Wait… Ron Paul is Running for President?


Drudge gives a traffic-driving link to Garance Franke-Ruta's short Washington Post story on the continuing Ron Paul campaign. The shocking headline: "Paul Campaign Never Ended, Spokesman Says."

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) told supporters in early March, through a Web video, that he knew he was no longer in the running for the presidency, and aides said his campaign would be "winding down." But it turns out Paul never stopped running for president.

"He put out a video in which he said victory in the conventional sense was not available to us, but there was still much the campaign could try to accomplish," Ron Paul 2008 spokesman Jesse Benton said yesterday. "People in the press reported that as him dropping out when he was not dropping out."

So… shouldn't the campaign spokesman have, uh, corrected them? Paul hinted that he was dropping out twice. On February 9 he announced he was refocusing on his House re-election bid, a move interpreted as a strategic retreat to prevent Chris Peden from making the presidential bid an issue. Because it happened so soon after Dennis Kucinich completely quit the presidential race to save his House seat, the national press assumed that Paul was out. We got press releases, on the presidential campaign press release list, about endorsements in the 14th District.

The primary came, Paul won, and he made another cryptic statement about "winding down" the race. Was he just stating the facts, admitting that he'd shrunken his staff? Yes, he was. But the campaign basically let press and reporters report that Paul was quitting. It's not like they were caught unaware by reporters not caring about the campaign. I remember the press conference after the Dec. 16 moneybomb, where less than 10 reporters crowded a room built for 50 at the National Press Club to listen to Paul's financial team. (The Iowa press conference with the candidate himself was just as thinly attended.) The campaign didn't exactly get caught unaware by national reporters not taking the time to follow up, one-by-one, on a lengthy and opaque video where the candidate mutters Maoisms like "the campaign for freedom will continue in this new phase."

This had an effect on support. I was startled by how many people at Paul's Pennsylvania rallies actually thought he'd left the race, even after speeches where he talked about staying in the race. I wasn't startled when the campaign's last finance report showed monthly fundraising drying up. Now, Paul's doing so well with under-the-radar campaign work that all of this stuff starts to take on an air of cunning: Maybe if Paul was in the news, generic Republican voters wouldn't be about to give primary victories to two candidates he's endorsed in North Carolina, Walter Jones and B.J. Lawson. (One Paul ally joked to me over the weekend that the 16 percent Pennsylvania vote suggests "that Ron's biggest mistake was not 'ending' the campaign in November.")

NEXT: Galt's Gulch & Trust

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  1. “I was startled by how many people at Paul’s Pennsylvania rallies actually thought he’d left the race, even after speeches where he talked about staying in the race.”

    Ron Paul’s supporters aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

  2. Paul’s biggest sin was his inept campaign. (Remember, his campaign had nothing to do with the “moneybombs.”)
    Unfortunately, the newsletter brouhaha has allowed his more myopic supporters to point fingers in another direction.

  3. And (looking in Edward’s direction) his more myopic detractors, too.

  4. The newsletter brouhaha hardly made a ripple in the mainstream media. One respectful interview by Wolf Blitzer is all I saw.

  5. Ron Paul is too insignificant to have many detractors. Any candidate with real presence would have been crucified by the newletter revelations.

  6. I can say without doubt that the greasemonkey reason filter makes reading threads like this much nicer. Now, if people would stop quoting/referring to his posts, I wouldnt even know he exists.

  7. reason sucks

  8. a tool

  9. anymore, reason* sucks

    *reason magazine

  10. If you want proof that it’s about the message, here it is.

  11. Who cares about newsletters, I’m sure reason doesn’t keep track of all its articles. Otherwise they’d fix errors like: “I wasn’t started when the campaign’s last finance report showed monthly fundraising drying up.”

    Obama has a pastor and real estate issues, Hillary has a line of bodies to account for with white water not to mention her husband’s sex scandal and incompetence to get Bin Laden, and McCain is currently violating his own McCain-Fiengold act plus the Keating Five scandal. Looks like another 4 years of terrible US policies.

