Ron Paul supporters' magical disappearing act
Ron Paul, the Texas congressman who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for president, has been said to resemble Gandalf, the magician from the movie version of "The Lord of the Rings."
Republican officials seemed to make Paul's supporters magically disappear during Wednesday night's roll call vote, in which the GOP convention officially nominated John McCain as the party's presidential candidate.
During the hour-and-a-half voting procedure, convention Secretary Jean Inman recorded each state's votes. Even though several states cast a portion of their votes for Ron Paul (among them Alaska, Oregon, Washington and West Virginia), none of those votes were repeated aloud by the secretary, and therefore they were not confirmed by the chair.
According to the Oklahoman newspaper, two delegates from Oklahoma also cast their ballots for Paul, but the microphone was cut off before their votes could be recorded.
The result of the roll call vote -- before it was made unanimous by acclamation -- recorded five votes for Paul, while a news reporter counted at least 15.
"There were several discrepancies," said Drew Ivers, Paul's delegate coordinator. "The RNC was roughshod, a little careless. They weren't as respectful as they could have been. I don't think that's very professional, and it's not a good reflection.
"They had five ladies keeping the score, plus the chairman, so they had six people and still couldn't get the numbers right."
The convention did not reject all dissenters to McCain's nomination. Two votes that the Utah delegation cast for Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, were promptly repeated and recorded in the final tally.
-- Ole Jann
Photos: Supporters of Ron Paul, right, disappeared as if by the magic of Gandalf from "The Lord of the Rings," played by Ian McKellen, left. Credits: New Line Productions; Todd Goodrich / Associated Press