wonder how that “war” will play out with women voters–especially when even 98% of Catholic women admit to having used birth control. In this particular war, it would appear the church fathers have already lost. And the GOP will lose if they follow them. Women will not be willing to go back to the 1940s. We do not agree with Republicans that our only role in life should be barefoot and pregnant, standing silently next to our man, smiling and applauding. In fact, some of us think we’re perfectly complete without a man at all. Something most Republicans clearly find extremely threatening.

      The war that’s going on is not against religion. It’s against women. And, if you think you’re going to win that one, your wife, sisters, and mother may have news for you.

  3. avatar Ernie Konnyu says:

    Surprise! Newt figured out that between Mitt and Rick a Gingrich has no shot at Michigan. So, Newt answered the CalBuzz call! Speaker Gingrich will be the luncheon speaker on Saturday, Feb. 25 of the California Republican State convention. He is officially listed on the GOP program. Any registered delegate can attend for just $100.

  4. avatar bogey says:

    Is it just me who can’t tell if Ernie’s posts are sarcasm or they’re meant to be taken as real?

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