Why Ron Lost

A week with the freedom movement in New Hampshire comes to a bitter end

MANCHESTER, NH - I have seen more goddamn tears than I need to in a 48-hour period. On Monday I watched, again and again and again via the magic of cable news, Hillary Clinton choke up at the audacity of Barack Obama trying to take her nomination. On Tuesday night I saw Ron Paul voters and volunteers, men and women, pinching their eyelids and daubing their tears in both joy and crushing disappointment. As torture devices go, the New Hampshire primary is better than the iron maiden. But not by much.

It was a good night for last night's Democratic and Republican winners, and for the politics of emotional manipulation. (Next time this state holds a primary, perhaps we can offer the "he served in Vietnam" McCain voters and "she cried like a carbon-based life form" Clinton voters on a cruise together.) It was a weird and bad night for Barack Obama, but one he can recover from — those black voters in South Carolina aren't going to double back to Clinton after one narrow loss in a white state. It was a lousy night for Mitt Romney, and a terrible night for Ron Paul. The theory that Paul could perform well in New Hampshire has been shredded, as has the theory that an amorphous Ron Paul vote was not being counted by polls, and it's not clear where he or the "freedom movement" will go from here. And that's not all bad.

But first, the bad parts. It had become an article of faith that Paul would make his best early showing in the Granite State. It once had the country's largest number of elected Libertarian legislators. It has resisted smoking bans, income taxes, sales taxes, and Real ID. Its motto, "Live Free or Die," sounds like a Paul slogan. Pollster John Zogby predicted Paul could get up to 17 percent of the vote here, and though Zogby's final poll on the Democratic race was a stunning 15 points off, he has a generally good record on this stuff. As the McCain-Romney race was tightening it became clear that a showing of 14 or 15 percent could assure a headline-grabbing third-place finish. Campaign manager Lew Moore said last night that that's where he was hoping to place.

He fell short, and heartbreakingly so. The consolation prize for Paul supporters was supposed to be his narrow defeat of Rudy Giuliani, who'd fallen sharply in the state after the McCain surge and the failure of his goofy commercials (Giuliani refuses to read a script, so aides interview him on camera and cut his responses into commercials, and the results sound like the methed-up ramblings of an Italian Jackie Mason impersonator). Supporters cheered at first as Paul stayed 100 or 200 votes behind Giuliani -- it seemed possible for him to surge when early results from the Vermont border and depopulated northern counties started coming in.

Yet Paul stayed stubbornly in fifth place, and supporters booed CNN as the network cut him out of its top-four-candidate pie charts. Some cried censorship, others cried vote-rigging. While I talked to Lew Moore, some Paulites who recognized the man shouted questions about precincts that showed zero votes for Paul ("I personally know three people who voted for him there!") and electronic voting machines. "This thing with Hillary and Obama just shows that you can't trust the vote," I overheard a twentysomething volunteer say to his gal-pal.

Actually, you can trust it. Paul simply underperformed. The problems were threefold: a late start in actual campaigning, a strange ad campaign, and a waste of energy among novice volunteers who should have been getting out the vote.

The late start was the most obvious (and reassuring) reason for the disappointing finish. It had been widely known, for months, that New Hampshire could become Paul country. But not until December did Paul volunteers really start to flood the state and do the dullest grunt work of politics: phonebanking, door-to-door canvassing. Some of the work had been done earlier, but there wasn't the kind of critical mass that can rack up votes until the arrival of Vijay Boyapati's Operation Live Free or Die, a third-party effort to bring in Paul volunteers and put them up in houses so they could learn the art of the campaign. Most came too late to prune down the voter lists the campaign had and create a truly effective, Bush 2004-style turnout list that could have maxed out the totals on election day. There is no such thing as a perfect list – indeed, the Obama campaign probably turned out female voters who'd been committed on Monday and Judas'd him on Tuesday. But I found plenty of grumbling about how tepidly the Paul forces were organized before the grassroots arrived.

I found even more grumbling about the ad campaign. Paul spent more than $1.5 million on TV and radio ads in this state, and from the get-go, Paul supporters responded to them with an ire unseen in any other campaign. Obviously, the Pauloverse has always been more communicative than the base of any other campaign: There are no RudyGiulianiForums, there are no multi-thousand-post YouTube threads for Fred Thompson's country-fried web videos. Get that many online fans and you'll get some nasty feedback.

In this case, though, the feedback was right. Paul's numbers spiked after he ran a simple ad slamming the government for invading Americans' privacy, but then the campaign moved on to media that stressed his army record, his pro-life views, and especially his yen for closing the border. The ads got slicker and slicker, and the numbers didn't move. The slickest ad, a Tancredoean cry against birthright citizenship and visas for terrorists, was a total flop. The 50 percent of Republicans who told exit pollsters they want to deport illegal aliens voted for Romney, McCain, Huckabee, and Rudy, in that order. A volunteer who went by the name of Ball griped that the ads made Paul look like a generic Republican, not a solution-spouting maverick libertarian. The evidence supports him.

The third factor – the work of the volunteer rEVOLutionaries – is the hardest to gauge. Paul volunteers and signs were eye-poppingly visible across the state, and the week of the primary they turned downtown Manchester into their own bottle city of Kandor. Painted Ron Paul vans drove up and down the Elm Street drag as Tom Sheehan, the Ron Paul Patriot, donned revolutionary war clothes and a backpack that supported as many as four giant-sized Paul signs. Paul people crashed other candidates' publicity stunts and waved signs on corners. When Fox News expelled Paul from the final pre-primary debate, 36 hours before the polls opened, more than 200 Paul fans flooded the city to protest and march and disrupt Fox's programming. Could they have spent that time scrounging up enough votes to beat Giuliani and win some headlines?

Maybe that's not a fair question. The Paul people figured out a while ago that their candidate is hated by most of the GOP and ridiculed by the media. Some of the loudest cheers in Paul's concession speech came not when he hit his applause lines but when CNN cut live to the room, and the crowd's eyes could turn to a big screen of their own celebration. There, for about a minute, Anderson Cooper had to watch as a 10-term congressman discussed the folly of paper money.

I think supporters are right to say that free media is doing more to spread Paul's message than a stack of lawn signs or TV ads. But I also think many of the Paul people underrated how credulous the media was about Paul's New Hampshire chances. I was asked by fellow journalists at candidate events, repeatedly, how I thought Paul would do and whether he could clip Huckabee and Giuliani. Burned once during his greatest opportunity, reporters now might stop bothering with him. And on the day of the primary, The New Republic released a thorough spelunking of Paul's old newsletters containing statements that would destroy a frontrunner politician. "It's this same story that comes up every month or so," said D.C. Paulite Bradley Jansen, "but this stuff comes up when you google 'Ron Paul.'"

