No 2008 GOP candidate has as much going on on the Internet as Congressman Ron Paul.
His passionate supporters are networking over the Web and through e-mails much more effectively than the three so-called top-tier GOP candidates — Romney, Giuliani and McCain — although why we even list McCain as top-tier any more is beyond me. Ah, the McCain-loving mainstream media . . .
Indeed, there is a positive passion for Ron Paul that eclipses anything current in the Republican race. Why is this?
Because Ron Paul — a lifelong libertarian conservative — represents more and more people who realize that George W. Bush's brand of Republicanism should be called big government Republicanism. The post-9/11 expansion of federal power combined with the ill-conceived pre-emptive invasion of Iraq — when we had not been attacked by Iraq — are decidedly non-conservative actions. But, in the afterglow of 9/11, these libertarians were drowned out in the rush to embrace President Bush and show the world a united front.
Now, with the collapse of the Bush administration, Republicans are looking for something new, something that fits their beliefs.
Ron Paul is the hottest GOP candidate at the moment.
While McCain is in free fall and his campaign is effectively over, Mitt Romney has seen his contributions fall off heavily in the just-completed second quarter because the Mormon fundraising network is tapped out.
So, too, are the Massachusetts Republican donors. And Rudy Giuliani is now under attack for his supposed strength: his handling of 9/11. The International Firefighters' Union has Swift Boated Rudy with a dynamite 13-minute DVD called "Rudy Giuliani — Urban Legend."
This DVD shows things that Rudy did leading up to 9/11 that most voters don't yet know about, including his decision in the late 1990s after the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 to place the city's emergency command bunker at the World Trade Center! And, sure enough, at 5 p.m. on 9/11 that bunker — in building No. 7 — collapsed. Not very smart thinking, was it? Nor was Rudy's refusal to buy good radios for the N.Y. Fire Department — despite repeated instances of failure and repeated requests from the NYFD. Over 300 NYPD firefighters died in the trade center towers because they never heard the evacuate order!
So the bloom has clearly begun to fall off the Rudy rose.
That leaves us with the so-called second tier candidates: Congressmen Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul, Sen. Sam Brownback and the now just-departed-from-the-race Jim Gilmore.
Dr. Paul has been the only one to jump out of this group; Duncan Hunter, a good fellow, has done nothing to stand out. Tancredo, the hero of the immigration issue, has actually been a major disappointment in the debates. Brownback is hopeless and shot himself down over his call for amnesty for illegals.
A few other intriguing facts about Paul:
He has more cash on hand in his campaign than McCain.
He first stood out in this race when he got into it with Giuliani over the real reason for the 9/11 attacks, and Rudy took a cheap shot at him. But Paul correctly described the conclusions of the 9/11 Commission Report that the Islamists see the U.S. as meddling in Arab/Muslim matters, and they want us out of their region. And they see us as partners with the cruel, repressive oil-funded corrupt regimes over there; i.e. the Saudi Royal Family.
Ron Paul has a growing following — as witnessed by his e-mail and online campaign.
Paul is a campaign of ideas — not a cult following. Libertarianism will attract even more followers.
Paul is a great hitter in baseball. We played in 1981 and 1982 on the House Republican baseball team and he has great wrists!
Now, how will Ron Paul do in this campaign?
Will he ultimately vault up into the top tier?
He will do better than the so-called MSM believes — who cares what these guys think anyway? But Paul will not do as well as his supporters hope.
However the ultimate GOP nominee will learn that much of Paul's message has a growing audience and should be heard.
Who will that nominee be? And will he have a chance in November ‘08?
Well, we still have a long, long way to go. We still have the possible entrance of Fred Thompson and maybe Newt Gingrich into the race. And the inevitable collapse of McCain.
So Iowa is still six months away.
Look for some surprising twists and turns between now and then.
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