2016 Republican convention

Our share of ‘the take’ on brokered conventions

Headlines speculating about a floor fight when Republicans gather in Ohio next summer showcase the art of media insta-analysis.

By Mark Stencel – December 11, 2015 | Print this article

One of my favorite quadrennial election traditions — other than the once-every-four-years chance to use words like “quadrennial” — is media speculation about brokered conventions. Typically this dribbles out slowly over the course of a long, contentious primary season. But there are moments when it just spwats like a big glob of ketchup from a nearly empty bottle.

Reagan-Ford in 1976
The last time a Republican presidential nomination was still up for grabs as the party’s convention convened was nearly 40 years ago, when incumbent Gerald R. Ford survived Ronald Reagan’s challenge. (Image by White House photographer William Fitz-Patrick via Wikimedia Commons.)

News that Republican party leaders have discussed the possibility of a brokered convention produced a giant ketchup glob in the past 24 hours, offering a helpful guide to the art of the take. The take is when a large media gaggle simultaneously pounces on a news peg, producing a pile of instant analysis that usually reveals less about the subject of observation than the slant of the observers.

Some illustrations from the current feed…

The traditional conservative media establishment take:
“Krauthammer’s Take: Brokered Convention Won’t Happen Because Trump Won’t Win” (The Corner from National Review)

The traditional liberal media establishment take:
“The GOP may have a brokered convention and it’s going to be great.” (New Republic’s The Minute)

The explain-what-everyone-is-really-talking-about media take:
“What If Republicans Can’t Pick A Nominee Before Their Convention?” (FiveThirtyEight)

The New York man-on-the-street, tabloid take:
“Fearful GOP bigs brainstorm Trump alternatives” (New York Post)

The New York man-above-the-street and Washington-is-beneath-us take:
“The Republican Race Keeps Getting Weirder” (New York magazine’s Daily Intelligencer)

The local take:
“Hey Cleveland, here’s what you should know about the prospect of a brokered Republican convention” (Cleveland.com)

The Democrat just-helping-my-Republican-friends take:
“Trump Can Be Stopped: Here’s How” (former DNC executive director Mark Siegel for Huffington Post)

The it’s-all-there, plug-my-new-book take:
“The Secret Plan To Nominate Mitt Romney From The Convention Floor” (BuzzFeed’s McKay Coppins)

The jaded/grizzled “Political reporters have been yearning for a brokered convention for as long as I’ve been alive” take:
“If this news fills you with glee, it doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person…” (Washington Post Plum Line’s Happy Hour Roundup)

The jaded/grizzled, meta-media take:
Oh, wait…. You’re reading it.