The tears ended not long into Paul's speech; the last ones I saw came from one of the older volunteers I met, an exuberant man who yelled "No!" when Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) told a room of 1,000 other Republicans to vote for John McCain. When Paul smiled and said the message of the Federal Reserve overprinting currency was finally getting out, I saw the one-time heckler on the verge of a full-on blubbering.

Throughout the evening, I heard a common theme: that the freedom movement has to be bigger than one congressman with a past that keeps climbing up out of the mud to drag him down. Days before the votes came in I hung around outside Murphy's Taproom, the de facto Ron Paul bar in Manchester, and heard college kids and just-out-of college types excitedly talking about what would happen when... Paul didn't win. "Dr. Paul wouldn't want us to give up if we lose this election," said Drew Rushford, excitedly talking with two other out-of-state supporters. "If we give up, then we never supported him at all." So Lew Moore was right -- The Paul party was as exuberant as most victory parties. We just don't know yet what they're celebrating, and neither do they.

David Weigel is an associate editor of reason.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Does he also refer to himself in the third person? Sage is kidding, he is only kidding!

  • x,y||

    Excellent reporting and analysis Dave.

  • TallDave||

    Sort of sad. He was never going to win, but with the GOP looking more and more like they're going to a brokered convention, he could have had some real influence on the nomination if he'd pulled in some delegates in the proportionally-apportioning states.

    With the newsletter thing out there now, that looks impossible.

  • kinnath||

    Ron Paul did far better than anyone with his talking points should have in today's Republican party. He also did far worse that he needed to to have any significant effect on this year's election.

    He did too well to be apathetic about it, but not well enough to be happy about it. Sort of leaves one dazed and confused.

  • ||

    He did too well to be apathetic about it, but not well enough to be happy about it. Sort of leaves one dazed and confused.

    How long have you been following libertarian politics? Sadly, it happens every 2 to 4 years.

    You have to learn to develop a sense of detachment and just let it go...

  • ||

    Whether or not Ron Paul wins the nomination, runs 3rd party, wins the presidency - the important thing is that people are starting to wake up to the possibility that we can live more prosperously with a smaller government and truly conservative politics. I have always been an independent, however Ron Paul's true take on conservatism has made me a convert.

    Too many people in our country have their hand out for welfare (invested in big government), whether in the traditional sense or kickbacks, tax breaks etc. As much as people say they want change, how many are really willing to face the truth and do something about it.

    It's too bad that what appears to count more in our country in terms of being "electable" has little to do with the ability to do good things for our country, it appears to be more about how good you look on camera, your ability to speak in sound bytes, appease bloggers & journalists and accept corporate 'good will' contributions in exchange for future favors. I really do hope that the Ron Paul movement will result in citizens rising up and questioning big government and military spending. It's pretty clear that if our country continues with 'business as usual' we will be a bankrupt nation within the next 10 years. My vote will remain with Ron Paul to the end of his campaign, whenever that may be.

  • ||

    Excellent write up Dave.

  • ||

    I'm a little worried that maybe the newsletter thing *didn't* have much to do with yesterday's showing. I'm not sure that too many voters were sitting around their computers minutes before they left to vote and said, "Ah, Paul is a racist? Then I guess it's McCain for me!"

    I think that the newsletters probably *will* hurt his chances of pulling out a campaign-saving showing in Nevada. But his ability to directly influence the nomination was lost last night in NH, not on the web. And I think it was lost to mundane reasons such as "we built our organization for a $200K campaign and we couldn't upsize it fast enough to correctly use all that new money" or, quite frankly, high overall turnout (as the uninterested yokel who wouldn't have voted in the snow probably never even considered voting for anyone with as few celebrity endorsements as Paul.)

    That said, I have a much stronger interest in affecting my local governance now that I see that "libertarians" aren't just me, my dad, and the same 30 commenters on HnR, but a good 3-5% of the populace everywhere. So I agree that we need to keep moving forward and that if we do love the message, we need to keep pushing it. Preferably without all the Tancredoisms.

  • ||

    """It's too bad that what appears to count more in our country in terms of being "electable" has little to do with the ability to do good things for our country, it appears to be more about how good you look on camera, your ability to speak in sound bytes, appease bloggers & journalists and accept corporate 'good will' contributions in exchange for future favors.""""

    You left out one of the most important things. The "what are you going to do for me when you're elected" attitude. People pay a lot in taxes and what their money back in pork spending. Ron Paul would prefer you received very little from government. There are very few of us who agree with Paul.

    America is addicted to government aid, in some form or another. They don't want to elect the guy that will bring them prohibition of government aid.

    America is becoming (become?) a country of whining babies looking for their government issued bottle. They WANT a nanny state.

  • ||

    Ron Paul was the reason I became a Libertarian back in 1988. What's happening really *is* sad:

    Sad for the movement, because for many, "libertarian" will be synonymous with "racist" or "anti-semite", which isn't the case at all.

    Sad for a campaign that was growing in positive media attention.

    Sad for a genuinely good man.

    However, I will still cast my vote for Ron Paul here in California. My hope is that he can garner a handfull more delegates just to remind the GOP that there is a limited government constituency out there which they should not ignore.

  • ||

    Look, this isn't over.

    Obviously when we started, the only path we could possibly see was getting the big mo from Iowa and NH wins.

    But that was before 4th qtr fundraising. 20 Million dollars makes a Feb 5th push possible.

    But let's use the supporter's videos this time. Let the donors vote with their dollars for the video they like best.

  • ||

    Weigel,
    As a political junkie who hasn't seen a real nominating convention (where no one candidate is a lock going in) I am celebrating that both parties are having different winners in different states. I salivate to think of all those reports of backroom deals to patch together a majority. I'll be up all night with popcorn. Might even invite friends over.

    As a Paultard, I understand that as long as McCain, Romney, and Huck keep sharing the lead and Ron Paul slowly climbs, as long as he has delegates, his chances improve with every go-around in the convention. Remember, as Barry Goldwater Jr. said, in 1964, his dad lost in New Hampshire to write-in candidate, Henry Cabot Lodge. No candidate had a majority going into that convention and Goldwater came out on top.

    Now you know why I am celebrating.

    As

  • Michael McDonnough||

    I tell you what, I celebrate every day that the Ron Paul campaign rolls on. I celebrate that the message of freedom and liberty is spreading still. Everyday we are out there wither we are sign waving, phone banking, or stuffing handbills in peoples hands the message is moving forward.

    Ron Paul sowed the seeds really in his 1988 run on the Libertarian ticket. He received 0.43% of the vote. It has been 20 years exactly since then and from the looks of it the numbers that vote for him will likely represent about 4% of the electorate when all the counting is done if we keep this up till the end, and the pace the acceptance of the message remains the same.

    That in itself is a 10 fold increase in the percentage of the electorate that he tapped 20 years ago in a general election running on the Libertarian ticket and this is a Republican Primary so it is not exactly a square comparator but I think a fair one still.

