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Uncommitted, a Winner at Last

By Juliet Eilperin
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) declared victory last night in Tuesday's Louisiana Caucus. But the real winner was "uncommitted," a stand-in for an anti-abortion slate. Yes, after making strong showing in Michigan, it appears Uncommitted has finally won a gold medal in the presidential race.

Explaining -- let alone understanding -- what happened this week in Louisiana presents a serious challenge for even the most devoted of political junkies. Consider this: Louisiana has 47 delegates total, 20 of which will be determined during a separate state primary on Feb. 9. Tuesday's caucus elected 105 delegates to attend the Feb. 16 state convention, who in turn will elect 21 delegates. (The remaining six are split between the state chair, national committeeman and national committeewoman and the three bonus delegates the state received in the wake of Gov. Bobby Jindal's election.)

Of those 105 delegates chosen Tuesday, McCain received roughly 30, more than any other named candidate. But "uncommitted pro-life" received twice that, about 70 delegates. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) each received a few delegates as well, but state officials are still calculating the exact number each candidate received because so many provisional ballots were cast. Caucusgoers had to register as Republicans by Nov. 30 in order to participate in the process but a number of voters -- many of whom were Paul supporters -- showed up and cast provisional ballots since questions remained over whether they had met this requirement.

Still, some of the delegates elected to the "uncommitted pro-life" slate now say they will support McCain. The upshot: Wednesday night the Louisiana GOP announced that the senator had won the state's caucus. According to a statement by the McCain campaign, "victory in Louisiana is another indication of John McCain's growing momentum and of the fact that John McCain is the consistent conservative choice capable of winning the GOP stronghold of the South this November."

And don't just take the campaign's word for it: former Louisiana governor Buddy Roemer, McCain's state chair, issued his own (albeit eerily similar) statement on the caucus Wednesday night.

"Last night's results go to show that John McCain is the best hope of conservatives here in Louisiana and across the country," Roemer said. "The people of Louisiana know that actions speak louder than words, and that's why they chose John McCain over Mitt Romney. He is the only candidate with a long-held and consistent record of defending life, of protecting our national security, and of promoting pro-growth economic principles that benefit hard-working American families. John McCain is quickly emerging as the consensus candidate in the Republican race and the only conservative who can win this November."

Alas, Uncommitted could not be reached for comment on the matter.

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 24, 2008; 8:34 AM ET
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I must say, you are sounding more and more like PRAVDA, not the word, the news media.

Why should we expect balance and truth. Since the comment by David Rockefeller in Baden-Baden, Germany, 1991; It is hard to accept most of your articles for spewing of propaganda is now evident.
Quote David R.:
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

Posted by: FLOYD | January 25, 2008 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Do remember to report -- or was it omitted with intent? -- that the state GOP elected to extend the deadline for nominating delegates from the 10th to the 12th AFTER it became clear that Ron Paul had won the delegate race.

And as somehow else mentioned, the same incompetents within the GOP happened to use an obsolete registration list, which did not contain many of the latest registrants -- the bulk of whom were going to Ron Paul. Ergo, the surge in so-called "provisional" ballots.

After ignoring Paul's second place finish in Nevada, and now pooh-poohing his Louisiana second as well, the complaints from the Paul camp are looking less and less like conspiracy theories and more like evidence that so-called "big media" really is intent on diverting attention to Anyone But Paul.

Sad, really sad. But if the support is there, the story will eventually catch up. I continue to expect surprises from the $20 Million Dollar Man, Ron Paul.

Posted by: jcline1 | January 24, 2008 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I don't want AMNESTY for Illegals. I don't want McCain!

Posted by: michaelLitz | January 24, 2008 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post:

Did you even bother to ask why so many provisional ballots were casts? The rules were changed because as of January 10, 2008, Ron Paul had the most certified delegates and the LA Gop does not want Ron Paul to be the Republican nominee any more than you neo-con rag of a paper

Posted by: wtpatton | January 24, 2008 8:11 PM | Report abuse

John McCain For President!

When the British soldiers were shooting at us George Washington as a Commander in Chief was always on the Battle Front, on the line of fire, bullets were flying near his head, the sound of Cannons going off and dead soldiers all over the field.
A brave man George Washington was.

On thie video below John McCain on his own words tells America how he will conduct this wars.
Check it out:

Posted by: politiciannc | January 24, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

I read on that the problem with the provisionals was that they used a list from Nov. 1 rather than the updated list from Nov. 30. Since a lot of Ron Paul supporters registered in November the provisionals may be mostly Ron Paul votes and Ron Paul may be the winner after the recount.

Posted by: kristiansenlars1 | January 24, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a lot of the "uncommitteds" are for Fred Thompson. I wonder if he would come back if asked.

N J Whitt
Columbus, Ohio

Posted by: njwhitt0713 | January 24, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Juliet, the very confusing Louisiana Caucus is a difficult journalistic assignment to say the least. That said, I must agree with mrdthree that you didn't quite get it right. You spent a good deal of ink on the exultation of McCain's camp whereas you should have spared a little to explain how the "uncommitteds" overlap with delegate counts for each candidate. Your last line was funny, though.

