Posted by Brad @ 4:07 pm on May 15th 2012

The Latest Ron Paul Campaign News

As I alluded to in a previous post, I think, not with Ron himself but with his staffers in general, they tend to be making it up as they go along, and I lean away from describing as strategy what can be attributed to general fleetingness.

So it goes with the move of the campaign to announce that they aren’t spending any more campaign money on, you know, campaigning, and basically suggesting that officially anyway they won’t be contesting the remaining primary states. Paul’s low profile since the very early going has suggested as much anyway—the campaign has appeared to be more or less in a holding pattern since February anyway. Dave Weigel (whose book I just had shipped to me today) is flummoxed by the move (bad timing for the book release might be part of it), on the grounds that all the nuance and hedging and caveats is lost—whether unfairly or not—in the headline “Ron Paul Quits”. The more likely scenario is Paul, now officially the last Not-Romney standing and with his son’s homestate voting next week, doesn’t want to be responsible for what will probably be crushing defeats and an inability to get into double digits in a basically uncontested primary for second place, which could, after a point, undercut their contention that the Paulian contingent of the GOP is a force to be reckoned with.

What is interesting, however, is that Jesse Benton held a press conference today, and from it, speculation and tea-leafs aside, there is two bits of what I’d consider hard news:

1. On the possibility of Paul endorsing Gary Johnson: “No chance.” End of discussion.

2. That they will be going for party platform planks, three he was willing to be specific about: The Fed, indefinite detention of American citizens, and internet freedom. Of those, he might even get something dealing with the first enshrined in the Republican platform.

The takeaway? My sense is they’re just spinning wheels, with only the North Star of setting Rand up—within the GOP—their only guiding force.


  1. Incidentally, the Gary Johnson thing will disappoint a lot of people, so a tad bit more there:

    My guess is the Paul people are very, very, very sensitive to the charge that Paul is not a “real” Republican; that he’s a big L Libertarian who is just in the party to create havok. You will never, ever hear the campaign mention the word “Libertarian” (think of the last time you did that wasn’t a direct question to Ron about the 88 campaign), because the argument they want to make is that Paul’s conservatism is in fact a vibrant and untapped vein within the Republican party. Their big fear is that endorsing the Libertarian Party candidate for President—whoever that is, be it Barr or Johnson or literally anybody—automatically writes Paul (and Paulism) out of the GOP. I think Jesse is just speaking the truth there – no chance.

    This is disappointing in the sense that we might hope Paul was interested in building a movement rather than a party candidate, but I do think they have a decently argument to make here about working within the system and “best chances to actually succeed” and whatnot, although it would be an argument (in that it’s certainly arguable). But don’t just expect no endorsement—I suspect that the message coming from the Paul campaign, at the very least in a very passive low-key way, will be discouraging Paul supporters from hitching their wagons to any non-down-ticket candidates not named Paul.

    Comment by Brad — 5/15/2012 @ 4:13 pm

  2. Re that Wiegel link: seems to spend a lot of energy and words worrying about how it effected Brian Doherty’s book release, as if that was the primary issue of concern. Weird.

    Comment by Jack — 5/15/2012 @ 6:52 pm

  3. Eh, they’re buds.

    Comment by Brad — 5/16/2012 @ 10:57 am

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