Ron Paul

The Forgotten Man

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Political Insider's Cicero has a good, short eulogy of the Chuck Hagel for President movement:

As an outspoken antiwar Republican, Hagel was winning some early support from members of his party who were tired of the Iraq conflict and who admired his independence. In some polls in 2006, Hagel polled as high as five percent in a wide GOP field. All of this changed on March 12. Hagel's people made a lot of noise about an upcoming big announcement, and speculation ran high. Was Hagel going to seek the GOP nomination? Would he bolt and run as an independent? Would he quit politics altogether? In the year's most anticlimactic political moment so far, the man famed for his decisiveness and courage said… he hadn't decided.

This instantly deflated much of the tough-guy rationale for Hagel, who then saw others like Fred Thompson steal his thunder. Hagel has not even managed to hit one percent in any national GOP poll in months.

Thompson's actually making the same mistake with what could end up being five months of dithering and "testing the water," but it's a good point. I think Hagel's buzz and chances died away when Rep. Ron Paul started making an impact in the race. When Hagel made his Hamlet speech Paul was running the sort of small fringe campaign everyone expected him to run. Once Hagel hung himself and Paul had his confrontation with Giuliani, the small-but-hardy population of anti-war Republicans stopped shopping around: Paul's fundraising and organizing ramped up. And it's been a bottom-up, grassroots kind of campaign unlike the dour messianic campaign Hagel looked like he was going to make.

NEXT: "Indeed, and Without a Doubt"

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  1. I’m seriously considering the six hour drive to Ames Sat Aug 11.

    I’m 92% sure the whole trip would be a waste of time and money. 6% It will be worth it for the fun and memories. But it’s really that 2% chance of being there when history was made that’s calling me.

  2. it’d be about 6 hours for me as well, from NE Wisconsin…. tempting

  3. Warren,
    I can almost guarantee it’ll be fun (all the Paul events I’ve gone to have been a good time), but you need to be an Iowa state resident to vote, unfortunately. Otherwise I’d be on an airplane on the way out there!

  4. RC,
    Sure, but I you can buy all the votes you want, if you can find enough Iowans to cast them for you. Too bad we don’t hold the general election that way. Campaigns would be a lot shorter, and more honest. Voted in by the invisible hand, heh.

  5. And too bad LP and other libertarian grassroots activity in Iowa seems to be rather pathetic. Iowa had a really vibrant LP once when the Olsens were leaders (remember the old “Aloha Caucus?”)

  6. If I hadn’t run off to a new job in Wyoming, Ames would have been barely a two hour drive from my home. Yeah, I would have done it for da Paul.

  7. “I think Hagel’s buzz and chances died away when Rep. Ron Paul started making an impact in the race.”

    Haha, funniest joke I’ve read all year.

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