When the Maine-iacs faced relegation
They reacted with well-earned frustration
Though their shouts were in vain
All could hear the refrain
Of “Remember the Maine… delegation”
As the formal nomination of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney got underway, a very, very vocal minority of Ron Paul supporters from Maine let their disappointment be known.
The elected Maine delegates were upset that through procedural maneuvers the party denied them the right to sit on the floor–so it was from the balcony they chanted, “Seat Maine now!” and interrupted proceedings to the point that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus had to ask the audience for “respect.”
After attracting a media scrum of cameras and audio recorders, the group was peacefully escorted–or walked out–of the convention floor by security officials. The Mainers continued to voice their frustration in the hallways with a rousing chant of “Ron Paul!”
As always, there is more to the story. The Maine Primary was split about 50-50, Ron Paul and Mittens. But the caucuses, where the actual delegates were chosen, was flooded with Paul supporters. Caucuses always have smaller turnouts, so more motivated minority supporters can have disproportionate influence. In Maine, that meant that something like 21 out of 24 delegates were Ron Paul delegates.
The GOP did not like that, so they switched ten of them to Romney delegates. Just like that. Paul’s supporters say that they followed all the rules in gaining their delegates. Romney says he paid every bit of tax he owed and not a penny more. Rules are apparently there to be gamed.