View Full Version : Ron Paul Roundup (01-03-08) Part 1

01-03-2008, 01:01 PM

Ron Paul Roundup (01-03-08)
by RS Davis (http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=194780914&blogID=343948809&Mytoken=78A007CF-8816-4C75-9A72D47ED0E36AEF34195321)

Hello Freedomphiles! Today is the big day. The Iowa Caucus begins, and people are talking. Time reports (http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1699147,00.html) on Paul and Huckabee, and their shared campaign headquarters:

The corner of Sixth and Locust is probably the tensest spot in downtown Des Moines. And the frostiness has little to do with the subfreezing Midwestern winter and everything to do with presidential politics. For housed alongside each other on the bottom floor of a 73-year-old office building at 405 Sixth Avenue — and sharing the bathrooms in the basement— are the Iowa headquarters of former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and Texas Congressman Ron Paul.

Both Republican candidates — one the most socially conservative in the race; the other, a Libertarian — moved in around the same time last summer.

Wandering across the hall from one office to the other on a weekend afternoon, I could sense the different metabolisms of the two operations. The Huckabee headquarters, which used to be a United Airlines ticket office, is populated mostly by polite young women with southern accents who rushed to greet me at the door and addressed me as "ma'am." The Paul office is an edgier place, an all-male operation by appearances, and much bigger. Indeed, thanks to the millions that have poured in over the Internet, it has expanded to quadruple its original size, practically swallowing Huckabee's headquarters — though Huckabee has snagged some additional space a few floors above the storefront. "We've got them surrounded," says Paul's Iowa communications director, John Zambenini.

The two insurgent operations generally try to have as little to do with each other as possible. Paul's people go in and out on Sixth; Huckabee's, on Locust. "I don't think we've exchanged many words at all," says Huckabee's Iowa campaign manager, Eric Woolson. You might have thought the holidays would have brought some occasion for communal cheer, or at least an exchange of cookies. "You're looking for the "Silent Night" 1914 story, with the Germans and the British playing soccer?" Zambenini told me when I suggested as much. "Nope."

The New Republic's Eve Fairbanks writes (http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=4a9629c8-4063-4aa6-b5a7-de49cfb49e48) about Paul's enthusiastic young troops in Iowa:

I get to Ron Paul's headquarters in Des Moines just as an army of student volunteers is surging out of the doors, yelling and clutching signs. "This is the herd we can't contain!" one staffer laughs. ABC's Jake Tapper is taping a live segment in front of Mike Huckabee's neighboring headquarters, and it's time to make some mischief. The volunteers conform to a Washington reporter's expectations about Ron Paul youth--almost all boys, rowdy, eager to disrupt--until they don't.

The ABC guys are clearly charmed by the volunteers' enthusiasm, but they're also worried the kids will mess up the sound for the shot. As soon as the thirty or so volunteers figure this out, they politely troop back across Locust Street, gather in a neat clump on the corner, and fall silent. When Paul fans driving by honk at the crowd, this doesn't elicit a single happy "Woo!" from the now eerily well-behaved volunteers while the cameras are rolling. "McCain wants Huckabee to beat Romney, Huckabee wants McCain to beat Romney ... David?" Tapper is saying into the lens. Behind him, dozens of Ron Paul signs bob furiously and silently, giving the scene from the camera's perspective a ridiculous quality; I imagine it's something like watching a naval reporter talk about the positioning of two warships off-screen while, in the water behind him, dozens of frantic but polite shipwreck victims try to get the world's attention without shouting.

These volunteers' whole idea is to get the world's attention without shouting. They're the closest thing this race has to the Deaniacs of '04: Hundreds of young volunteers, who have traveled to Iowa on their own dime to knock on doors and make pleading phone calls. But where the Deaniacs got a reputation for being revved-up and angry, the Paul guys are pacific. At Paul's headquarters, they hesitate to bash other candidates, even when I goad them. They are unfailingly courteous, holding doors and always referring to their candidate as "Dr. Paul." They pepper me with curious questions. ("Are the police in Washington D.C. under federal or local authority?") After the taping, when the ABC cameraman observes to nobody in particular that "they remind me of Howard Dean's people," several of the volunteers urge him, "Don't say that!" as much to dissociate themselves from the Dean people's wildness as from Dean himself. "I know you meant it as a compliment," one especially young-looking volunteer in a pageboy cap reassures the cameraman, gently.

The Houston Chronicle chronicles (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5417833.html) them as well:

For Daniela Oliveira, a 23-year-old legal assistant from Dallas, her Ron Paul romance started as many do these days, over the Internet.

