Oklahoma didn't vote
I stayed around after the speeches ended for the roll call of the states -- the actual, required vote on who will be the Republican Party's presidential nominee. Arizona passed first time around, and everyone from Nebraska on through the end of the alphabet passed, so that Arizona could put its senator over the top.
I caught an interesting conversation between Sen. Jim Inhofe, who was to announce Oklahoma's vote, State Chairman Gary Jones, and two 2nd District delegates, Paul Clayton of McAlester and Robert Demarest of Talihina, about their intention to abstain.
Some background: The 2nd District voted for Mike Huckabee in the primary, but Huckabee released his delegates. Two of the delegates elected by the 2nd District Convention were supporters of Congressman Ron Paul. Freed from the legal obligation to vote for Huckabee, they wanted to cast their votes for Paul, but thinking that they couldn't vote for anyone whose name had not been placed in nomination, they wanted to abstain.
Inhofe and Jones told them that they were free to vote for whomever they wished. I interviewed Demarest and Clayton briefly after their conversation with Inhofe and Jones. I apologize for the weird angles, but I had to stand too close to them to get a decent two-shot.
Later they told me that they did intend to vote for Sarah Palin during the vice presidential roll call.
When Oklahoma finally got the chance to vote, after McCain's majority was assured, the delegation's chairman and Oklahoma's departing National Committeeman, Lynn Windel, yielded the floor to Inhofe, who began his spiel. When he said the phrase "war hero of all war heros, John McCain," the convention secretary, perhaps not paying close attention, assumed she heard the vote, and announced, "Oklahoma, 41 votes for John McCain." Inhofe attempted to correct the secretary and go on, but as soon as the secretary spoke, Inhofe's mike was cut.
There was some minor commotion as the roll call continued, but in the end Oklahoma's vote was recorded as 41 for McCain, even though the state's vote was never announced. Delegates began filtering toward the exits. Chairman John Boehner never asked for corrections, but he did announce, "Seeing that there are no states that wish to change their vote...." before saying that McCain received all but 7 votes -- 5 for Paul, 2 (from Utah) for Mitt Romney.
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I received a note today from Oklahoma Republican Party chairman Gary Jones, passing along the word that the Republican National Committee is correcting Oklahoma's vote in the official record of the roll call for the Republican presidential nomination. ... Read More