Behind the scenes the Romney campaign and the GOP have been looking to broker a deal with Ron Paul's supporters. They have pushed to have 16 legally determined delegates removed from the National delegation to Tampa. The rules have not been adhered to in places like Louisiana and Oklahoma and even now they have sought to not seat Paul delegates from Maine. But now, it's coming out that they may have struck a deal with Ron Paul loyalists prior to the RNC starting.
A stand off between Ron Paul supporters and the Republican National Committee over convention delegates appears to be easing, and both sides are close to announcing a deal that could help avoid a potentially embarrassing moment for Mitt Romney on the day he receives the GOP presidential nomination.
The deal, which is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon, will seat more Paul delegates at next week's Republican National Convention, an act that could help prevent an organized effort by Paul supporters to try and bring Monday's opening session to a grinding halt.
"This is a major step towards peace and good will on the convention floor," said a Paul source familiar with the negotiations. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been made public.
The RNC has agreed to seat 17 Ron Paul delegates from Louisiana, which has been a major point of contention between the Paul campaign and the Romney campaign. In addition, the RNC will also seat additional Paul delegates from Massachusetts, ending the controversy in that state.
There are still ongoing discussions over disputed delegates from Maine, which is being negotiated by Paul advisors, RNC officials and senior Romney staff. But the compromise over Louisiana and Massachusetts was a major break through on this thorny issue less than a week before the Republican National Convention.
The good will between Paul and Romney was helped by the willingness of the Romney campaign to help integrate key policy issues into the Republican Party platform, which has been debated here in Tampa for the past two days. Discussions between Paul and Romney over the platform have been going on for months.
The problem in this measure is that they will seat some, but not all of the delegates Paul won. Since Romney has the majority of delegates, what is the problem with the number of delegates Paul won fair and square in the delegate process, following the GOP's own rules, being seated at the convention in Tampa?
Paul also won a plurality of states, but they are stripping him of that as well. Items still remain to be determined, but there is no doubt as to why it's happening.
The fate of the 20 Paul-committed Maine delegates, elected during the state's GOP party convention in May, was still unclear, but negotiations were continuing.
Pro-Paul delegations from Iowa, Nevada and Minnesota have already been credentialed, without challenge, for the convention.
Romney and the RNC had been pursuing a legal strategy that appeared designed to prevent Paul from coming into the convention with "the support of a plurality of the delegates from each of five or more states."
Why? Reaching that threshold, according to the party rulebook, would allow Paul delegates to place the longtime congressman's name into nomination during the convention, and the candidate to make a speech. Paul has not sought to be nominated from the floor.
While Rand Paul has thrown his support behind Mitt Romney, Ron Paul has not and I suspect will not support him, since his values and record are the complete opposite of Paul's. While the word is that Romney will take on the issue of the Federal Reserve and we assume that will be by auditing it with the Treasury Department, which is like letting the fox guard the hen house, he isn't giving up anything really.
Paul supporters got an acknowledgement that their issues are important. However, the maneuvering behind the scenes tell us they are not important enough to actually address.
For instance , in the Platform committee that is meeting this week, the subject of rejecting the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and its indefinite detention was struck down. The RNC is taking the same lines the Georgia GOP did at their state convention. They talk tough, but when it comes to being Constitutional on the issue, they retreat because their presumptive nominee supports it as written and the presumptive VP nominee voted for it. If you don't think that is an important issue, maybe read Brandon Raub's story.
We'll see just what happens in the week to come.