"He's taken over YouTube; he's all over the Internet. I just started reading up and so much of what he was saying made sense to me," she said Tuesday.

Oliveira shared an interest in the Lake Jackson congressman with her boyfriend, Sebastian Villarreal, 24, a second-year medical student at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Now they are among more than 200 young volunteers working up to 14 hours a day in Iowa for Paul's longs-hot Republican presidential campaign.

"Before, I would have called myself a misguided Democrat," said Villarreal, a friendly and intense San Antonio native. "Now I would say I am a constitutionalist Republican."

PR-Inside.com wrote (http://www.pr-inside.com/ron-paul-to-honor-veterans-at-r366859.htm) about a Ron Paul speaking engagement on the 2nd:

Presidential contender Ron Paul will hold a rally Wednesday, January 2 at 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom, Hotel Fort Des Moines. Dr. Paul will be joined by members of Veterans for Paul, including Rolling Thunder co-founder John Holland, as he speaks about his plan for a stronger America and his foreign policy.

Dr. Paul is a Vietnam era veteran, having served in the Air Force as a flight surgeon. According to the latest available fundraising statistics, Congressman Paul leads the candidates in donations from members of the military.

Congressman Paul is no stranger to military support. Former president Ronald Reagan said, "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country!"

And BusinessWire commented (http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20080102005964&newsLang=en)after the fact:

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Congressman Ron Paul spoke to an overflowing crowd of over 600, including 100 veterans, tonight at the Grand Ballroom of the Hotel Fort Des Moines.

Congressman Paul discussed his foreign policy of strength through peace, demanded an end to monetary policies that burden Americans with higher prices, and called for increased transparency for records involving prisoners of war and missing soldiers.

Before Dr. Paul spoke, John Holland, a co-founder of the Rolling Thunder organization which lobbies in support of POW and MIA American soldiers, told the audience about Congressman Paul's long record as a champion for veterans' causes.

Over 350 veterans have formally endorsed Dr. Paul for President in just the past few weeks. Congressman Paul served in the Air Force during the Vietnam era.

In addition to the standing-room-only crowd, over 2,000 people viewed the event live online.

Bloomberg.com reports (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601070&sid=ayZY0FIXeO2U&refer=home) that Guiliani and Paul are taking a break:

Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, was back home with no public schedule on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1, while Texas Representative Paul settled in with his family in Lake Jackson, Texas, and planned to catch up on some policy reading.

``He wants to be home with family for the New Year,'' said Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. ``A desperate flurry at the end isn't what's going to make or break the strength of your organization or the strength of your message.''

Trans-World News reports (http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=31929&cat=5) on Ron Paul's Iowa surge, and also fairly handles the issue of earmarks:

In Iowa, two polls conducted by American Research Group and posted at USAElectionPolls.com, Paul was barely a blip on the radar at four percent during a poll conducted December 16 to 19. However, in the poll conducted December 20 to 23, his position climbed to 10 percent. While still in fifth place among the Republican candidates running for president, his surge appears to be taking some of the steam out of Mitt Romney's campaign run, possibly opening the door for John McCain.

Some of the other candidates are making beginning to see Paul's anti-war stance and his push to minimize federal government influence on many issues, his recent requests for federal money as issue. Paul points out hi requests for funds were for a state water project, expansion of a nursing program, expansion of a cancer treatment center and to promote Texas shrimp.

He said he simply wants to get federal funds back to his home state as a way for Texans to get something in return for their tax investments. He has openly criticized many of the earmark requests made over the years by many lawmakers, and claims the difference is the money benefits the people of Texas and not a limited number of supporters.

FoxNews thinks (http://youdecide08.foxnews.com/2008/01/02/b-team-republicans-force-top-tier-candidates-to-pay-attention/) Ron Paul will score close to the double-digits in Iowa, which makes me raise an eyebrow regarding their exclusion of him from the debate:

Paul has surprised everyone by attracting what many are saying is the largest grassroots movement since independent Ross Perot in 1992. The limited government, anti-war libertarian raised more than $19 million in the fourth quarter of 2007 and he has a legion of avid volunteers knocking door to door and blogging all over the country on his behalf.

While his chances for winning the nomination appear slim, Paul earned 9 percent of the vote in a Des Moines Register survey of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers released Tuesday. An average of national polling puts him at 4.3 percent.

Speaking of the debates - and their apparent shortage of Ron Paul - now even ABC is in on the act. The International Herald Tribune reports (http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/31/arts/TV-Debate-Limits.php):

ABC and Fox News Channel are narrowing the field of presidential candidates invited to debates this weekend just before the New Hampshire primary, in Fox's case infuriating supporters of Republican Ron Paul.

