The Democratic National Committee was forced to delay its convention in Milwaukee until August, it announced on Thursday. It's understandable, given how quickly and viciously the coronavirus has disrupted our lives. But the DNC's counterparts at the RNC suggested the postponement was always inevitable.
"I think I predicted it would happen even a few weeks ago," an RNC convention official told Townhall on Thursday.
The official understands that the uncertainty of this unique time played a factor in the DNC's decision, but added that the health scare doesn't account for the areas in which the DNC were behind in planning. The DNC's fall walk-through, for instance, didn't happen until January. The GOP conducted its walk-through in November.
While the DNC has struggled to keep time with the COVID-19 crisis, the RNC official says the committee has "adjusted and adapted" by scheduling a virtual spring walk-through. The DNC still had not even set a date.
The official was adamant that the DNC delay proves it's trying to "buy time."
"They were looking at the possibility of Bernie walking with a sizable number of delegates, and they had motivation to delay the convention," the official said. "It's just buying them time. I think they were concerned that they're having to adapt to this new world. Bernie is still going to be hanging around."
Coronavirus or not, the official argued, the DNC was never in a position to put together a successful convention because of its uninspiring crop of candidates. Democrats had the grand coronation of former vice president Joe Biden after the primaries and then when the coronavirus exploded, he disappeared. Again, it supported the RNC's analysis that the Democrats are trying to buy precious time.
"Bernie was out talking and raising money, but the most Biden could do was a couple tweets, and haphazard videos from his basement," the official noted. "It's spooked the entire Democratic establishment. They're trying to buy time and maybe get a new coherent message and messenger."
Some Democrats supposedly wanted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be that messenger and jump in the race. But for someone to come into a convention without delegates and walk out of the convention with the nomination is extremely difficult.
At one point, now-disgraced lawyer Michael Avenatti was even considered the party's savior and potential nominee.
"They are guilty of coming and going infatuations," the official said.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Convention, scheduled for August 24-27 in Charlotte, NC, appears to be a go.
"The great news is that planning has been underway for a long time and well ahead of schedule," said the official, explaining that their November walk-through was the "earliest" one they have ever had and that they are "well ahead of pace" in determining the delegations.
The coronavirus has forced all mass public events to adopt new protocols and protections, but the RNC has been in constant contact with health care professionals and the CDC.
"It's going to take time to understand those protocols," the official said, explaining that protecting sick individuals is the top priority. "But eventually we will put all of us will put together planning to make sure life goes on in America."
The official did temper criticism of the DNC's disorganization to note that it does "have some sympathy for those folks up in Milwaukee" because "what they're being asked to do is extremely difficult." Conventions have people on the ground for more than a year, overseeing all the different contracts with hotels, caterers, etc. All those deposits and deadlines will have to be redone.
Then there are the media, who were supposed to have a 5-week break in between conventions.
But it's not all bad news.
"There is optimism...that by August we will be in a position to start to have those kinds of events again."