    Perhaps we will get the freedom message out to the proverbial hundredth monkey in this go round. Perhaps it will take a lot more go rounds but to not fight on is not an option.

    The stakes are high, our very free constitutional Republic becoming lost us for all time is a serious threat we can not ignore.

    The welfare/warfare state has nearly destroyed all of the original freedom that this nation once stood for.

  • ||

    Also, as this year rolls on and the deaths mount in Iraq, and the dollar tanks further (I suspect a recurrence of Nixonian era "stagflation" (the simultaneous appearance of high inflation and a recession) will be felt.

    This will make people more receptive to Ron Paul's call for monetary reform and the end of the IRS and personal income taxes.

  • ||

    Well, I'm not ready to throw in the towel after the second state. The campaign has the funding to go all the way to the convention, and if the only effect that Ron ends up having is to make people think about whether we really do need the IRS, that's worth doing.

    -jcr

  • Paul||

    more than 200 Paul fans flooded the city to protest and march and disrupt Fox's programming.

    With all due respect, and 200 of anything "flood" a city?

  • Paul||

    The above should have read "can 200 of anything 'flood' a city?"

  • Andrea Pelin||

    To add my two cents to this article, it's interesting to see the break-down of those who supported each of the Democratic front-runners. Obama seems to be preferred by independents, and it's interesting to see how women will continue to choose between him and Hillary. He enjoyed their support in Iowa, but they switched back to Hillary in New Hampshire. Check the To add my two cents to this article, it's interesting to see the break-down of those who supported each of the Democratic front-runners. Obama seems to be preferred by independents, and it's interesting to see how women will continue to choose between him and Hillary. He enjoyed their support in Iowa, but they switched back to Hillary in New Hampshire. Check http://www.projectweightloss.com/ for an interesting and somewhat unusual survey of the characteristics of each of the Democratic candidates' supporters. for an interesting and somewhat unusual survey of the characteristics of each of the Democratic candidates' supporters.

  • ||

    >>>
    ...the freedom movement has to be bigger than one congressman with a past that keeps climbing up out of the mud to drag him down.
    >>>

    Are you freaking kidding me? What in Ron Paul's past drags him down?

    One stupid newsletter written by someone else? That's his past that drags him down? Come on.

    Every politician in the race has hundreds of dirty deals, lies, flip-flops, constitutional violations, you name it.

    I guess in order to run as an anti-establishment candidate, you must be perfect. And even if you're pretty good, you can't have some lie made up about you and repeated over and over.

    And I guess these rules don't apply to the establishment candidates.

  • Rimfax||

    So, if Weigel's reading of the polls is right, Paul defeated himself with his commercials emphasizing his similarities with the GOP rather than his differences. That kinda goes against the Republican crack that Paul is "too much of a kook". Perhaps, he wasn't proud enough of his own kookdom.

  • ||

    Now the staff will push Paul into ending the campaign as soon as possible and all the unspent money will vanish into their pockets. Just like last time.

    "I spent $25 million and all I got was this lousy primary"

    http://libertariansurge.blogspot.com/2008/01/i-spent-25-million-and-all-i-got-was.html

  • ||

    The above should have read "can 200 of anything 'flood' a city?"

    That many inches of rain would probably do it.

  • Vincent Gigante||

    The movement will go on, when Paul said he was running I thought he couldnt get 1% of the republican vote, if someone would of told me he woudl have 8% and 10% when he announced I would of taken it.

    The important thing is I found out there are much more libertarians out there or people that gravitate to that message. I will still donate in next week's money bomb and hopefully we can get the decmocrat votes in Michigan (since they have no delegates).

  • From The Keystrokes of John Q.||

    I don't know about where everyone else is, but part of the problem is the focus. When you wanna do a sign waving event: Everybody and their grandmother(literally) shows up. When you wanna set up calling your precinct for canvassing and developing Ron Paul delegates and Supporters for Caucus: 5 people show up, and they're old. There just isn't anything sexy about the actual work of the campaign...

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Lessons (I've) learned so far:

    The Internet is an excellent tool for fundraising on the cheap, organizing fervent grassroots supporters, and getting the initial buzz of excitement going. The libertarian movement needs to remember this and start organizing those resources at the local and state level for candidates who are pro-liberty in 2008 and beyond. Because in order for the movement to continue you have to have a farm team of elected officials in state legislatures, in order to get qualified candidates to run for federal office. This means supporting anyone who follows the principals of the libertarian movement, without regard for party. Using the Internet just by itself will not lead to wins, but it will build strong roots for the old-fashioned campaigning that has to be done to win.

    What the Internet isn't good for is delivering large percentages of voters. Old-fashioned campaigning by door knocking, local advertising and the candidate eating pancakes at Country Kitchen Buffet seems to get you that. To use a military analogy, the Internet is akin to air power, while old-fashioned campaigning is akin to ground troops. You can be at a number of places at the same time with air power and damage your enemy on the cheap (relative to ground troops), but you cannot conquer territory without ground troops.

    Be a squeaky wheel, but don't be an asshole. Complaining politely that your candidate isn't getting airtime is or correcting a mistake the media made about your guy or gal is fine. Chasing Sean Hannity down the street, no matter how much he deserves it, isn't.

    From the votes in the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary, it looks like the libertarian vote in the Republican Party is from 7-10% (not counting the "Sleep deprivation and water boarding are both hella cool" Giuliani vote). If I did the math right, compared to Badnarik's total of votes in the 2004 election, Ron Paul increased the libertarian vote total by 4693% (From 372 to 17831). 7-10% can cost Republicans elections, which means we can use that as leverage to get our message heard. It also means there are many people that could be recruited over to LP side, when there isn't a libertarian candidate from the major parties in an election.

  • kinnath||

    How long have you been following libertarian politics?

    Voted for a libertarion every presidential cycle since 1980.

    You have to learn to develop a sense of detachment and just let it go...

    Easy to be detached after a 2% or less vote count.

    A lot harder after changing voter registration, becoming precinct a captain, and paying the entrance fee in advance to be a delegate at the county convention.

    A 10% result in Iowa was actually a good outcome. 8% in NH, not so good.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Ooops, the vote total for Badnarik and Paul are from New Hampshire.

  • ||

    All your sheeps are belong to us


    New Hampshire's Polling Fiasco
    http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenumbers/2008/01/new-hampshires.html#comments

    "There will be a serious, critical look at the final pre-election polls in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire; that is essential. It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong. We need to know why."

    Also...
    http://blackboxvoting.org/

    1-7-08: Silvestro the Cat & New Hampshire Elections
    UPDATE JAN 9 9am PST: TOWN OF SUTTON CONFIRMS RON PAUL TOTALS WERE 31, NOT ZERO.

    "I just got off the phone with Jennifer Call, Town Clerk for Sutton. She confirmed that the Ron Paul totals in Sutton were actually 31, and said that they were "left off the tally sheet" and it was human error.