The roster of participants for ABC's back-to-back, prime-time Republican and Democratic debates Saturday in New Hampshire will be determined after results of Thursday's Iowa caucus become clear.

Fox, meanwhile, has invited five GOP candidates to a forum with Chris Wallace scheduled for its mobile studio in New Hampshire on Sunday. Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson received invites, leaving Paul and Duncan Hunter on the sidelines.

Ed Morrisey over at Captain's Quarters comments (http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/016496.php):

However, since we've muddled through this long, it makes little sense to start excluding candidates just before the first meaningful vote gets taken. Raising $19 million in a quarter shows at least some level of significant support, even if limited to the fringes of the GOP and Libertarian parties. Also, if Fox wants to rely on polling, Paul does at least as well as Thompson in Iowa and perhaps better at the moment in New Hampshire. Why not just wait for the results from Iowa to make that determination for both parties, as ABC plans to do?

I'd much prefer a smaller field for the debate, but at this point, an exclusion gives nothing more than another excuse for conspiracy-mongering among Paul's supporters. It's hard to imagine a better one, given the fund-raising success Paul has had in the last few weeks. If Fox and the rest of the broadcasters give it a few more days, they'll likely have all the data they need to whittle the debates down to three candidates each.

Rory O'Connor over at Alternet had some things to say (http://www.alternet.org/mediaculture/72418/):

The Fox excuse? "Space is limited" in the "souped-up bus" that is serving as a mobile studio. As a result, Fox executives say that, for space reasons, they decided only to invite those candidates who had received double-digit support in recent polls. Forget the fact that Ron Paul actually is ahead of Thompson (6 percent to 4 percent) among all New Hampshire voters in the most recent Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, or that the two were tied with the support of 4 percent of likely voters ...

Forget as well the fact that Paul recently shattered the record for online fundraising in a single day, raising nearly $6 million in 24 hours -- a little more than a month after he amazed the pollsters, pundits and political professionals by hauling in $4.3 million during the same time span. (Not bad considering that on the day that John Kerry accepted the 2004 Democratic nomination, he raised $5.7 million on the Internet -- the biggest online fundraising day on record until the supposedly non-viable Ron Paul surpassed it.)

But consider at least these facts: in just the last three months, Paul collected more than $19.5 million, bringing his total for the year to more than $25 million. More than 130,000 contributors gave to Paul during the fourth quarter, including more than 107,000 new donors.

"This is exciting. It's crazy. I can't imagine any other Republican raising this kind of money this quarter. This means Ron Paul's message is really resonating with people," Jim Forsythe, who leads Paul's New Hampshire MeetUp group, told the Washington Post.

But Big Media doesn't seem as impressed -- at least now. Remember just a few months ago, however, when how much money a candidate was able to raise was the Big Media imprimatur of viability? Now that Ron Paul has vaulted near the top of the fundraisers, it seems the bar is being moved, and is set a little higher for him.

Outside the Beltway comments (http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/archives/2008/01/ron_paul_excluded_from_fox_debate/), as well:

While I don't think he can win, it's hard to justify keeping him out of the debates at this early stage of the campaign. At some point, though, the networks are justified in narrowing the field to only the most viable candidates. Whatever value protest candidates might have in bringing light to fringe issues and viewpoints, the point of these "debates" is to help voters chose among the available choices.

And John Marshall over at Talking Points Memo had this to say (http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/062331.php):

As we get deeper into the campaign, I do not have a problem with excluding candidates who are not generating any substantial public support. Gravel, I think, was an example of that in the Democratic debates. But I think the Paulbots have a pretty good case for outrage with Ron Paul's exclusion from the upcoming Republican debate in New Hampshire.

Paul's supporters lay most of their claim to a place in the debate on his mammoth fundraising numbers. To me, the bigger issue is that Paul is consistently outpolling Fred Thompson, who is being allowed into the debate.

Gambling911.com reported (http://www.gambling911.com/World-of-Warcraft-Ron-Paul-010308.html) on the WoW march:

...a group of Ron Paul supporters (participants claim there were three hundred participants) created Alliance characters on the Whisperwind server of the popular MMORPG and marched from Ironforge to Stormwind under the guild tag . Marchers used the Deeprun Tram linking the two cities, rather than taking the hazardous overland route.

The event was a source of annoyance for many regular Whisperwind players, who faced long queue times due to the sudden influx of marchers onto their server. Horde players were thankfully able to vent some of these frustrations by killing some demonstrators who traveled to the gates of Orgrimmar at the end of the evening. How many of those Horde players were actually Fox News personnel in disguise is not known.

