View Full Version : Great Atlanta-Journal Constitution Article on Grassroots efforts

12-26-2007, 01:04 AM
This is a great article on the Ron Paul Revolutionaries.


I love the audio file you can listen to, where a computer voice reads the article to you. She sounds so hot! LOL

Ron Paul's followers aim to stun the pundits

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 12/26/07

Don't tell Ron Paul's supporters that their man is not going be the next U.S. president.

No matter the evidence the no more than 7 percent standing in early state polls, the lack of high-profile national campaign operation or the fact that the long-time Texas congressman hardly fits the modern Republican profile Paul's legion of supporters believe, loudly, that their man will win the GOP nomination in 2008.

That enthusiasm is as strong in Georgia as anywhere and his supporters here are flat determined to deliver the state for Paul when Republicans hold their primary Feb. 5.

Ike Hall, 40, Paul's Georgia campaign director and a radiation safety officer at Emory University Hospital, believes it will happen

"Yes, I do," Hall said. "Yes, I do. Mostly because of his phenomenally deep and diverse grassroots community. American politics hasn't seen anything like this."

The Paul grass-roots community is impressive. He owns the Internet, whether it's the more than 65,000 videos supporters have uploaded to YouTube, or the more than 50,000 "friends" Paul has on Facebook, the social networking site.

In metro Atlanta, Paul's backers also use Meetup.com to plan events and to communicate with other supporters. They have organized weekly rallies each Saturday at Freedom Park, sign-waving parties along busy intersections and canvassing groups to spread the word. The campaign opened its Georgia headquarters Dec. 16.

But the biggest reason Paul could actually make a run at the nomination is the more than $6 million he and his supporters raised online Dec. 16. The one-day event, believed to be the largest amount ever raised by an American political campaign in a single day, included contributions from more than 58,000 people. It helped give Paul a fourth-quarter fund-raising total of more than

$12 million. That's expected to lead the GOP pack.

In presidential politics, money is life.

In Georgia, Paul raised more than $108,000 through the end of September, more than former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, but considerably less than the other leading candidates.

Supporters say the Georgia campaign is just beginning.

"His message is so strong," said Justin Stout, 24, who was joined by a trio of other Paul supporters to brave the chill and drizzle on a recent evening to wave Paul signs at traffic along Ga. 5 in Douglasville. "His message of individual liberty is so strong. But we know we have to do this because the media doesn't seem to be giving us attention. He has to raise $6 million to get on the news."

Stout is correct in one sense. You don't see Rudy Giuliani supporters, or Mitt Romney or John McCain supporters, standing on street corners or interstate overpasses to get attention.

Speak to enough Paul supporters and several things become apparent.

They speak of Paul in almost reverent, certainly respectful, tones. They don't call him "Paul," or "Ron," or even "Congressman Paul." It's almost always "Ron Paul," or "Dr. Paul," reflecting his background as a ob-gyn.

Common themes emerge: honesty, strict allegiance to the Constitution and personal freedom.

The media is against them, or at least ignoring them.

The polls are wrong.

From the outside, Paul supporters can seem obnoxious or even, well, rude. They basically shouted fellow GOP candidate Rudy Giuliani off the streets of Marietta a few Sundays ago, chanting "Ron Paul, Ron Paul, Ron Paul," as the former New York mayor walked the streets.

In person, Paul's supporters are rational and polite.

"It wasn't really that bad," Hall laughed, when asked about that Sunday in Marietta. "What there was, was an enthusiastic crowd of Ron Paul supporters. They gathered across the street. A couple of people drifted over there to have signs in cameras' view, but overall people were very polite."

Jessica Aday, 24, of Douglasville, smiled as she held her Ron Paul 2008 sign aloft along Ga. 5. Her curly red hair was tied up with a ribbon and her T-shirt promised that "This Redhead is Voting for Ron Paul."

"I'm here for Dr. Ron Paul," she said. "He's a good man, very honest, humble. He genuinely and honestly wants to help us."

Aday, Stout and Hall agree the polls have vastly underestimated Paul's support.

Stout explained that many of Paul's supporters are first-time voters, who won't appear on the lists pollsters use to make survey calls. Many are also Democrats or independents who don't show up on lists of likely Republican voters, he said.

Others, however, are not so optimistic.

Kerwin Swint, a Kennesaw State University political scientist puts it bluntly: "I don't think he has a chance of winning."

Paul's support, Swint said, is loud, which makes it seems larger than it is.

"He has tapped into that Libertarian, disenfranchised group of people who feel the mainstream Republicans are not paying attention to them and he's their guy."

"His support is real," Swint said of Paul. But he can't win, Swint said.

Hall is not discouraged.

"It doesn't affect our enthusiasm in the slightest," he said. "In fact, it gets us more fired up."

12-26-2007, 01:11 AM
man it sucks, when the reporter was there justin stout kept trying to call me to come out there but i had to work...

it was raining that day and he said only 3 people showed up to that sign waving and told me the reporter was taking pictures...

THANK GOD they didn't show pictures... we would have looked like wusses with only 3 people standing out there in the rain.

12-26-2007, 12:00 PM
Woo hoo! Our article made it to the top 3 headlines on Google about Ron Paul.

Wish you could've been there, Garrett!!

12-26-2007, 12:05 PM
A lot of the stuff in the article is positive, but do notice that the title still refers to us as 'followers', not 'supporters' - which in my opinion is a negative slant. Very possible that the writer had a neutral-to-positive view and that the editor who actually decided on a title for the piece was less friendly.