    This is not an acceptable answer, especially because one of the most common forms of fraud in a hand count system is to alter or omit results on the reporting sheet. Hand count is lovely, transparent. They then fill out another reconciliation sheet, often in front of witnesses, and it looks fine. Then they provide a summary or media sheet with the incorrect results."

  • ||

    No, EotS, the rules don't apply to the mainstream candidates because many of their supporters don't give a crap about skeletons in their closet. It is a real credit to libertarians for so many to be pissed off by the racially insensitive newsletters put out over Ron Paul's name. It seems we have the right message, but wrong messenger.

  • Brandybuck||

    John Q - You're bang on. I've never done sign waving, it's a waste of time. But I have gotten off my introverted ass and gone door-to-door. What works on an insulated college campus (posters, banners, screaming, sign waving, etc) doesn't work out in the real world. You need face time with the voters. Door-to-door is the most effective, but it's the least glamorous and the most work.

    The Paul campaign has the most activists, and they're full of energy, but they completely lack any campaign organization.

  • Bradley||

    Dave,

    Since you've singled me out by name regarding the racist charges, I feel the need to respond (note to self: always remember what you say when talking to journalists, even casually).

    As a (now former) legislative staffer for Dr. Paul, nearly everything I wrote went out under the good doctor's name. This is the norm for staffers of public officials. Similarly, my first job out of college was editing a business newsletter. It is not uncommon in that industry for some to write for others. It is professionals who almost always write promotional solicitations which are notoriously provocative in order to get the reader's response.

    Some issues need to be clarified: Dr. Paul is not a bigot, never wrote any of the more provocative bits and supports an agenda defending everyone's individual rights. Many of us appreciate Sen. Byrd's record in the Senate without endorsing his KKK organizing past. Dr. Paul is not a flawless man, none of us are.

    That said, he does have a tolerance for intolerance that our Founding Fathers shared but Voltaire might have lamented. In addition, his reluctance to fire people explains how one former staffer-cum-critic lasted so long and why the official presidential campaign staff has not had the necessary shakeup yet. These are his faults that concern us and his ability to win the nomination and the presidency.

  • mw||

    I am a Paul supporter, am pleasantly surprised at how well he did in Iowa and New Hampshire in terms of actual vote percentages (8% - 10%) but completely agree with DW that he underperformed. Even with McCain and Obama competing for for the Independents in close races, Paul needed to beat Rudy in N.H. The Paul centric campaign is dead, but I would like to see Paul stick it out through super Tuesday - if only to see if his constituency can be organized into something politically effective post-Paul.

    My take: New Hampshire was the high water mark for Paul, for all the reasons Weigel outlines. 8%-10% represents the Libertarian swing vote in the US. Not enough to be a 3rd party that can elect candidates but enough to be a spoiler as a 3rd party. Since we have a highly polarized, roughly balanced partisan electorate, It is also big enough to determine the direction of American politics, if it can be organized to swing as a group between R's and D's.

    Paul's numbers are consistent with, but slightly smaller than what David Boaz and Cato determined to be the (small l) libertarian swing vote. The real question is how can these "cats be herded"? If either major party was interested enough in attracting these voters, they could pander to them like any other interest group and potentially win the election as a result. Of course that means they would have to embrace some libertarian policies. Absent that, and absent a candidate to rally around, the organizing principle would have to be something extremely simple, clear, easy to communicate, easily rationalized and proven to keep the country moving in a libertarian (more freedom, more peace, less intervention, smaller government) direction. I have outlined before what that organizing principle could be, the only organizing principle that meets the criteria - Voting for Divided Government. More in the post "Curing Libertarian Electile Dysfunction"

  • ||

    I don't know about where everyone else is, but part of the problem is the focus. When you wanna do a sign waving event: Everybody and their grandmother(literally) shows up. When you wanna set up calling your precinct for canvassing and developing Ron Paul delegates and Supporters for Caucus: 5 people show up, and they're old. There just isn't anything sexy about the actual work of the campaign...




    Quoted for truth!

    I've had the same experience in my area. Tons of sign wavers and ralliers, but when it comes time to do the actual work: no one. Hey sign-wavers, thanks for the...um...hard work? We appreciate your ability to hold signs up, but, yeah, it would be nice if you actually tried doing something useful for a change. Adding Ron Paul to your Myspace friends isn't good enough.

  • ||

    I'm just amazed at the fact the organization started to do the real leg work in December. That is amazingly amateur. I thought with the Q3 haul they would have increased their staff in New Hampshire, obviously that didn't happen. Also, why would you run anti-abortion ads in New Hampshire (I don't know the state that well,) aren't they more inclined to be pro-abortion?

    Regards,
    TDL

  • ||

    You cannot call yourself a Libertarian a be a militant pro-lifer. It drives me nuts when so-called "libertarians" say that states should have the power to determine whether or not you have the full ownership of your own body. They are just disgruntled republicans. What happened to "Libertarian is pro-choice on everything" slogan?

  • Fluffy||

    You guys are surprised that people don't show up in droves to cold call people or cold-knock on their doors?

    Guys, meet humanity. Humanity, meet guys.

    Cold calling is the second worst thing in the world. Knocking on strange doors is the first worst.

    I'd rather get a job cleaning toilets. On trains. In India. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Ron Paul did better than Bill Richardson by about 5000 votes, but worse than Edwards by 30,000 votes. He did worse than Rudy by about 2000 votes.

    Bill Richardson and Edwards will not drop out of the race.
    Ron Paul will not drop out of the race.

    Neither, however, will they win their parties nominations.

    This is not a surprise.

  • Neu Mejican||

    add a ' as appropriate

  • ||

    RP needs to dump a bunch of his staff and hire people who actually know what they're doing. His ads need to be distinctive and have better production quality (which any amateur film-school student could do, probably for free for the experience).

  • ||

    The problem was the messenger and an incomplete message. Ron Paul doesn't look or sound presidential. His diatribes on sound money and the constitution were interesting, but he seemed like a one or two trick pony. Liberty is a very appealing message, but when I read (after I voted of course) that Dr. Paul only supports liberty for Christian heterosexual white men, he seems a little bit like a hypocrite or a liar. I wish that I hadn't voted for him and that I hadn't given his campaign money. Those of us who supported him (at least the non neo-nazis) have been duped.

  • ||

    I just watch a video of an interview of Dick Morris on newsmax.com. He was asked what he thought about Fox keeping Ron Paul out of the debate. Dick Morris said that Ron Paul is a nutcase for believing we caused 9/11, for being opposed to the war on drugs, and for being opposed to our policy in the Middle East. He said that as far as he's concerned, it's a good thing anytime when Ron Paul is excluded from a debate. So in the dickhead's opinion, only viewpoints that he agrees with should be allowed to be aired. Ofcourse, Dick Morris, being Jewish, probably supports our support for Israel and Ron Paul's neutrality concerning Israel is probably too much for him.

