Skip to comments.The Ron Paul Factor
Posted on 11/22/2007 8:25:31 AM PST by George W. Bush
The Ron Paul Factor
By Matt Towery
Thursday, November 22, 2007
As we continue to poll and observe the various states involved in the early caucus/primary battles for the Republican presidential nomination, one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me: While Ron Paul may lag behind most of his GOP competitors in the polls, the intensity of devotion from his supporters makes his candidacy deserving of more attention than it's gotten to date.
His sometimes-quirky mannerisms and oddball demeanor fly in the face of what most Republicans traditionally look for in their presidential nominees. And his comments startle many for their bluntness and contrariness to long-running establishment GOP thinking.
That's exactly why Paul could have an unexpected impact not only on the Republican nomination process, but also on the November general election as well.
Consider that over 600 people turned out for a rally for Paul in Reno, Nevada, recently. The media described the crowd as a mixed group that included many college students.
That's another indicator of the potential impact of the Paul campaign. I recall in 1980 when establishment Republicans and conservatives were backing George H.W. Bush, John Connally or Howard Baker for president.
But on college campuses, the birth of the modern College Republicans movement was feeding off of the support of frustrated college students for the maverick in the race, Ronald Reagan.
Don't get me wrong. I am not predicting Paul will pull a Reagan and somehow beat out the GOP's establishment contenders. I will suggest that Paul may fatally damage several potential candidates, and perhaps the entire Republican Party, if he breaks away and runs as a legitimate third-party candidate after Tsunami Tuesday's primaries in early February.
Paul blends a unique mixture of cynicism over the health of the economy, loud opposition to the erosion of civil liberties, plus a stand as the only GOP candidate who's flat-out opposed to the war in Iraq.
Those issues unite a seemingly disparate group of voters who collectively feel that 20 years of the presidency being shared between two families -- the Clintons and Bushes -- is more than enough. They are voters who have found their mouthpiece in Paul, who's willing to voice their frustration over Republicans, Democrats and whoever and whatever else represents "The Establishment."
Paul could be deadly to someone like conservative Mike Huckabee, who is steadily rising in many polls but can't be assured of the devoted turnout of his supporters, as Paul almost surely can.
Paul's words have also taken away some of the ink that should have gone to Fred Thompson, who entered the race as the supposed "I'll say anything and throw caution to the wind" candidate, but whose measured and often boring campaign speeches have consistently fallen short of their billing.
Unlike many GOP candidates, Paul hasn't tried to have his cake and eat it, too, on the subject of President Bush. He has little or nothing charitable to say about the president. And with new revelations coming from Bush's own press secretary about "who knew what when" in the CIA leak scandal, Paul's distance seems all the wiser.
How do I think Ron Paul will impact 2008? It's at least possible that he'll fare better than expected -- and not just eventually in scattered primaries, but as early as next week in the much-awaited CNN/YouTube debate in Florida. Paul is often quicker and less plastic than his counterparts, and could do well in such a format.
But where will Ron Paul really do his damage? It could be by seriously damaging the Republican establishment his followers so despise.
How? By running as a third-party candidate. In critical "Red States," where the vote may turn on just a small percent, Paul could block any hope of a GOP victory.
That would likely mean a Hillary Clinton presidency. But it might also mean a true remake of the Republican Party for the future. The abandonment of the get-along, go-along Republican Party is something that many, including and beyond Paul's supporters, would like to see.
Matt Towery is a former National Republican legislator of the year and author of Powerchicks: How Women Will Dominate America.
Pretty evil for an elderly baby doctor.
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Kind of like an older Chuck Norris.
I can say this about Paul, having met the man personally. He is NOT evil. He is NOT a whack. I disagree wholly with him on his stance on the Iraq war. But he is not against defending Ammerica as a whole, and most of his other stances on domestic issues, foreign policy, the border, and moral issues are much closer to my way of thinking that certainly any Democrat, as well as GOP candidates like Rudy.
But, we differ fundamentally on the war in Iraq and its good for our security and necessity in defeating the Islamic radicals. And for that reason I support Duncan Hunter and then Fred Thompson...in that order.
