First, quickly and publicly remedy this by graciously inviting Governor Palin.Lord points out the obvious: "Having a unified convention is Politics 101."
Second. As the 2008 nominees, Senator McCain and Governor Palin should have some place and/or role of honor at the convention -- in this case, yes, speaking slots for both.
Third. Make certain that all of the nominee's defeated rivals -- Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann, Ron Paul, Pawlenty, Perry -- are given some public role at the convention. Have a unity dinner/breakfast/lunch with Governor Romney -- lots of pictures. If there is a running mate selected by then -- include the running mate.
Fourth: Get the platform under control -- consult, consult, consult, consult. And have the votes in subcommittees, full committees and on the floor to get it done.
Last but not least: The night that Governor Romney accepts the nomination, at the conclusion of his speech and his bows with his running mate -- flood the stage with McCain, Palin and all the defeated rivals.
Message: We are not Team Romney -- we are Team America. And yes, Barack Obama, we are as one on the mission to stop you and your "transforming" of America in its tracks.
But for heaven's sakes -- be inclusive.
Get Governor Palin invited now. Post haste.
She was the first woman VP nominee of the Republican Party. She has more than earned simple, basic respect.
Related: Tony Lee observes:
Mitt Romney’s campaign knew they would have to deal with Sarah Palin at the convention. On one hand, they should have known that 2012 will be a so-called “base election” in which the side that best mobilizes its base wins. To that end, there is not a figure on the right that energizes and excites Tea Party conservatives and Evangelicals like Palin. She is the north star of the Tea Party movement that changed the political landscape in 2010. Not inviting Palin would threaten to piss off the conservative base that has never warmed to Romney.Update: Momentum bulids for a Palin convention invitation.
On the other hand, a prominent, primetime speaking slot for the former vice presidential candidate would surely overshadow Romney the technocrat. Palin's 2008 convention speech and vice presidential debate were two of the most watched performances in political history. Romney's dilemma could turn out like Ronald Reagan’s impromptu remarks at the 1976 convention and, to a lesser extent, Pat Buchanan’s stemwinder of a speech at the 1992 convention which overshadowed Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, respectively.
Like everything that has come down the pike this campaign season, the Romney campaign was caught flatfooted and unprepared for delicate questions about Palin's role at the convention.