Posted by: discerning | January 24, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Hey Juliet! where did you get your journalism degree - Univeristy of Phoenix Online?!?!? Report the facts, not your pinhead bias. Get a job at FOX NEWS if you're going to pull this stuff....

Posted by: drizwald15 | January 24, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"Alas, Uncommitted could not be reached for comment on the matter."

Even if you did reach Uncommitted, the response would have undoubtedly been "no comment."

Posted by: judgeccrater | January 24, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

There has been a STRONG push in Loiuisiana by MCCain people to PRESENT McCain as "the choice". They know perception is reality and they have been pushing this.

Truthfully, the state is split and McCain isn't the front runner here. There is no front runner here.

Posted by: jennifer1234 | January 24, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The provisionals are going to make a positive difference for Ron Paul in districts 1,2,4,5,6

It is possible for Ron Paul to win those districts after the provisiona count. Pro-life/Pro-family took districts 3 and 7.

Posted by: jennifer1234 | January 24, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm cross-checking the other slates' flyers I have and here's some interesting tid-bits:

REMEMBER: ALL delegates are "uncommitted", even the Ron Paul delegates.

This all refers to district 5:

1) 3 people on the Romney slate and also listed on the McCain slate

2) On the McCain slate, only 6 people won a slot BEFORE the provisional were counted.

On the PL/PF slate:

1) 3 people are also listed on the Romney slate

2) 1 person at least is for Huckabee (he told me so) and 1 is uncommitted (I know him and he told me, so I believe him).

3) 4 people are also on the McCain slate

4) 9 of them won a delegate spot before the provisionals

5) of the 9 that won, 4 are onb the McCain slate and 2 on are the Romney slate

Now you can see why I dispute the idea that McCain came in first and that the PL/PF ticket is Thompson people.

Posted by: jennifer1234 | January 24, 2008 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Hold your horses McCain

Who won the Louisiana Republican Caucuses?


Posted by: jeffboste | January 24, 2008 12:12 PM | Report abuse

John "there is no recession or let's have a million year war in iraq." McNuts didn't win we all know it.

Posted by: amishcar | January 24, 2008 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Most states decide to have either a primary or a caucus. When Louisiana decides to have a both caucus and a primary on separate dates they deserve the obscurity that their process gets. These results are inconclusive and McCain is really stretching to claim a victory in this initial Louisiana caucus.

Posted by: danielhancock | January 24, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Didn't you guys read the DISCLAIMER: "Explaining -- let alone understanding -- what happened this week in Louisiana presents a serious challenge for even the most devoted of political junkies"? Either way, I am rooting for "uncommitted pro-life"!!! MORE JUSTICES LIKE ROBERTS AND ALITO!!!

Posted by: JakeD | January 24, 2008 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Good lord. As a loyal reader of your paper I am fast becoming aware that what the Ron Paul supporters are saying about the news media's unfair and unbalanced reporting is true. Your paper is loosing the good will and trust built up over the decades because of an inability to trust what I read these days. I went to the Louisiana GOP's site to read about the caucus and it's obvious your reporting is at the very least inaccurate and poorly researched. I do now wonder if it's also dishonest. I will from now on rely much more heavily on the internet to find truth. Ms. Eilperin should be sent back to school or dismissed as her reporting is either incompetent or dishonest. Shame on her and her editor for their breach of ethics. When you drive your readers away and teach them they must search elsewhere for accurate reporting do not expect them to come back. I am beginning to understand why print journalism is on the decline. I think once we come to understand we need to rely on sources not controlled by powerful organizations that have agendas that do not include the general public welfare we will rely much heavier on the internet and truly independent news sources. It makes me very sad to think that maybe the only thing I can now trust the Post to do is give me updates on the "skins". Oh wait, you know what, Google can do that.

Posted by: mgg | January 24, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Washington Post, if you are going to write something let it be the truth, please don't start sounding like Foxnews, I thought you were better than that. Oh wait, I forgot about the Murdoch factor.

The order was McCain, Paul, and then a few to Romney. Go to the Louisiana Republican Party site and get your facts straight please.

Posted by: tess101 | January 24, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Indeed. LA GOP reveals that some of McCain's "30" delegates are the same people as some of Uncommitted's "70" delegates, or as Roger Villere says, "significant overlap".

They also award Paul "the next highest number" after McCain, and, after that, award Romney "a handful", saying, "It certainly appears that the order was: Uncommitted Pro-Life, McCain, Paul, Romney, others." Why does this become the carefully nuanced statement that Romney and Paul received "a few" in the WP's translation, with Romney first? Further reports suggest that the McCain-Paul gap was much smaller than the Paul-Romney gap. Please report unbiasedly like the LA GOP does.

The Revolution continues.

Posted by: john | January 24, 2008 9:26 AM | Report abuse

One problem with your report--the "uncommitted" and "John McCain" are not mutually exclusive. The last few paragraphs of yesterdays LA GOP press release point this out.
The "uncommitted group" actually is the "Pro-Life, Pro-Family" group pulled together by the LA GOP. My understanding is even one Ron Paul delegate is in the "uncommitted group".
This is important because you cant simply add or subtract to find out which delegates are supporting whom.

Posted by: mrdthree | January 24, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

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