The Ron Paul Juggernaut
Posted on: 2007-11-06 11:34:46
This morning, a collective gasp of dismay was heard coming from the Republican party candidates for president.
The news? Texas congressman Ron Paul has set a new GOP single-day fundraising record. In a 24-hour period Mr. Paul raised $4.2 Million dollars through on-line donations. The astonishing total suddenly has people wondering: Is this guy for real? Though he may not win the Republican nomination, his candidacy can no longer be written off as "the longest of long shots." He's raising top-tier money, and attracting thousands of new supporters every week, in part due to a strong performance on the Tonight Show (see below). Much to the disdain of the GOP establishment, one thing has become certain about Mr. Paul, he will have an effect on the race.
So how did Paul do it? Who are these hordes of internet supporters that he is reaching? Well, according to Reuters they are all around us. A recent survey found that 80% of adults now regularly use the internet. And many of them are impressed with Paul's candor and consistency. Say what you will about the merits of his positions, but he is nothing if not steadfast in his reasoning.
Greg McNeilly had a good post about Mr. Paul's transparent approach to fundraising and spending, and it underlines a central aspect of the Texas congressman's appeal. With "Dr. No," as Paul is known, you know what you're going to get. He's certainly not a flip-flopper.
As to whether abandoning Iraq and Afghanistan, or abolishing the IRS and the Department of Education are good ideas (never mind whether the latter items have a snowball's chance in hell of passing muster in congress) almost seems beside the point. Mr. Paul has become a symbol of revolt for voters tired of politics as usual. This modern day Guy Fawkes is rising in stature faster than any other candidate. Will he play the role of spoiler? Win the nomination out right? Even become president? Yesterday showed that ignoring Ron Paul (Ron Paul George and Ringo, as i like to call him) is not a smart move.