A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Go Ron Go!

I am on board the Ron Paul express to the White House. The man is decent, honest, forthright, funny, charismatic and self-depreciating. He is the perfect antidote to the last sixteen years of Clinton and Bush-- none of Clinton's posturing and preening and careful parsing and slick double speak, none of Bush's idiocy, cronyism, contempt for the Constitution and complete disconnection from reality.

For the last several years I've looked for a non-politician candidate I could get behind because all of the politicians were turds of one sort or another. But the concept, while appealing, was completely impractical since a non-politician has no chance of winning, and even if they did they would be massively hamstringed in a political arena familiar to all the other players.

Then along comes Ron Paul, a little known congressman from Texas who is running as a Republican simply because he knows no one will pay attention to him as a libertarian. But he isn't a Christianist Republican, ala Romney, nor an autocratic disciplinarian, ala Giuliani. He is proponent of small government, individual freedom, fiscal prudence, and transparency in government. Above all else, he appears to still have principles. Read about him here, and then tell me he isn't an appealing option to all the other turds the Republicans and Democrats are trotting out.

He was on The Daily Show a week or two ago and he was so refreshingly honest and earnest I couldn't help but smile. He didn't get all of Jon Stewart's gibes, but he never got defensive or condescending. Above all else, I think this phrase from his website resonates with me deep down to my core:
Congressman Paul’s consistent voting record prompted one of his congressional colleagues to say, “Ron Paul personifies the Founding Fathers’ ideal of the citizen-statesman. He makes it clear that his principles will never be compromised, and they never are.”
A citizen-statesman in the mold of our Founding Fathers. Yeah, I can get behind that.

And the truly astonishing thing? He's not going away anytime soon-- he actually has a shot of winning the nomination (not much of a shot, but probably a better shot than McCain does these days). He's raising money far better than expected, and he has a terrific grass-roots support network.

For the first time in my life, I am going to donate to a presidential candidate and volunteer to help his campaign. America needs Ron Paul right now.


As you say, he's decent and honest.
He's also clever and opinionated. So let's face it: he'll never be president.
Nick, I'd take a second look at the blog post that you linked to when you stated, "And the truly astonishing thing? He's not going away anytime soon-- he actually has a shot of winning the nomination (not much of a shot, but probably a better shot than McCain does these days)."

Andrew Sullivan's blog post from 16 May 2007 entitled, "Misreading Ron Paul," contains the following:

The Internet polls show real support for him. Fox News' own internet poll placed him a close second, with 25 percent of the votes from Fox News viewers.

Sullivan doesn't provide any citation for this poll, so I checked out Fox News to see if I could find any poll with Ron Paul pulling 25%. What I found was not a poll showing 25% of Fox News viewers supporting Ron Paul for president, but rather 25% of the 40,000 votes submitted via text message to Fox News saying that Ron Paul won the second debate of the Republican candidates on 15 May 2007. The viewer's poll is here.

The second debate was the one in which Rudy Giuliani admonished "Texas Rep. Ron Paul, who ignited controversy at the debate with remarks that U.S. policy had invited the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." Giuliani received great applause for his statement following Paul's comment, and the group offering that applause was probably at least somewhat representative of the Republican base. Considering that, and also considering that since the debate was on Fox, the 25% who voted for Ron Paul as the debate winner via text message most likely are not representative of typical Fox News viewers, Sullivan either wasn't being thorough, or at worst, he was being deceptive.

Finding similar support for Ron Paul, on Fox News or elsewhere, is difficult to impossible. In an A.P. piece from 05 June 2007 entitled, "Presidential Long Shots Seek Lightning," Ron Paul's positioning in the polls was touched on. Keep in mind that this is only three weeks after the second Republican debate, and twenty days after Sullivan's blog post that you referenced.

"There's been other candidates who became president with less name recognition at this time of the cycle than I have," one longshot, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, said in a recent interview.

That might be questionable if taken literally, since Paul's name usually appears in polls with a 1 percent next to it, or worse yet a symbol indicating less than 1 percent support among Republicans. Still, today's single-digit hopefuls find plenty of inspiration in the recent past.

Also, the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll doesn't have Ron Paul registering any support.

Giuliani has the support of 30% of "Republicans and Republican leaners," vs. 28% a month ago; Thompson comes in with 20%, vs. 19% in June; McCain has 16%, vs. 18% a month earlier.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney remains in fourth, at 9% vs. 7% in June.

The current numbers for the rest of the Republicans included in the survey: Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, 6%; former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, 2%; Rep. Duncan Hunter, 2%; Rep. Tom Tancredo, 2%; Sen. Sam Brownback, 1%; Sen. Chuck Hagel, 1%; former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, 1%. Neither former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore nor Rep. Ron Paul registered any support.

None of the Republican numbers change significantly if Gingrich is removed from the poll.

The survey of 394 Republicans and voters who "lean" Republican has a margin of error of +/- 5 percentage points.

No one is my candidate yet, but more power to you, Nick, if you found the guy who is closest to your core beliefs. I just wanted to shed a little more light on the poll numbers given in the now two month old Sullivan post.
Well, I may have linked the wrong story then. I meant to link to a Sullivan post referencing Paul's strong online support and surprisingly robust fund raising efforts.

I don't really think that Paul can win the nomination (though I think he could win the election) because he doesn't appeal to the Republican base enough, but the fact that he raised $2.4 million in the 2nd quarter does mean he isn't getting out of the race for a while. Which is good-- he says things that need saying and keeps the front runners from spinning things too shamelessly.

Anyway, here's the article I got the $2.4 million figure from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19778721/
It's about half-way down the column and it is from today.

Go Ron, Go!
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