I was wondering if people would start trying to slaughter the group. The Orange County Register wrote (http://www.ocregister.com/business/ron-paul-warcraft-1951977-march-wont) about whether it worked or not:

Rallying the World of Warcraft troops for Ron Paul may be an innovative form of campaigning, but local experts say it is unlikely to directly affect the upcoming primary elections.

So too seems the effect on Blizzard Entertainment– as a look at blogs linking to our original story saw no one commenting about buying the company's game because of the rally. Still, both the game and Ron Paul are gaining media exposure on several blogs covering politics and World of Warcraft.

"I commend them for their activism, but I think it has no net effect on voters," said Adam Probolsky in reference to the Ron Paul rally organizers. Probolsky, an Irvine Republican political pollster, was not familiar with World of Warcraft.

I don't think it probably did much good, but I will give it props for being the most amusing and inventive campaign technique of 2007.

Libertarian CT Johnson writes (http://www.nolanchart.com/article848.html) over at The Nolan Chart that the Ron Paul Revolution is dangerous:

It appears that many Ron Paul supporters may not fully realize that all of these establisment types are not completely evil men and women. Many of them just followed the age old rule of "It is easier to work within the system than against it". In fact, Ron Paul himself decided this was the best course of action. Ron Paul ran for Congress to try to make change within the system. However, many of the establishment types went further and emulated the system and its corruption while trying to effect 'change'. It is this corruption and comprimising of ones values that the American people are starting to rail against. Ron Paul is a natural outlet for all of the electorate's brewing anger. The establishment feels this anger and senses the danger. Of course, this danger to their glass encased houses is one of their own doing. Nevertheless, the Ron Paul movement is perceived to be very dangerous because it challenges so many established notions within the system.

The Ron Paul movement is probably even more dangerous to America's established money and power elite. The oligarchy within the United States generally doesn't care too much whether the Democrats or Republicans are in power. As long as they can continue to lobby and influence both sides and make slow and steady progress towards their goals...all is good. The oligarchy doesn't generally care too much whether America has socialized medicine, corporate medicine, or free market medicine. So many things that affect America's middle class and poor are irrelevant to them. In the long run it is about influence, power, and control. The oligarchy has invested very heavily into any and all forms of control that they can. Their control arsenal is huge and ever growing. They wield money, influence, lobbyists(with money), the media and much more. With these tools they can often control the public and their opinions and therefore control the politicians. They further tighten their control over politicians with money, connections, and lobbyists. To the oligarchy...the Ron Paul movement is VERY dangerous.

So, on this weeks McLaughlin Group, Pat Buchanan called Ron Paul the most underrated of 2007:


It's not exactly a shock, though, as last week McLaughlin himself named Paul "Person of the Year." It's also no shock because, as Grizzle Griz points out (http://www.nolanchart.com/article886.html) over at The Nolan Chart, Buchanan has been promoting "Paul's platform all over the pundit circuit:"


USAToday is writing (http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-01-02-paul_N.htm) about Paul in New Hampshire:

On Tuesday nights, supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul gather at Murphy's Taproom, their officially unofficial hangout marked by Paul yard signs anchored in the curbside snowdrifts.

"We want government out of our life," says Laura Ferguson, one of those who gathered this week. "And that is Ron Paul's message."

On Tuesday, New Hampshire residents will vote in the nation's first presidential primary. That's when Republicans will discover whether Paul's vote totals are as impressive as his fundraising.

Gambling911.com is betting (http://www.gambling911.com/Ron-Paul-010207.html) Ron Paul comes in third:

He may have been excluded from participating in an upcoming Fox News New Hampshire debate, but that hasn't stopped the betting market from overwhelmingly giving US Presidential hopeful Ron Paul a third place finish in the "Live Free or Die" state, well ahead of both Mike Huckabee and Rudy Giuliani.

The oddsmakers at BetUS.com had Ron Paul listed with +1000 odds to win New Hampshire one week before the primary. Compare that with Mitt Romney as the slight -120 favorite and John McCain at even odds. For those of you unfamiliar with how to read the American betting odds displayed at BetUS, +1000 simply means that a $100 bet would pay out $1000 or a $1 bet would pay out $10.

Political prediction markets provide us -- the consumers of this information -- with a way to cut through this clutter.

A prediction market is a bit like the stock market, except that you are buying shares whose value depends on the success of a political candidate, rather than the profits earned by a corporation. And just as stock prices are a useful barometer of the health of a company, so too the price of a prediction contract is a barometer of the health of a political campaign.

A third place finish in New Hampshire would be something that Ron Paul supporters savor since it solidifies their candidate's true popularity in the race while putting to rest once and for all the idea that Paul's supporters are nothing but Internet bots that just happen to be able to raise nearly $20 million in a single quarter.

