Roger L. Simon of PajamasMedia has posted a friendly interview with Ron Paul challenger Chris Peden, and it makes for a good read. Here, for example, is Peden's explanation for entering the race.
The very first and foremost [element] was he announced he was running for president. And if you looked on a map, District 22 and District 14 of Texas kind of lap each other and they are intertwined, and CD 22 was the district that Tom DeLay was the Republican representative of for many years. We had an instance in which Tom DeLay resigned and he was on the ballot as the Republic nominee. And we had a special election and we lost that seat to the Democrats.
So, I did not want to see, number one, if Ron Paul was successful or decided to run and go on to something, even a third party — I didn't want the 14th district to have a special election and possibly lose that seat to a Democrat.
How selfless of him! I guess Peden hinted at this in his announcement speech, but he seemed a bit more motivated by Paul failing to vote the Republican line on things: "The new CD 14 needs a fighter not an academic." Also, the story of how DeLay's seat went Democratic is, eh, a bit more complicated… and it doesn't reflect well on Peden.
More on why Peden opposes Paul:
As we began to see him more and more during the presidential debates and some of his positions and stances he took, I began to realize more and more that he didn't really represent this district at all. His traditionally missing votes in the fourth quarter — if you look at his record, it's not just while he's been out for president; he's done that historically. And also, he doesn't really do much. He had 350 bills since January of '97 that he's authored; 6 have made it out of committee and none have ever been passed into law according to reports and records.
Peden simply rejects Paul philosophy as a legislator. OK: That's a fair choice to offer the electorate. If Peden's elected, I suppose CD-14 can expect more funding for NASA, which is Reaganesque if we're talking about the pre-1964 version of Reagan. More on Paul:
His political views are very rarely expressed in his political advertisements, except for vaguely, you know, he's for the Constitution. I don't know of anybody running for office who's running against the Constitution.
Sure, they don't say they are. Also, this simply perplexes me:
He says — and I've never heard him say this, but his policies that he's been talking about would lead you to believe that his followers think Dick Cheney did this war so that he could benefit or profit from the KBR involvement and it would increase his personal wealth. Yet he stumps for the gold standard on a regular basis and all of his personal holdings are in gold or gold mining companies.
This would be relevant if Paul was pushing for an invasion of Switzerland. He is, in fact, not. Meanwhile, I wonder why Republicans don't worry that the Libertarian Party is ready to give Paul its nomination if he's bounced out of Congress. I talked about this with LP Executive Director Shane Cory.
He's eligible for the nomination as long as he's willing to accept the nomination before the convention on Memorial Day weekend. There are really three hurdles, and he can get over them. You need to qualify to be a member of party–which he is. You need to be willing to accept the nomination before convention, and you need to inform the delegates.
Polls suggest that McCain is already in trouble in states like Nevada and Colorado, which have strong Republican pockets of support for Paul. Can he afford Paul on the ballot sucking 3-4 percentage points away from him, making it possible for Obama to carry the states with 48 or 49 percent?