  • kinnath||

    Those of us who supported him (at least the non neo-nazis) have been duped.

    That's your failing, not his. There is no information available today, that wasn't available weeks, even months, ago. If you didn't research your vote before you cast it, tough luck.

  • ||

    Lessons (I've) learned so far:

    The Internet is an excellent tool for fundraising on the cheap, organizing fervent grassroots supporters, and getting the initial buzz of excitement going.



    Mr. Chartreuse,

    It may have been easier just to read Joe Trippi's book (Howard Dean's campaign manager).

  • ||

    kinnath,

    Unfortunately the New Republic article came out just before the New Hampshire Primary. I had never heard until then the vile views espoused in Paul's newsletter. My first impression was that this was just a last minute smear (which it was in many ways), but I can't ignore what his newsletters said. He would have never gotten the vote that he did in Iowa and New Hampshire had this been known. Paul is finished; frankly I'd be surprised if he gets re-elected in Texas. I do hope that parts of his message (i.e. small government, liberty, and non-interventionism) do continue to gain traction, just not under his racist banner.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Mr. Chartreuse,

    It may have been easier just to read Joe Trippi's book (Howard Dean's campaign manager).


    I think I probably learned the lesson better by hitting my head on the 2 X 4 of reality, than if I had read Trippi's book....although the book would have been cheaper than the donations :)

  • ||

    You cannot call yourself a Libertarian a be a militant pro-lifer. It drives me nuts when so-called "libertarians" say that states should have the power to determine whether or not you have the full ownership of your own body. They are just disgruntled republicans. What happened to "Libertarian is pro-choice on everything" slogan?

    you know i've only been visiting this site for about 3 months or so and just started posting comments recently. Is it always this common for pro-choice libertarians to put this into every other thread?

    Agree with the pro-life posistion or not, it has nothing to do with wether someone is a "rwal" libertarian or not, there are more than enough counter arguements and all boils down to the same crux as with non-libertarians: where do you believe that life begins and when does that life have inherent rights? Libertarians are just as split as everyone else so please STFU with yourholier-that-thouness.

  • kinnath||

    Where have you been Matt?

    These newsletters have been discussed at H&R on multiple occaisions over the last few months. The facts have not changed. Ron Paul did not write them. He denounced the content of the newsletters, and he took responsibility for their being published under his name.

    You can choose to believe him or not, but this information has been out there and has been discussed in multiple forums in several of his election campaigns, including his prior elections in Texas.

    Get a grip dude, you are being manipulated. You may decide, after further investigation, that Ron Paul deserves to be scorned for these past newsletters, but you are clearly behaving in exactly the way the New Republic wants you and others to behave right now.

    You have been pwned by the media.

  • ||

    apologies about typos, but jeebus, how many times do i have to see that same comment?

  • ||

    Throughout the evening, I heard a common theme: that the freedom movement has to be bigger than one congressman with a past that keeps climbing up out of the mud to drag him down.

    It is. :-)

  • Ali||

    Dave-

    On Tuesday night I saw Ron Paul voters and volunteers, men and women, pinching their eyelids and daubing their tears in both joy and crushing disappointment. As torture devices go, the New Hampshire primary is better than the iron maiden.

    I was at the "celebration" until 11:35 and haven't seen any tears. Disappointment, yes, but no tears. Actually, most people seemed upbeat at the end. There was this sense of "its the message and the movement, stupid" kind of attitude (i.e., regardless of an actual win) mixed in with disappointment.

  • From The Keystrokes of John Q.||

    But I have gotten off my introverted ass and gone door-to-door. What works on an insulated college campus (posters, banners, screaming, sign waving, etc) doesn't work out in the real world. You need face time with the voters. Door-to-door is the most effective, but it's the least glamorous and the most work.

    The Paul campaign has the most activists, and they're full of energy, but they completely lack any campaign organization.


    Brandybuck,

    Couldn't agree more...

    Hey sign-wavers, thanks for the...um...hard work? We appreciate your ability to hold signs up, but, yeah, it would be nice if you actually tried doing something useful for a change. Adding Ron Paul to your Myspace friends isn't good enough.

    Smacky,

    Haha oh damn we have to do more? Let me guess the same old people show up when actual work has to be done right?

    I'd rather get a job cleaning toilets. On trains. In India. It gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

    Fluffy,

    Beautifully put. *sigh* Damn Humanity, always dashing my hopes...

  • kinnath||

    Mr. Self-Proclaimed Libertarian.

    All libertarians recognize your total autonomy to use or abuse your body anyway you see fit.

    Libertarians split on the question of whether or not a fetus carried by a women has the same natural rights, prior to birth or some other milestone, as the women does.

    Libertarianism does not exclusively lead to a pro-life or pro-choice point of view.

    Come back later for one of the many multi-hundred-post threads that brew up every few months.

  • ||

    Anybody else find Rattlesnake's comment "Ofcourse, Dick Morris, being Jewish, probably supports our support for Israel and Ron Paul's neutrality concerning Israel is probably too much for him." fairly ironic in light of the revelations about Paul's newsletters?

    I have been fairly excited about RP's candidacy and was prepared to accept the "of course the anti-government crazies (white supremacists, militias, etc.) will support the most anti-government candidate" argument. It's getting harder and harder to put the saying "When you lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas." saying out of my head though when I see comments like that.

  • From The Keystrokes of John Q.||

    Anybody else find Rattlesnake's comment "Ofcourse, Dick Morris, being Jewish, probably supports our support for Israel and Ron Paul's neutrality concerning Israel is probably too much for him." fairly ironic in light of the revelations about Paul's newsletters?

    Bladedoc,

    It's all a matter of perspective. Sir William Blake said, "To generalize is to be an idiot." So I other than Rattle making a generalization based on the fact that Dick Morris is Jewish to me is nothing more than intellectual laziness. I don't care what he says, so long as he has the freedoms to say it without the thought police filing for hate speech. Also his remarks aren't libertarian. Dick Morris is an individual, first and foremost. Generalizing him into a collective.. is... well... collectivism.

  • From The Keystrokes of John Q.||

    - I

  • ||

    What is with all this second guessing stuff from the Reason ivory tower? The real story of NH is the establishment pulled out all stops to destroy Dr. Paul and the rEVOLution and it failed. We held our base of support and the movement is still growing. This thing continues to the end and beyond.

  • ||

    "Anybody else find Rattlesnake's comment "Ofcourse, Dick Morris, being Jewish, probably supports our support for Israel and Ron Paul's neutrality concerning Israel is probably too much for him." fairly ironic in light of the revelations about Paul's newsletters?"

    Are you accusing me of being anti-semitic, blade? I'm not! I was only saying that lots of Jews believe we should have a pro-Israel policy. I agree with Ron Paul that our foreign policy should be neutral towards all countries, not just Israel.