Marni Soupcoff over at The National Post thinks (http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2007/12/31/marni-soupcoff-on-newsbuster-org-and-signs-that-ron-paul-is-taking-over-the-world.aspx) Ron Paul will take over the world:

For a slightly more global perspective on U.S. politics, try visiting a simple Web site called Who Would the World Elect?. It's essentially a poll that tracks which U.S. presidential candidate people from different countries would vote for if given the chance.

I found it gratifying to see that I am apparently in the company of most Canadians in preferring libertarian-leaning Republican Ron Paul. But I couldn't help but suspect Ron Paul supporters of a wee bit of electronic ballot-stuffing when I realized that Ron Paul was also in the lead amongst French Polynesians, Guatemalans, Iraqis and Americans (not to mention almost all other nationalities). I was also fairly perplexed by the fact that the majority of people from Belarus and China said they would vote for Democrat Dennis Kucinich — a vegan who wants to abolish the death penalty.

For the record, the Libyans are currently backing former actor Fred Thompson and Swaziland is leaning towards Barack Obama, though there are of course many months left in the election campaign during which the international community may change allegiances. Or Ron Paul may take over the world.

Olympia, Washington is a cool place. Many people think it's the true underground Seattle. Well, The Olympian reports (http://www.theolympian.com/southsound/story/314242.html)that they are also a hotbed of Paul support:

About 40 supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul marched through downtown Olympia on Monday to raise awareness about the Texas congressman.

Marchers from throughout South Sound represented all parties and age groups, from college students to retirees to families pushing strollers. They carried signs and chanted as they marched to the Capitol.

"Who's going to end the war on drugs? Who's going to restore our constitution? Who are we going to vote for?" Randy Turner of Lacey yelled into a megaphone while the crowd responded "Ron Paul!"

The Associated Press thinks (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gc3MTpRjO2w95K2-x0om8N6xo7VgD8TSS88O0) Ron Paul is the only Republican fundraiser worthy of note:

On the Republican side, dark horse Ron Paul was reporting having raised $19.5 million during the final three months of the year, a sharp increase from the $5.2 million he raised during the previous.

That would bring Paul's total raised this year to more than $27 million. Paul's fourth-quarter haul would surpass the third quarter fundraising by each of his Republican rivals.

Paul has caught fire on the Internet, attracting a national following among donors drawn to his opposition to U.S. troops in Iraq and his libertarian views.

The Baltimore Sun is writing (http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/politics/blog/2008/01/the_closer_ron_paul_continues.html) about Ron Paul's 30 year crusade:

Followers of Rep. Ron Paul's presidential bid take pride in telling you that he hasn't changed his message in 30 years. But there's actually one word Paul has recently incorporated into his lexicon: revolution.

The 'Ron Paul Revolution' was not a phrase of Paul's creation, but one that supporters started using months ago. It's first appearance – the story goes, at least – was when some guys in Arizona began stenciling the phrase to look like this:


As anyone who travels on American highways can tell you, supporters have spread that slogan on signs all across the country. Like dandelions, the logo seems able to sprout up almost anywhere and everywhere – on overpasses, on onramps, on street poles. Last month, in New Hampshire, I met a woman at a Paul get-together who had driven from her home in Tulsa, Okla., to volunteer in the Granite State for Ron Paul, but not before she had a friend tattoo the 'revolution' logo just above her left breast.

I'd like to see that. Lady, if you read the Roundup, send me a pic.



01-03-2008, 05:06 PM
The criteria for the ABC to debate is one of the following

-Place in Top 4 in Iowa (which is fairly likely for Paul. I'm expecting 3rd)
-Get 5% in a New Hampshire poll (we've had that consistently for more than a month)
-Get 5% in a national poll (a little less consistently, but it's been a while since Paul being over 5% became the rule rather than the exception)

He'll be in the ABC debate. The New Hampshire GOP is already threatening to withdraw support from the Fox forum if Paul is excluded. If Paul beats any of the candidates that are invited in Iowa, particularly if he gets 3rd or a strong 4th, it will be almost impossible for Fox to continue to exclude him. The NH GOP will almost certainly withdraw their support and urge the candidates not to appear. That, combined with the well known fact that the event will be swamped by Paul supporters if he's excluded, will provide enough publicity to overshadow the actual forum if Fox doesn't let him in.

01-03-2008, 05:14 PM
I was in that Olympia, Washington march! Was more like 50 people, as the Olympian reported in a different article. Great fun and great way to get out the word about the Good Doctor.