  12. I can say without doubt that the greasemonkey reason filter makes reading threads like this much nicer.

    I finally decided to try it, but I couldn’t get it to work. Is there a syntax error here?

    {“label”:”Edward”, “name”:”Edward”}

  13. “Who cares about newsletters, I’m sure reason doesn’t keep track of all its articles.”

    Yeah, I’m sure there are some reason articles pandering to Nazis and racists lying around somewhere.

  14. MP,

    looks right to me.

    Is anything working for you? Does it autofill your name correctly? Or is the whole thing broken?

  15. MP,

    Here’s my filter section for comparison; you might want to make sure you have the right number of brackets and that they match up. Also check commas — there should be one after every entry except for the last one.

    var Filters = {
    “Ignore”: [
    {“label”:”dave w.”, “address”:[“www.farces”, “wannamo.com”],
    “name”:[“Dave W.”, “S. Franklin”, “Sam Franklin”]},
    {“label”:”Frothy Anger”, “name”:[“MK2”, “Edward”]},
    {“label”:”Blogpimp”, “name”:”Guy Montag”},
    {“label”:”Neil thinks he’s good at this”, “name”:”Neil”, “address”:”freedomswatch.org”}

  16. Jake,

    No LoneWacko in yours? Wow.

  17. > where the candidate mutters Maoisms like “the campaign for freedom will continue in this new phase.”

    Haha…that totally sounds like some propaganda phrase by a dictator completely opposed to individual freedom.

  18. OK, I deleted and re-loaded the script. Looks good now. Thanks all for your help.

  19. No LoneWacko in yours? Wow.
    I just haven’t gotten around to adding him. Of course, now that I have the file open anyway…

  20. Why filter? Edward, LoneWacko, and Neil are plenty amusing and Dave has his own special charm.

  21. {“label”:”Taktix?”, “name”:”Taktix?”…

    Hey, wait a second!

  22. “…the candidate mutters Maoisms like “the campaign for freedom will continue in this new phase.””

    Reason is trying to associate Ron Paul with Uncle Mao, and as we all know, Uncle Mao was an evil communist dictator! GET IT? Ron Paul is a communist dictator! Reason Magazine is the true standard bearers for liberty! Not some guy who can rustle up a crowd at college campuses which exceeds our number of subscribers! LISTEN TO US! WE’RE REASON! DON’T CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION! PLEEEASE! WAAAAAAA!

  23. Oh good, y’all beat me to it… my filter wasn’t working, either.

    Thanks for the help! Now “Nincompoop” is blessedly muted.

  24. I’m with Epi. A filter would eliminate half the fun.

  25. I’m not sure who ran the worse campaign — Ron Paul, who transformed tens of millions of dollars into almost no votes (really — how many did he actually convince? I suspect the people who voted for him heard about him through word of mouth, not the ad campaign) or Rudy Giuliani, who transformed front-runner status into a tie with Paul via the “late primary” strategy.

  26. Egosumabbas,

    Wow, I’ve never seem someone illustrate their opponent’s point so succinctly. And the timing, forget about it…

  27. Ahh, Ron Paul. The gift that keeps on giving for Dave Weigel.

    Ron Paul never once said “I am ending my camapaing” nor did he even say he was “suspending” his campaign. He told the truth. He had to focus on his Congressional race in order to win it (It wouldn’t have looked to good to run for President and then lose his day job) and he was winding down his presidential campaign. The staff was cut, appearances were cut, the money wasn’t coming the way it was in November and McCain had the delegates, both pledged and bound to him, to win the nomination. The campaign had to change its direction and focus to what could be accomplished as to what couldn’t.

    If you think he was winking or nodding at you or engaging in subertfuge, that’s your problem Dave, not Ron Paul’s. He told the truth as to what was going on and you and others chose to believe what you wanted to believe in a conventional political sense. When did RP ever do anything conventional?

    So are you pissed because RP pulled a fast on you, make you think it was all over when it really wasn’t? None of this really amounts to a hill of beans except in the wounded pride department, but I suppose it does explain why you brought up the newsletters again. Such references usually apppear when Paul’s is having too much success for your tastes.

