Ron Paul may be the political butterfly of the 2008 presidential campaign. An obscure congressman from Southeast Texas for most of his political career, Paul has metamorphosed into the favorite of those looking for a candidate outside the political mainstream.
Legions of die-hard fans formed across the country after Republican candidate debates and Internet blogs exposed his contrarian views.
Paul, 71, remains one of the longest of long shots for the GOP nomination, but that hasn’t deterred supporters from making cold calls to voters in early contest states, plastering the Internet with plaudits, and loudly challenging Paul’s White House rivals at campaign stops.
“I honestly believe that Congressman Ron Paul, as crazy as it might sound, I believe he is the father of the modern Republican Party,” said Jason Stoddard, 31, an Austin, Texas, entrepreneur who has no formal ties to Paul’s campaign but has made more than a thousand calls to Iowa voters urging their support.