The PJ Tatler

High-Profile Republicans Skipping Convention

Unlike Democrats who have decided to forgo the pleasure of their national confab, most of the GOP candidates appear to be more intent on campaigning than rubbing elbows and partying down.

All except perhaps Jon Huntsman:

Republicans have excoriated down ballot Democratic candidates who are planning to skip this summer’s nominating convention. But the decision to steer clear of the conventions is not limited to Democrats.

Former presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announced Friday he plans to stay home in protest.

“I will not be attending this year’s convention, nor any Republican convention in the future, until the party focuses on a bigger, bolder, more confident future for the United States—a future based on problem solving, inclusiveness, and a willingness to address the trust deficit, which is every bit as corrosive as our fiscal and economic deficits,” Huntsman said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Huntsman had released his delegates to Mitt Romney and is no longer actively seeking office. But active candidates are making the same decision.

The campaign for Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon confirmed Thursday that if the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive wins the Republican Senate nomination Aug. 14, she won’t be helping to formally nominate Mitt Romney. “Our focus is going to be on campaigning in Connecticut,” McMahon campaign spokeswoman Kate Duffy first told the Connecticut Mirror.

McMahon, who unsuccessfully ran for Senate in 2010, is likely to face criticism similar to that being lobbed at Democrats–that she is skipping the convention to distance herself from her party. McMahon’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo News’ request for comment Friday.

McMahon is one of several Republican candidates who have recently announced plans to skip the convention.

Former Virginia Sen. George Allen confirmed this week he plans to campaign instead of travel to Tampa, Fla, Montana Rep. Denny Rehberg–who is running for Senate–will also not be in attendance, and Nevada Senate candidate Dean Heller said this week he is considering begging off if he doesn’t get a major speaking role.

Clearly, it wouldn’t hurt Allen in Virginia Rehberg in Montana, or Heller in Nevada to be seen with Mitt Romney or any other Republican. McMahon might have a problem in true blue Connecticut with being too closely associated with the GOP but enough to bypass the convention? Not likely.

Huntsman had to make a splash, didn’t he? The only people who care what he is thinking or doing are members of the national press who never tire of reporting on his apostasy. This, despite the fact, that most Republicans could care less about Huntsman and have zero interest in what he has to say.

I think we should take the rest of them at their word — that they are keeping their noses to the grindstone and aren’t going to waste a single day of campaigning in order to achieve victory.