Ron Paul just can’t get no respect

Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul,R-Texas. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Is Ron Paul emerging from the fringe shadows of the GOP to become a serious candidate for President?

Some people feel the libertarian firebrand’s time is now.

Others say he will fade in the stretch. Paul started strong in 2008 with lots of enthusiasm and strong fundraising, along with strong finishes in some straw polls, but failed to translate that into votes in actual primaries and fell way short of the nomination.

Supporters now point to his second place finish in Saturday’s Iowa straw poll as an indication that Paul is ready for prime time.

A straw poll, however, is not a binding primary election or an actual indication of voter strength. It is a carefully-orchestrated event where candidates can “pack the room” with supporters and votes.  Paul won the CPAC straw poll earlier this year.

Still, some feel Paul is gaining strength.

Writes Phillip Elliott of The Associated Press:

Ron Paul, once seen as a fringe candidate and a nuisance to the establishment, is shaping the 2012 Republican primary by giving voice to the party’s libertarian wing and reflecting frustration with the United States’ international entanglements.

The Texas congressman placed second in a key early test vote Saturday in Ames, coming within 152 votes of winning the first significant balloting of the Republican nominating contest. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota won the nonbinding Iowa straw poll, but Paul’s organizational strength and a retooled focus on social issues set him up to be a serious player in the campaign.

Serious player? Others aren’t so sure.

Writes Andrew Malcolm of The Los Angeles Times:

Once upon a time the libertarian-like Paul was considered a fringe candidate.

He still is.

The trouble for mainstream Republicans is that Paul’s devoted disciples just keep on carving out apparent victories for the kindly old guy, whose son Rand is now a U.S. senator from Kentucky. The senior Paul is an Air Force vet and retired ob-gyn. He’s now five years older than John McCain was when everyone said John McCain was too old to move into the White House.

History would suggest he has little or no chance of becoming the nominee, let alone the president. But history also suggests that a dedicated band of hardcore believers could in a crowded field produce an upset win for Paul come that chilled caucus night in January. It worked for Huckabee, who won the caucuses in 2008 after finishing second in the 2007 straw poll.

Yes, Huckabee won the Iowa caucuses after finishing second in the straw poll.

But he didn’t get the nomination.

He didn’t even come close.

Even though Paul finished second in the straw poll, most political analysts still don’t consider him a serious contender.

“The Iowa results leaves the the Republican Party with a top tier of three contenders: Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry,” says Chuck Todd of NBC news.

Todd’s failure to mention Paul angered the Texas Congressman’s supporters and some — like Politico’s Roger Simon — agree the the media is ignoring Paul’s growing strength.

Writes Simon:

I admit I do not fully understand Ron Paul and his beliefs. But I do understand when a guy gets shafted, and Ron Paul just got shafted.

On Saturday, the Ames Straw Poll was conducted in Iowa amid huge media interest and scrutiny. The results were enough to force one Republican candidate, Tim Pawlenty, out of the race, and catapult another, Michele Bachmann, into the “top tier.”

There are so many “top tier” stories in the media today that I can barely count them, let alone read them all, and Bachmann is in all of them by virtue of her victory at Ames. The rest of the tier is made up of two candidates who skipped Ames, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney.

As The Daily Beast put it: “The new top tier of Bachmann, Perry, and Romney — created by Bachmann’s Iowa straw poll win, Perry’s entry into the race and Romney’s lead so far in many national and state polls — has unleashed torrents of talk about the reshaped race.”

Paul’s name was not mentioned in this piece nor in many others. A Wall Street Journal editorial Monday magnanimously granted Paul’s showing in the straw poll a parenthetical dismissal: “(Libertarian Ron Paul, who has no chance to win the nomination, finished a close second.)”

Which leaves Ron Paul where his has always been: The Rodney Dangerfield of American politics.

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16 Responses to "Ron Paul just can’t get no respect"

  1. Reggie Milton  August 16, 2011 at 6:48 am

    Think Ron Paul will fade?

    Check out his new ad:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61456.html

    I think it’s safe to say that the good Dr. isn’t fading…

  2. Keith  August 16, 2011 at 8:57 am

    “Even though Paul finished second in the straw poll, most political analysts still don’t consider him a serious contender.”

    That’s probably because “most political analysts” are ANAL-ists…that is, so-called “experts” who have their heads buried far up a certain portion of their rearward facing anatomies most of the time.

    These clowns simply have no clue as to the abject anger that is now very clearly present among the voting population for the now (thoroughly entrenched) “Republicrats”.

    But what these “political ANAList” clowns seem to also have forgotten is that “political analysts” (and the main stream media) don’t have the final say in elections.