  • ||

    Excellant article.
    I wish the campaign would read it. The biggest reason we lost is because of THE CAMPAIGN. They did NOTHING to leverage a great message, rabid volunteers and a huge amount of unsolicited money. Embarassing. If they take money like a real campaign they better act like one. The idea is to win early to use that momentum later. It appears they held back for later. Dr Paul has his imperfections to be sure but no one has spent the last 30 years giving the same pro freedom message and building support. It is hard to imagine someone else who would have a better chance to spread the message and perhaps slightly run the risk of actually winning. For the hired hands to not do everything in their power or find some hands who would is unbelievable.

  • Dave P||

    It ain't over. RP still has a war chest and fund raising ability. Michigan Dems could vote his way. Nevada is has a libertarian bent. South Carolina could turn out to be a stronghold for Paul. Then unleash all that money going into Super Tuesday. Ron Paul could take this thing into the convention.

  • ||

    Regarding the discussion above about Rattlesnake's blunt, very un-PC comment that "Dick Morris, being Jewish, probably supports our support for Israel and Ron Paul's neutrality concerning Israel is probably too much for him" could be somewhat true (e.g, Does anyone doubt that Alan Dershowitz Jewish ethnicity influences his ultra-zionist views on Israel?), but it probably has more to do with his neoconservative associations at the NY Post and Fox News as well as his (correct) perception that Dr. Paul and the rEVOLution oppose the establishment which he idolizes and serves (e.g., Bill Clinton, John McCain, Rudy Guiliani).

  • NHVoter||

    The official campaign did little to nothing to actually marshal the troops. Like some of the above posts point out waving signs, yelling and chasing Hannity on CNN will not get the typical GOP voter but spending gas and shoe leather pounding the streets door - to - door will and teh data gathered will help GOTV on election day. The campaign is proud of it's decentralized support but perhaps they should lend a little more guidance to the meet-up coordinators at least if not some actual data and materials.

  • Robert||

    For those of you who want to take advantage of the libertarian swing vote, the challenge is how. How does a candidate get that vote without losing an even greater number of votes from others?

  • NoFraudWTFyeahright||

    no fraud? wtf are you talking about? Blackboxvoting.org would disagree with you.

    the 31 votes that were tallied as a zero? I guess "human error" is a good enough excuse for those who want to play apologist to the establishment, but to deny there was fraud is naive and shortsighted. There was OBVIOUS fraud in Setton county, the fucking lady CONFIRMED that she put in a BIG FAT GOOSE EGG instead of a 31, and blamed in on "human error". One of the top guys who programmed all the machines in the state is also a felon who got busted trafficking cocaine. The guy can't even vote but he can program the machines. Is anyone paying attention to this, or is smoking pot and getting abortions while playing apologist for a system that just robbed Paul take priority for the reason folks?

    Get the fuck out of here. Voting fraud is supposed to be a huge deal, until it is committed that is, then you make excuses and treat it as a joke instead. You should be ashamed of yourselves for trying to play apologist for the OBVIOUS fraud that occured in Sutten County. I don't buy for a second that this bitch just "had a human error" and wrote in a zero in stead of a 31.

  • ||

    According to the antiwar.com blog, John McCain, of all people, frankly clobbered Dr. Paul among Republican primary voters who opposed the Iraq war (34% of GOP voters apparently). With some hard hitting commercials focusing on just the Iraq war disaster, Dr. Paul easily could and should have captured this voting bloc, and, at a bare minimum, winning third place while denying John McCain his first place victory ( which in turn probably knocks McCain out of the race).

  • ||

    Libertarians are just as split as everyone else so please STFU with yourholier-that-thouness.

    Seconded. I've often said principled people can disagree on the issue.

  • ObamaFraudToo||

    The Obama supporters are also calling fraud. Must be more human error, eh reason? Hey everyone, look over here, shiny objects!

    Get a fucking clue people, supporters on both sides are demanding recounts.

  • ||

    ron paul lost, ultimately, because of the way he is.

    he was ineffective in communicating his ideas when it mattered the most (debates, meet the press and other high-profile appearances). on the top of it, he hired incompetent campaign stuff which exacerbated as opposed to compensated for this major deficiency.

    he has superior philosophy, superior match between practice and philosophy and near-flawless personal history. but he failed to get any of this across to voters, instead choosing to popularize issues that matter most to him at the cost of actual political success.

  • ||

    I don't agree that the newsletter story is a nail in the coffin for Ron Paul. Not many people read The New Republic, and the ones who are spreading it on blogs and liberal groups are already preaching to the choir. Frankly, I don't know how much impact that would have in your typical online GOP forums. In that crowd it would likely spark interest and get more votes for Ron Paul. Unless major media outlets other than CNN pick up the story, I don't think it will make a big deal. I suspect (from my own guilt of it) that where a lot of supporters went wrong in this campaign was getting too caught up in each online development or news story about Ron Paul. Instead of focusing on the real world and getting real votes, many of us may have spent our time and energy following Ron Paul's latest youtube clips, commenting in forums about how so-and-so from the media did him wrong, or refreshing donation or vote totals online. I for one found out about Ron Paul from seeing signs on the street (southern NJ), and soon after doing some research I was hooked as a voter. I volunteered for the campaign and put some signs up myself, but admittedly I spent hours upon hours putzing around on Ron Paul websites.

  • NH Real Scoop||

    I will say this again, NH has been and still is "McCain country" for a variety of veteran-related reasons. It's true that the exit polls indicate about half of McCain and Huckabee voters and about a third of Romney supporters view Paul as "favourable", but you really should have a strong and experienced political machine on the ground for months in order to begin to persuade some of these "friendly" voters. It would be unrealistic to think that those or even a fraction of those voters could be reaped. McCain is an idol here.

  • ||

    That being said, I'm going to practice what I preach and try to put in as much time as I can. I will not count out Ron Paul as long as he keeps beating 'major' candidates in the coming primaries and different major candidates win those primaries. Who knows what even half the media attention some of the other candidates get could do to his support base?

  • ||

    Good reporting - answered some questions that I had. If Paul wants to make a credible showing, he needs to upgrade the management of his campaign.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Kandor? I'd think a Bizarro World reference would have been more appropriate...

  • Adolf||

    "I don't agree that the newsletter story is a nail in the coffin for Ron Paul."

    Oh, yeah, virulent racism can be a real plus. Nazis need representation too. Go Ron Paul!

  • ||

    Signs: meant more when they were on private property. We had them up in June, and they caught the attention of the curious.

    Bumperstickers: We had bumperstickers made and dispersed, before the campaign ever showed up. T-shirts and signs, same thing.

    Phone-banking: our crowd is diverse, but the campaign wanted to concentrate specifically on Republicans. It's hard to endorse just any old message. Many people hate cold-calling. Many NH people were sick of being called.

