Five days before the Republican National Convention (hypothetical)

It’s August 26th, five days before the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul and a few days before John McCain’s 72nd birthday. McCain and his family have taken some vacation time to unwind. A health emergency of some sort occurs, and McCain is incapacitated, in a coma of some sort.

What would happen with the Republican presidential nomination process? Would the Republican Party seat Huckabee or Romney as their candidate, or drag in someone else?

I’d especially like to hear from Republicans on what they would do. Also, please be polite and don’t drag in derogatory comments that are non-productive.

My money’s on Huckabee. He would have won the primary if not for a shoestring campaign budget.

Dang, meant to put this in GD, not MPSIMS. If a moderator comes across, could you please move it?

I would think it would have to be Romney or Huckabee. Its just too much of a risk putting someone else out there who hasn’t been vetted recently, is relatively unknown to the voters (unless it were Gingrich or Cheney), and would have to start from scratch.

As to whether it would be Romney or Huckabee, my money’s on Romney. He would have run as McCain is McCain weren’t in the race. And he ducked out in a maneuver that shored up his right flank. He’s a much safer choice than Huckabee, even if Huckabee might have been more popular.

Ron Paul is still running. If McCain dropped out he’d be the only candidate left.

Okay, seriously, I think they’d go with Romney. Huckabee’s got a slight lead in delegates but I think the Republicans would want to rally around a more mainstream nominee.

So long as McCain is still alive, he’ll be the candidate. If necessary, they will install servomechanisms to move his lips and jaws. Hell, the neocons would see that as an improvement! :slight_smile:

Not correct. Whereas all the others withdrew, Romney only suspended his campaign.

[QUOTE=Richard Parker]
… (unless it were Gingrich or Cheney)…

:eek: :eek: :eek:



I believe he suspended his campaign on February 7 and then withdrew on February 14. On the latter date he said he was “stepping aside” and endorsed McCain as the nominee.

In a situation such as that one, delegates would (presumably) be free to vote for anyone. They might logically go for one of the formerly declared candidates, but they could equally well pull out someone completely else, like a rabbit from a hat.

At least he’s got a good sense of humour, but he reminds me too much of Jimmy Carter.

Normally I’d agree. A party would rather draft a neutral party elder rather than pick one of the also-rans. For example, if Clinton and Obama were to both die before the convention, the Democrats would probably go with Al Gore rather than pick John Edwards or one of the other candidates who ran. But I don’t see any similar figure among the Republicans. Newt Gingrich is the closest equivalent and he would fire up more opposition than most of the former candidates.

Like I said earlier, it’s Cheney baby! After all, he’s younger than McCain.

I thought pledged delegates were committed to voting for their pledged candidate on the first ballot.

At least for the Democrats, this is not the case.

VIII C(7)© states that “Delegates may vote for the candidate of their choice whether or not the name of such candidate was placed in nomination.”

I don’t have the RNC rules handy, but I’ll bet it’s the same.

I don’t know if they would be free. Certainly if McCain were to die they’d be released from their pledges, but the OP clearly states he’s in a coma. The hypotthetical could also apply if he’s in intensive care after a heart attack or car accident.

The Republican convention generally follows Robert’s Rules of Order. Through some parliamentary manuevering:

a) McCain’s name might not be placed in nomination
b) The convention could vote to suspend the delegate pledges
c) They could go ahead and nominate McCain, then make a parliamentary ruling that since he doesn’t formally accept the nomination, someone else will be nominated.
d) They could nominate him, but the National Committee would declare him incapacitated and either direct the delegates to nominate someone else or do it themselves.

Another complication, what if McCain had already announced who he wanted as Vice President? There would be some pressure (although no formal obligation) to elevate that person to the Presidential nomination.

In any case, my guess would be Romney.

I believe most delegates are bound by the laws of their home states to vote for the candidate chosen by that states primary on the first ballot. Presumably if the candidate withdraws or is deceased, they would be released, though if he’s merely in the hospital, it might be less clear.

I think this is it. It’s all but certain that McCain will have announced his running mate well before the convention – the trend in the last several cycles has been to announce in June or July to get a mid-summer media bump. And remember that when you vote in a primary, you’re really voting for the candidate’s slate of delegates. Not wanting to be surprised at the convention, candidates tend to chose as delegates people who are rock-solid supporters, and therefore the delegates at the convention will overwhelmingly be strong McCain loyalists. I’d bet that their natural inclination would be to support the person McCain has already identified as a worthy President should he be incapacitated.

Interesting. If so, that would be news to a lot of political bloggers. Do you have a cite?