  28. The GOP is so infested with ex-democrats (neocons) only it’s demise this fall will restore it back to its original platform. Juan McWar is the Bob Dole of 08 – wake up and do something about it while you still can. Join the r3VOLution before it’s too late.

  29. Paul’s lousy campaign (and it was a lousy campaign) had little to do with his lack of support (in terms of actual votes, not amount of cash or number of fans on the intrawebs).

    The problem was that die-hard Republicans (the type that vote in primaries) are extremely pro-war, and they weren’t going to vote for an anti-war candidate.

  30. we need someone like Paul. I’m sure you can come up with a logical fallacy to say NO HE’S EVIL when you know he’s a new hope for libertarians. it is an ugly thing to be stuck trying to decided whether to stay registered a republican party reptile where a serious libertarian is coming in 2nd place or go back to a libertarian party that is considering nominating Bob Barr.

  31. The March of the Rondroids. I love the guy who chides Reason as not keeping track of all its articles – due to a typo in an on line piece where the word “started” is inserted instead of “startled”. Somehow that is the same as running racist, bigoted, antigay statements over a period of four years.

    Paul won’t wind down the race entirely, not as long as the Rondroids keep sending their money to him. After all Paul has plans for that money — and a presidential campaign is not where he intends to spend it.

  32. I disagree, Geotpf. I believe that had he run anti-war commercials instead of “hey I’m just like the other guys” spots in New Hampshire, the results could have been significantly better.

  33. Yeah, Reason has a lot of “racist trash” in its history. One that I still remember, just because it was so refreshing to read at the time, was an article on the militia movement, in the months after the OK City bombing, that actually said nice things about it. Jamie Kirchick would’ve pee’d himself if he’d read it.

  34. Sean Scallon,

    None of this really amounts to a hill of beans except in the wounded pride department, but I suppose it does explain why you brought up the newsletters again.

    Can you quote the bit from the article above where Weigel “brought up the newsletters again”? I’m not seeing it.

  35. “Ron Paul’s supporters aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.”

    I think they could easily beat an intelligence contest against those who support a man who sings “Bomb Iran” to Barbara Ann.

  36. “Wow, I’ve never seem someone illustrate their opponent’s point so succinctly. And the timing, forget about it…”

    Eh, it was a crass attempt at humor, sorry Taktix(r).

    I was just pointing out the fact that any article on Ron Paul at Reason has to be snarky out of fear of losing their hipstertarian street cred.

  37. Epi, CN – You can click on a little monkey in the bottom right of the browser to turn the filter on and off. Some threads are, admittedly, impossible to understand otherwise because everyone’s responding to trolls.

    And yes, sometimes it’s fun to go slumming intellectually. LOL!

    Also (CN again) – I really agree about the Paul campaign & those horrible (“I’m just like Tom Tancredo” commercials). I can’t imagine wtf they were thinking, which is why I get irritated with the Paulistas. If you believe reason magazine was solely responsible for his downfall, and that he would have become President without reason’s “treachery”, you are an idiot.

  38. Huh, I just read “The rEVOLution in North Carolina” and it was pleasantly devoid of snark. What’s up with THAT?

  39. At this point, I would be more impressed with Paul holding a press conference just so he could do the funky chicken. If you think about it in the context of the logical continuum of his campaign, it makes perfect sense.

  40. @BakedPenguin: Yes, those commercials left my head scratching. Imagine if he had run an anti-federal reserve or anti-income tax commercial, it would have at least gotten the press buzzing. Or if they would have hired a bunch of actors dressed up as founding fathers to endorse him! The possibilities were endless really, but they blew it.

  41. The press is paid and bought for by you know who, just like Hillary, McCain, and Obama. Ron Paul can never be bought, or swayed. He is a man of principle.

  42. This thread gave me confirmation that the few posters I skim over are at least ignored by other people too.

    And here I was thinking I was the only one.

  43. Tess,
    “You know who.”
    Who? The Black Guelphs, the joos, the arms merchants, the house of Windsor? Or all of the above?
    (See, this is where a filter would be a buzz kill.)