    Media coverage: They denied Ron Paul. Over and over again.

    Voting: The tally is a nightmare. In one ward they had 450 newly registered voters because you can blow off registering until the last moment and switch parties if you are an independent. Because independents have to unregister from a party after they commit, many, many people were given a ballot for the opposite party and told they had to vote for that party.

    Ads: The campaign ads were lame. YouTube inspired.

    Stupidity: I personally saw two people who declared they wanted to vote for Clinton, but did not know if she was a Democrat or a Republican.

    Communication: It's going to take time to talk to people and reassure them that it's okay to question the status quo.

  • ||

    I think that there are a few reasons why Ron Paul didn't get the support that we all thought he deserved.

    1) The commercials, especially the Immigration commercial pandering to Tancredo supporters.
    He SHOULD have emphasised the WOT and the huge debt that Bush & Co have built up.

    2) The immaturity of many of his supporters.
    Crashing another candidate's event and shouting down the other candidate when he tries to speak turns off a lot of people, and chasing Hannity down the street was just stupid.

    We already had most of the younger generation, those that know how to use the internet. We needed to reach the older folks, and juvenile antics antagonize them.

    Also, we need to tone down the rhetoric when we're posting. We don't need to flame people who disagree with us, we need to CONVERT them.

    3) We REALLY need to disassociate ourselves from the lunatic fringe. The nation isn't ready to hear from 9/11 truthers, and by having their message lumped in with Ron Paul, it makes the rest of the Paul campaign look like it too belongs in the lunatic fringe.

  • ||

    Adolf: Your loose talk with the Nazi label is pretty misguided. Dr. Paul isn't calling for torture or premptive nuclear war like his GOP and Democrat competition. Dr. Paul advocates peace, liberty, and opposes racism. This what his campaign is about. Why don't you visit his web site and educate yourself?

  • Neu Mejican||

    For Fun

    http://www.electoralcompass.com/page/0/thema+s/

  • ||

    Anybody notice how it has been pretty quiet over at LewRockwell.com today?

    BTR

  • ||

    I notice among some posters there is this snootiness about 9/11 truthers and the Alex Jones fan base ( a base which numbers in the millions). They may get too cynical about government and elite power in some areas. But there are definitely are big kernels of truth in what they are talking about. For instance, why does a John Kerry or a George Bush Sr./Jr. join say a Skull-and-Bones? It isn't for the parties. It is to exercise elite power.

  • NH Real Scoop||

    I wholly endorse and even respect something resembling the 9/11 "Truth" movement. My beef with the movement is the overwhelming tendency of the truthers to jump to the intellectually-dishonest conclusion that it is an inside job, as if they all have evidence of a smoking gun. I also believe that the rational-thinking subset of the truther movement is the great minority compared with the majority of freaks that have already decided that there is a grand NWO conspiracy. The truth (yuk yuk yuk) is that if such an amazing and elaborate conspiracy had really been revealed, every last truther would surely be hunted down, murdered, and disposed of in a similarly clandestine fashion. Preposterous idiocy for bored and (unfortunately) pathetic minds yearning for some kind of greatness.

  • Ernie||

    "Actually, you CAN trust it. Paul simply underperformed."

    Oh, I can, Dave? Did he simply? Well, that's good enough for me. I thought this web-rag was called Reason.

  • ||

    I dearly hope a better flag-bearer will carry the libertarian mantle (excuse the mixed metaphor).

  • Eddy||

    You mean "iron maiden" isn't a reference to Hillary? Then again, I suppose she is more the "old bat" type, even if it is aluminum.

  • ||

    "We just don't know yet what they're celebrating, and neither do they."

    Some of them do. And those that do are celebrating the fact that more and more people are hearing what Ron Paul has to say about things like fiat monetary systems, the surrender of national sovereignty to world governing bodies, the complete disregard that congress has for many parts of the Constitution, etc, etc. Simply the fact that these things are being discussed in the mainstream media AT ALL is enough of a cause for celebration regardless of what the election results are. However, sadly many newcomers simply do not understand that waving signs on the side of the road does NOT GOTV on election day.

  • Ally Kendall||

    Come on dude, lighten up. If we just get 10% of the delegates at the Republican convention, and the rest are split McCain/Romney, we get to call the shots. Ron Paul winning the nomination would be nice for the Republican party, because then they might have a chance in November, but it isn't make-or-break for the message of freedom, rule of law, respect for human life, responsibility to our children. There's just no other game in town, so we have to walk this road, forever. Victory and loss are irrelevant.

  • dpotts||

    We REALLY need to disassociate ourselves from the lunatic fringe.

    Erm... the campaign isn't really doing it's part to help in that regard, are they? Unfortunate as it is, I've come to believe in the last day or two that Paul's candidacy is doing more harm than good to libertarianism.

  • ||

    "But that was before 4th qtr fundraising. 20 Million dollars makes a Feb 5th push possible."

    Indeed, and nobody is wasting any time. I heard my first Ron Paul radio commercial on an over-the-air broadcast station while commuting home this evening: KCBS AM 740.

  • ||

    I neglected to mention that KCBS serves the metropolitan San Francisco Bay area and can be heard as far south as the Monterey Bay, where I live.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    Libertarians are just as split as everyone else so please STFU with yourholier-that-thouness.

    Seconded. I've often said principled people can disagree on the issue.


    Thirded.

  • Libertarian||

    As a libertarian, you can believe that life begins at conception. However, if you say that this determination can be made by someone other than the mother, you are a republican, just like Ron Paul. You are free to have your personal values, just don't push them on everybody else.

  • ||

    The ads leave me cold, and I was a supporter in 1988, and have contributed $400 so far. The ads make him look like another also-ran. We need ads that explain his position on the War on Drugs, gun control, gay marriage, etc... so TV viewers don't turn the channel. Some in-your-face stuff, not timid or subtle.

  • ||

    The video about the Philly rally with the Liberty Bell was great. Why not something like that? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR9hTHLIMX8

  • ||

    I agree with Matt. I'm very disappointed that Paul's statement in response to the TNR article disavows racism, but not anti-Semitism or homophobia. Paul's views on gay issues are decidedly non-libertarian. He opposes the application of the equal protection clause to gays and lesbians with respect to gays in the military, marriage, and adoption. He voted against allowing gay adoption in D.C.

    I was willing to put up with the anti-gay positions before the article came out. The most important issues this election are ending the Iraq War, repealing the PATRIOT Act, ending torture, and civil liberties and peace generally.

    But now, the hateful, vicious tone of the newsletters has really pissed me off, and Paul's refusal to disavow the homophobic and anti-Semitic portions are really fucking frustrating. I can't say I won't vote for him (I switched from the LP to the Republican Party and gave him money, so I'm invested). But I'm getting really, really close.

