Friday, February 8, 2008

Did the Lt. Gov. show up?

Montana GOP Chairman Erik Iverson personally invited Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger to attend his local GOP caucus meeting to give a speech in support of Sen. John McCain.

While the GOP's refusal to make a special exception for the Lt. Gov. in their rules made headlines, it has been impossible to find any news reports about whether the Lt. Gov. accepted Iverson's warm invitation to come at speak at the caucus.

Either Bohlinger showed up and was politely received (which would have been newsworthy, since Republicans have been painted in the press as being so terribly mean to Bohlinger,) or he failed to show up and accept the invitation to speak.

The latter would have been even more newsworthy, since it would have indicated that Bohlinger wasn't really all that interested in accepting a Republican invitation to speak at a Republican meeting after all.

And the Lt. Gov. would probably have felt pretty foolish raising a ruckus in front of former Oklahoma Governor Frank Keating, who was at the Helena caucus to make a pitch for Sen. McCain. (Bohlinger had promised that if he wasn't allowed to vote, he would make a scene.) So it is perhaps safe to assume that Bohlinger looked at the situation, saw that it was going to be awkward to make headlines by pitching a public fit, and saw that if he accepted the polite invitation to address the caucus it would make Republicans look inclusive.

And we can't have that. Better to blow off Iverson's invitation.

If anyone has further information or links to news reports, please send them our way.


Anonymous said...

Yes, Lt. Gov. and the brand-new Mrs. Lt. Gov. were among the earliest arrivals (at about 5:15 for an event that started at 5:30) for the Lewis & Clark County caucus. They were greeted warmly by the Central Committee chair, ushered inside and acknowledged politely by several other attendees. The Lt. Gov. also spoke to the crowd for several minutes extolling the virtues of John McCain. I'm sure that the Senator's third-place finish in the voting can be ascribed to his endorsement. Mr. Bohlinger never made an attempt to vote in the caucus.

Pictures exist of the couple throughout the evening.

Anonymous said...

The Associated Press reported that Lt. Gov. Bohlinger was there in this story:

Anonymous said...

Dear Montana Headlines,
Now that it's been proven that Montana’s Republican Lt Gov showed up and spoke on caucus night, you should either publicly correct or remove your recent post entitled "Did the Lt. Gov show up?"

Montana Headlines said...

The post was in the middle of being written even as your comment arrived.

You are exactly right.