2/22/2008

See Ron Run

Is Ron Paul's revolution about to be quelled in his own congressional district?

By W. James Antle III
Published 2/22/2008 12:08:34 AM
By all accounts, Ron Paul was a reluctant presidential candidate. He was happy in the House, casting his lonely "no" votes against legislation with price tags large and small and contrasting his colleagues' handiwork with the plain text of the Constitution. But the Revolution overtook him: Paul attracted larger crowds than he had dreamed possible and, after raising $19.5 million in the last three months of 2007, won the fourth-quarter Republican money primary.

The purpose of Paul's longshot presidential bid was simple: Win as many delegates to the Republican National Convention as possible and spawn legions of new "Ron Paul Republicans." So Paul's supporters were startled -- and in some cases miffed -- when Paul announced he was scaling back his presidential campaign to focus on his March 4 congressional primary.

Sure, Paul had a disappointing showing in New Hampshire, where he had been expected to do well. Aside from a few caucus states, mostly in the Western part of the country, he was increasingly turning in single-digit performances as the field winnowed. But the crowds were still big and young; the money was still rolling in. Why not continue spreading the message and recruiting new Ron Paul Republicans?


BASED ON THE tone of the fundraising appeals, the answer is obvious: Paul seems worried that after his congressional primary, the number of Ron Paul Republicans in Congress will be reduced to zero. "The DC neocons think their old dream is about to come true," Paul began one such missive. "They think they can defeat me in the Republican congressional primary in Texas on March 4th. And you know what? They may be right."

Fundraising letters usually rely on the "going out of business sale" approach rather than the soft sell, but Paul may genuinely be in trouble. Though Paul trounced a more conventional Republican, Cynthia Sinatra, in the 2006 primary -- he took 64 percent of the vote and beat Sinatra in every county in his district -- Friendswood City Councilman Chris Peden might give Dr. No a run for his money.

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[Source: AmSpec News Article Feed -

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