  • ||

    Vote fraud is the biggest thing in NH and Iowa for that matter. Read this and see why.
    http://www.newswithviews.com/Devvy/kidd335.htm

  • ||

    Sutton New Hanmpshire.
    31 votes for Ron Paul ommitted (by mistake?).
    Admitted by the vote counters.
    One town dismisses its vote rigging and Dave sees fit to claim we can trust the vote!
    One has to wonder how Dave would react to his running in a political race and discovering a town curtly admitting to such a "mistake"!

  • ||

    Justin Sobodash has not been paying attention! Ron Paul does not see any reason to specialize rights.
    In Rons words we don't get rights because we are black, homosexual or any particular faith. We get our rights because we are Americans. What faith or lifestyle we choose is irrelavant. Those pushing "special" rights for certain groups are as unAmerican as any bigot.
    If you agree with such atrocities as affirmative action, lifelong, multi-generational welfare ect, then certainly Ron is not your candidate, Ron stands for real equality. Anyone that can't see that sees equality as their pet group getting preferential treatment. Here is a concept that is straight line American, it is also despised by all groups that want to be above the rest of America.
    We are all soverigns without subjects. Equal.
    It is equality that is hated by gay and other groups. Superiority is what is sought by these groups. If you want proof look into the abomination of affirmative action and ask yourself if I was on the losing end of this evil peice of legislation would I feel not cheated?
    Ron Paul stands for America not for pandering to crybabies that don't want a level playing field.

  • ||

    Gao xia en has a point.
    We in Massachusetts are convinced that the campaign management sabotaged Ron in N.H.
    We are not including them in our efforts in Mass. What they did and did not do in N.H. leaves little room for doubting Ron needs to fire the lot of them.
    They ordered their workers not to give signs no longer useful to them to us. We took a lot out of dumpsters to use in Mass! We were given lists of voters to canvass the had no intention to vote for Ron or even republican!
    The vote watch they organized was a fiasco, and not allowed by the town clerks! Ron has enemies in his own headquarters and I hope we can make him aware of this.

  • ||

    I'm a former republican, but after 6 years in the army and 1-1/2 wars (GW I and Panama), I became a bigtime Libertarian. Face it, we are not going to win anything with a bozo like Paul as the man. Just because he believes in the Constitution doesn't mean he's not a racist nutjob. And I don't even want to think about a gynecologist who doesn't believe in evolution.

  • Larry||

    So, isn't there anybody with a modicum of influence on Ron Paul who can deliver the message: dump the campaign staff and hire some competent people!

  • ||

    Excellent comments, David!
















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































    NOT

  • Harvey Miller||

    Actually, it was the nuttiness of some Ron Paul supporters that did him harm in New Hampshire. I'm a libertarian-leaning Massachusetts resident originally from NH.

    I wanted to support Ron Paul so I signed-up for his local e-mailing list. My inbox was deluged with 9-11 conspiracy theories, anti-Israel innuendo, and other crackpot musings. That is when I realized that Ron Paul cannot do well in NH.

  • EllisWyatt||

    For me, supporting Paul wasn't so much about winning the nomination as it was about demonstrating to the GOP leadership how strong we are. Win or lose, we need to band together and keep standing up to the religious right and the wannabe Socialists in the Democratic Party. We can be a political force in this country, we just have to learn how to harness our power.

  • Corey Cagle||

    Harvey Miller | January 10, 2008, 4:15pm | #

    I wanted to support Ron Paul so I signed-up for his local e-mailing list. My inbox was deluged with 9-11 conspiracy theories, anti-Israel innuendo, and other crackpot musings. That is when I realized that Ron Paul cannot do well in NH.


    Can we please disseminate this far and wide? I joined a Ron Paul Meetup group months ago, and I get the same crap nearly every day. One member puts a page-long conspiracy diatribe starting with "ALL KNOW it was an inside job..." as his email signature. I'm a firm believer in the non-aggression principle, but I want to choke the life out of every god damned "9/11 truther" every time they bring up this inside-job nonsense, especially when they're trying to use Ron Paul's campaign as a vehicle for their delusional insanity.

  • Sje||

    @Harvey:

    I'm not surprised to hear that, but the question of how to avoid that sort of thing is somewhat of a chicken-and-egg problem.

    As long as a given political movement is marginal enough that is exerts little actual power it will attract conspiracy theorists who see it as an ally to expose and attack their favorite bogeymen.

    For the given political movement to gain any power, it would need to shed the conspiracists.

    But the only reliable way to do that is to first gain some real power, at which point the paranoia of the conspiracists would probably start to kick in and the given political movement would get its own place in conspiracy lore.

    (Did you know that middle eastern policy is secretly planned by Nick Gillespie and David Boaz on hikes in the Rockies far away from any annoying surveillance equipment, then telegraphed to all embassies on a subethereal top-secret radio system? You heard it here first! etc.)

    The other strategy for getting rid of very overt loonies is of course excommunication and ostracism and "policing the movement" Bill Buckley style. This has happened in the past among libertarians, and some of it still goes on, but it seems that as the movement grows up the passion for this sort of thing goes down.

    In any case, neither strategy works particularly well. There are well documented cases of deranged nutcases in positions of power in democracies and dictatorships alike, and the practice of ostracism hinges entirely too much on the good judgment of the ostracizer. (Nor, I must add, does the practice of ostracism as practiced between small groups of politicians and staffers and journalists and the like extend very well to large popular movements.)

    Conclusion: you'll never get rid of the nuts and you must find a way to live with them? I'm afraid so. I'd love to hear a better answer.

  • ||

    In the immortal words of Monty Python, "that's it. We are done here. This skit is just plain silly. Go home." Which is how I feel every time I open any of the "essays" at your site.

  • Ben||

    Paul is preaching to the converted (of which I surely am one.) What the Paul machine fails to realize is the simple reality of the Gaussian. The left side doesn't understand. The right side is self-serving. 80% or so (including Paul, sadly) believe in a magic man in the sky. Along the middle to right side of the curve are occasional people who think for themselves with varying degrees of success. There are not enough of them to overcome the majority - and there never will be. That's why we live in a country where the liberties won for us at such cost are almost gone; why our congress "prays"; why our president is a dimwit tool of a shadowy group of advisers.

    It can't be fixed. It can only be tolerated.

  • AbVag||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  • coach handbags||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  • coach||

    Paul is preaching to the converted (of which I surely am one.) What the Paul machine fails to realize is the simple reality of the Gaussian. The left side doesn't understand. The right side is self-serving. 80% or so (including Paul, sadly) believe in a magic man in the sky. Along the middle to right side of the curve are occasional people who think for themselves with varying degrees of success. There are not enough of them to overcome the majority - and there never will be. That's why we live in a country where the liberties won for us at such cost are almost gone; why our congress "prays"; why our president is a dimwit tool of a shadowy group of advisers.

  • weight||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

  • coach||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  • weight||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

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