    It’s the people who actually vote that do that.

    And, right now, I think these windbags have horrifically underestimated the growing anger that is now being directed against the “Republicrats”.

    Thankfully, voters in the United States are FINALLY waking up the to fact that there is absolutely NO difference between the two mainstream political parties. It is becoming ever more evident that all we seem to be doing come election time is to trade one set of horrifically ncompetent crooks, perverts and thieves for another.

    I remember a few years back when a fellow named Ross Perot was ALSO labeled by many of these same political pundits as also “not having a chance”. Yet, despite his “flakiness”, he polled over 10 percent of the final election tally, and probably would have polled a lot higher if he hadn’t been jumping in and out of the campaign.

    And the prevailing myth that ours has always been a two party system is nothing but hogwash. Many of our founding fathers were Whigs. President Theodore Roosevelt hailed from the “Bull Moose” party, and Abraham Lincoln was the first President elected from an (at that time) upstart third party called the “Republicans”.

    The truth is that federal third party candidates HAVE been successful in our system in the past.

    I predict there is now enough growing disgust with our “Republicrats” for it to happen once again.

  3. Sandune  August 16, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I wish that Congressman Paul would stay more involved in the Libertarian agenda which stays out of American choices.

    It is nice to see Roger Simon back to work after his devastating surgeries. I seldom agree with his words but appreciate his honesty in his opinions.

    Dr. Paul has always had great respect of individual Americans and feels the government has no authority to get involved in their personal lives.

    Gov. Perry terrifies me with his religious doctrine that would involve the government in every aspect of our lives….he owes it to God.

  4. Almandine  August 16, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Respect? No. Fear? Yes.

    Individual responsibility is a tough act.

  5. Sandune  August 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Al, remember that our government comes in three equal parts and if we elect our house and senate members carefully, then Dr. Paul will not become over the top with his ideals. My Congresswoman signed the no-tax petition and she will not answer my question about the Susan F Anthony anti-abortion pledge and I am dealing with whether I will vote for her reelection.

    I have written in Ron Paul since he became a candidate and before that it was P.J.O’Rourke. I am much more careful with my Representatives.

    I want my representatives to maintain Social Security and Medicare and my President to get us the hell out of the wars. With Dr. Paul, that is worth working for.

    The House we have at this time was elected for their hatred of the President. They want him gone and in doing this have seen the downsizing of America.

    There is no damn reason that a Secular GOP can’t be developed to counter the Evangelical-Fundamentalist groups who put God over Country. It could make a win for the GOP.

  6. ArkansasAngie  August 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    If you haven’t checked out the Daily Show’s video on Ron Paul you should.

    Main Stream Media and the Status Quo don’t realize how mad Americans are.

    And … people are about to become more angry as Goldman et al push for QE3.

    BTW: Mr. Buffett … you had better ask for higher taxes because unless the status quo is maintained … and QE3 is implemented … you will be bankrupt. That 50 billion of yours belongs to the American people — as the single biggest beneficiary of TARP.

  7. Bill Cravener  August 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    If he were to be elected wouldn’t he be like 82 years old by the end of his term in office?

    • griff  August 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

      I’d rather have an old libertarian with a sound grasp of economics, history and liberty than a young socio-fascist or neo-con beholden to banks and corporations.

      • Bill Cravener  August 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        Oh I’m not putting the man done for his age griff its just that I remember President Reagan who was some 78 years old at the end of his second term and was all but brain dead. I’m 60 myself and I sometimes forget things. I do not want a President who isn’t all there all the time.

        • griff  August 16, 2011 at 11:03 pm

          Hey, your choice…D or R…It’s really been working out all these years, yes?

  8. griff  August 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    He doesn’t get any respect here, either.

    Of course his 2008 campaign “fizzled” because they wouldn’t let him in the later debates and blackballed him from television.

  9. Sandune  August 16, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Bravo Griff! I’m an old Libertarian and can still outthink anyone running for any office.

  10. Bill Cravener  August 17, 2011 at 8:00 am

    I’m sorry, what were we talking about?

  11. Sandune  August 17, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Personally, I loved the new commercial. They will not overlook Ron Paul this time.

  12. woody188  August 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Paul seems more fully committed this time as he is not going to run for Congress again. Should he not receive the GOP nomination, I hope that he runs an an independent. Having a D or an R in front of your name only indicates a willingness to sell out.

    If he doesn’t win, there’s always that other way of changing the government.

  13. Bill Cravener  August 18, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Speaking to volunteers for his presidential campaign in New Hampshire Wednesday 08/17 Ron Paul could not remember Rick Perry’s name. You know, if the man was but ten years younger.

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