WASHINGTON — This may be the Ron Paul gambit we’ve been waiting for.
An obscure rule change made four years ago by the Republican Party has opened the door for Paul forces to cause a major headache for Mitt Romney when he tries to nominate his choice for vice president at the party convention in August.
The Republican National Committee could change Rule 40 in the week leading up to the convention, but that would risk the appearance of jamming Romney’s nominee through, and likely cause a subsequent backlash.
Republican officials are still waking up to the fact that Paul loyalists — who control the majority of delegates in Maine, Minnesota and Iowa, and have sizable contingents in a number of other states — could very likely enter Paul’s name into nomination for vice president. This would force a roll call vote where each delegate of each state is polled on the floor of the convention.
Such a move would transform a symbolic procedure that has taken mere minutes in the past several conventions into a chaotic and time-consuming spectacle that could eat up the better portion of a day.
Not only would such a floor fight step all over the message of party unity and strength that the Romney campaign hopes to drive through the convention, it would also open the door for alternatives to Romney’s choice to gain momentum and further drive the process off the rails.
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