THE SPINE FEBRUARY 6, 2008
Long ago, when it was conventions (or their bosses) that decided nominations, senators or governors would put themselves up through their state delegations as what was called "favorite sons." There are no "favorite sons" anymore. Neither, of course, are there "favorite daughters." When I was a precociously political kid--I think it was 1952--the Republican convention, the one that nominated Ike Eisenhower over Robert Taft, like the Democratic Party, was full of favorite sons. I recall listening on the radio to the proceedings. At the end of the roll call of the states (which included the territories), by which time there were many favorite sons, the clerk of the convention called on the chairman of the delegation from the Virgin Islands for a nomination. And the chairman responded, "The Virgin Islands has no favorite sons." The convention broke into gales of laughter. The GOP was a bitterly divided party that year, divided between "moderates" dominated by Henry Cabot Lodge and Winthrop Aldrich from Massachusetts and "conservatives" incarnated by Senator Taft of Ohio. Oh, for a civilized and literate Republican Party. But that was the convention that anointed Richard Milhous Nixon as vice president.