I like Ron Paul but disagree on some key issues. Unfortunately he’s harming the best candidates the most.
What is the media obsession with Ron Paul running as a third party candidate? He’s said repeatedly at every possible occasion that he’s not running as a third party candidate. He did once run on a third party ticket, so he knows exactly of what he speaks. And he’s already filed to run for his Congressional seat, which he’s said all along is “Plan B”.
Ron Paul is running for the Republican nomination. Lots of folks have been wracking their brains to figure out some crazy scenario in which a GOP primary candidate can hurt the eventual Republican nominee, but it just ain’t so. Either Ron Paul takes on the Hildabeast in November (and IMO he would be one of the hardest candidates for her goon squad to throw mud at), or he goes back to voting “no” in Congress. Period, end of story.
Ron Paul’s candidacy doesn’t approach even long shot status. Paul has no chance of winning the nomination. Just another campaign effort that is helping to fragment the GOP further.
If I know Rooty, hes loving every minute of it. Whether it was his intention or not, the obvious split among conservatives continues to be working in his favor.
If conservatives want to knock Rooty off, they must unite around one candidate during the primary election phase. The fact that Paul is not that candidate should come as no surprise.
THanks for the ping. Good article. Happy Thanksgiving.
Americans also oppose any long-term commitment in the Middle East as well. I personally, do not want our troops to leave immediately and I wish Paul would recognize how god-awfully evil Islam is and the need for our troops to remain until at least the end of the decade, but unfortunately I don't speak for the masses. I just think it would be best for the GOP to compromise with Paul on this issue & start embracing some of his other views, instead of calling him a kook or Neo-Nazi which is just counter-productive and will only strengthen his campaign.
Paul just broke $9 million dollars for the 4Q!
Didn't realize you lived in the twilight zone.
Ron Paul spammers and google-bombers should be arrested and charged with Internet stalking and harassment.
They're promoting this garbage so they'll have a scapegoat when the GOP nominee loses to Hillary because Paul's supporters stayed home or voted 3rd party.
It's time the GOP start embracing Paul like they're embracing pro-abortionist/homosexual rights/gun control Rudy Giuliani.
I'm telling you that Paul is the ONLY Republican candidate who can unite all of the conservative factions together to defeat Hillary in the general. Not to say he'll get nominated and win, but someone like Fred! can at least accommodate Paul on some of his views to retain his supporters within the GOP. Let's face it, the GOP has completely ignored fiscal conservatism in favor of pushing socon socialism. If whoever's nominated don't start talking about limited government and at least winding down on the war, they're toast, I don't care if it's Fred! or not, the GOP does not have the votes to defeat Hillary in its present form.
I'm not talking about FR, I'm talking about the GOP. If the party elites can get behind that POS Rudy and let him speak at the convention in 2004, then Paul also deserves a slot at the convention and some of his views embraced.
The party will endorse and support liberal RINOs but libertarians like Paul with a proven track record are given the shaft.
If Ron Paul is such a uniter, why do sane people detest him? Even the Liberty Papers have disassociated themselves from him. Ron Paul supporters are pushing Huckabee over Thompson. You guys need to get a life.
Back away. Do not feed the beast. EEE lives in an alternate universe.
Its time to return to reality. We have a unique set of circumstances this time around in the GOP field of candidates. There is a well funded liberal candidate running for the GOP nomination. While he has lost some support thanks to Fred Thompson`s candidacy, Giuliani has been the front runner for the last year and continues to hang on in poll after poll.
We don’t need rhetoric that works to divide social and fiscal conservatives even further. That is exactly the opposite of what Ronald Reagan set out to do starting in the mid-1970`s. That Reagan coalition has become seriously split because so many folks on the right are wanting their agenda to dominate GOP policy.
Bush43 hasn’t helped matters when you consider how his big government spending habits, expansion of the federal bureaucracy and desire for liberal immigration reform has worked to further split the GOP. Just look at the 2006 election results. If Bush was a strong conservative leader we wouldn’t have a fractured party, with a liberal front runner.
Republicans need to start uniting behind one conservative candidate, ASAP. Otherwise Rooty is gonna walk away with the nomination. Something that would please Hillary and Dems to know end.