It's Fun Being a Massachusetts RNC Delegate (For Once)
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr
The lonely Massachusetts Republican had a tough campaign season watching the likes of Newt Gingrich slur Mitt Romney as a “Massachusetts Moderate,” but at this week’s Republican National Convention, where Romney will emerge from such attacks victorious, the Massachusetts GOPer finally has his day in the sun. (Well, proverbial sun, anyway.)
A spate of stories this week feature delegates telling reporters how it’s suddenly great to hail from Massachusetts at the convention. These anecdotes seem funny to us chiefly because in talking up the perks of this year’s convention, we learn that the GOP usually treats the Massachusetts delegation like one might treat a smelly little sister. So what’s so great (and what used to stink) about being a Massachusetts delegate?
- Sweet seats: Fred Thys reports for WBUR: “This year, Massachusetts has the best seats at the convention, right in front of the podium. It’s traditional for the delegates from the nominee’s home state to be there.” But typically… The Republican nominee hasn’t hailed from Massachusetts since 1924. So where does that put Massachusetts delegates most years? As the Globe‘s Glen Johnson puts it: in seats “best enjoyed with binoculars.”
- Sweet hotel: This year, Massachusetts delegates are housed in the same hotel as Romney. And it’s waterfront. But typically… Campaign adviser Beth Meyers noted the change at a breakfast on Monday. “I was just out at a couple of other delegations for smaller states, and it took about half an hour to get back here, and I thought, that’s where Massachusetts has been in past conventions,” she said, according to WBUR. Yep, they’re typically housed in the suburbs.
- Cool stories, bro: “People think it’s amazing that we actually know him and have spoken to him and discussed issues with him,” Rep. Elizabeth Poirier tells Thys. Typically: Again, we’re sure the 1924 Massachusetts delegation had plenty of fun stuff to tell their friends about Calvin Coolidge, but since then … scant opportunity.
- The defining moment: Traditionally, the Globe reports, delegates from the home state get to cast the defining votes to put the candidate over the number needed to clinch the nomination. That might not happen this year, according to WBUR. Ah well, can’t win ’em all.
So yes, stories revealing how fun it is to attend the RNC this year as a Massachusetts resident also seem to highlight how second-rate it is to attend in most years. And if names (Rubio, Christie, Santorum) tossed around for the nomination in 2016 prove correct (that’s a big IF), we imagine Massachusetts will be back in the Holiday Inn again before long.