Sunday, February 12, 2012

W&L Mock Con

Yesterday I spent the day in bed fighting off a sore throat that has moved into my nose and head... yuck.

While in bed, I tuned in to the Washington and Lee University Mock Convention.  Every four years (every election year), Washington and Lee University students host a Mock Convention for the party which is not currently in the white house in order to predict who the presidential nominee for the non-incumbent party will be.

Washington and Lee University (W&L) has a primarily conservative student body, so the years when the Mock Convention is predicting the GOP candidate, the Mock Convention is a HUGE event.  The Mock Convention (Mock Con) is over 100 years old and has been called the "most accurate mock convention since its inception in 1908".

This year's Mock Convention included live speakers such as Gov. Mike Huckabee, Ann Coulter, James Carville, Gov. Bob McDonald, and Gov. Haley Barbour.  All in all, the speakers included 4 Governors, 2 Attorney Generals, 5 Congressmen/women, 1 Ambassador and 1 Senator.

The entire event started Thursday and ended Saturday night.  I only tuned in for the Saturday afternoon session.  Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour gave the address this afternoon and he has some awesome points.  He served under President Reagan and he alluded to the time (during President Reagan's presidency), the only time in this nation's history when the budget was balanced...

Gov. Barbour's points included the following:
  • The upcoming election will be the most monumental of his lifetime, and possibly the most monumental of our lifetime because the two presidential contenders will be on such opposite sides of the political spectrum -- President Obama is the most liberal candidate to have ever been in office and his spending is completely out of control -- Gov. Barbour emphasized to the students that they will be the ones left to pay the bill the President is creating
  • This election will be very difficult for a GOP candidate to win because only once in the United States history has a party lost the White House and won it back after only one term (the only time this has happened was after Jimmy Carter's term)
  • Gov. Barbour emphasized the importance of the W&L students' prediction, but further emphasized that the work has only just begun.  The work is not in predicting the next GOP presidential candidate, but in getting the GOP presidential candidate elected!
  • Gov. Barbour recalled a story from when he worked under President Reagan.  President Reagan was talking about the people who are first to blame America.  Many of them are Americans -- whatever is going on, they are first to blame America.  President Reagan recommended that, in a given situation, apply the "Gate Test"... pull down all the gates, and where do the people flock?  Where people flock, that is a great country.

After Gov. Barbour spoke, the representatives for each state came forward to announce for whom they predicted their state's delegates would be cast.  Some of the funniest quotes from the delegation announcements included:
  • "Washington DC, where there are more convicted fellons than registered republicans"
  • "Hawaii, where over 1/3 of the world's pineapples come from... You're welcome"
  • "Delaware, where size doesn't matter"
  • "Texas, the only state where succession is still an option."
  • "Kentucky, where more guns were registered in Obama's term than babies were born"
Now, on to the results.  Washington and Lee University students predicted that the GOP presidential candidate will be:

Gov. Mitt Romney

The breakdown was as follows:
Gov. Mitt Romney 1781 delegates
Newt Gingrich 222 delegates
Rick Santorum 151 delegates
Ron Paul 130 delegates

W&L Students also predicted who the GOP running mate will be.  They predicted the Vice Presidential Nominee will be:

Gov. Bob McDonald of Virginia

At the end of the convention, Gov. Romney's wife, Ann Romney called the convention and she graciously accepted W&L's nomination.  She apologized that Gov. Romney could not call and express his appreciation himself, but he was on an airplane, so she called on his behalf.  She sounded like a sweetheart and sounded genuinely appreciative of the students' efforts and the nomination.

All in all, it was very fun to participate in Mock Con, albeit across the miles.  When they announced Mitt Romney as the candidate, they dropped balloons and played a great song (unfortunately, I can never remember the name of the song, and I cannot find a live clip on youtube yet...).  Lloyd and I celebrated in my sick bed by playing tug-of-war in time to the music.  Wow, that is pretty pathetic.

Photos from Washington and Lee University Mock Convention 2012

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