  44. Egosumabbas – or the War in Iraq, or the War on Drugs, or… yeah – the missed opportunities were legion.

  45. The campaign exceeded all expectations. He was never gonna win.

    War is popular with Republicans. The war is tolerable to Democrats because Muslims treat women badly, but would be more than tolerable to them if it hadn’t been started by W whom they would hate even if he delivered the New Deal II to them tomorrow. The war issue has been treated softly by the MSM. Remember A. Cooper stating “Now that the surge is working” at a Dem debate and NOT having a single candidate question the question? Being against the war only gets you labeled as a kook and ignored, because that’s the way the MSM presents it.

    And now it’s the economy, which all three major candidates left standing don’t want to address honestly perhaps because they don’t understand it or because they realize that the publics eyes will glaze over if they start really talking about the economy. Paul gave his assessment of the problem,monetary policy, and he was ignored because it made everyone’s eyes glaze over. So the candidates ignore these issues and speak vaguely and grandiosely.

    The MSM never gave him the time of day, and NAME RECOGNITION is everything. Jesse Ventura, Governator, Hillary Clinton, for that matter, anyone? The only way he could’ve done any better would have been through a concerted effort by the MSM to talk about monetary policy, imperialism, sovereignty issues with respect to free trade and cheerlead them along as rational responses.

    Paul’s campaign was a success in identifying that there is a small percentage of Americans 5% maybe that place high value on less gov’t. Add to that libertarians who couldn’t overlook Paul’s ‘Constitutionalist’ approach because they smelled anti-immigration and anti-abortion (or whatever else, fair enough.)

    Of course, if you weren’t purposefully looking for news on his campaign you wouldn’t even know it existed.

    As for the bigotry accusations; that only shows me like it did in the Obama/Wright case that the MSM isn’t really concerned about policy, they’re concerned with whom you ever have hung with and what you were in the past.

    If that’s it I am voting Hillary, a Goldwater Republican disguised as Chavez in a pantsuit!

  46. Today will be remembered as a great day.

    It will see the beginning of the end of Allahbama Hussein’s campaign, and will also see John McCain rack up 90%+ margins without lifting a finger.

  47. Me:(See, this is where a filter would be a buzz kill.)

    But then Neil comes along and blows my point all to hell.

  48. When The Trilateral Commission spends a great deal of their April meeting in Washington D.C. discussing Ron Paul and the number of people he has awakened to the money powers that control our country, it is clear that his candidacy has been wildly successful.

  49. Ah ha! “You know who” = Trilateral Commission. Those bastards.

  50. Another quote from Benton:

    “The former Libertarian Party nominee has “no plans and no intentions” to switch to any other party when the time comes to end his bid, Benton said.

    Sounds like he’s spending campaign money just to pimp his book.

  51. Reports now coming out that Ron Paul supporters in California are actively working against libertarian Republican Tom McClintock in his bid for Congress. They’re supporting some other guy in the primary cause he’s “sufficiently anti-War.”

    Full story: http://www.libertarianrepublican.blogspot.com

  52. “Ron Paul’s supporters aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.”

    These comments make me laugh/sick. It’s like an alcoholic saying sobriety is for losers.

  53. Ron Paul is the brightest candidate running for the presidency. If you can’t realize that people, then you’re in the dark yourself.

    Ron Paul for President 2008. For freedom and prosperity.

  54. Jake Boone:

    Weigel made reference to the newsletters in a previous Ron Paul post.

  55. Wow. Reason, really? This is the stuff you are producing?

  56. Eric,

    Oh, is McClintock also running?

    It’s an empty seat. What are you getting hysterical about?

  57. Before any of you Reasonites pass judgement over Ron Paul with your all knowing wisdom I suggest you try reading his latest bestseller and then get back to us. You won’t find a more intelligent or honest candidate running for office.

    The Revolution: A Manifesto

    BTW – This isn’t some fluff piece from your Obambams, your Hitlerys or your McInsanes that comes across as a personality sales pitch. This is about the real issues facing this nation, the out of control behemoth government and how the solution is returning to Constitution.


  59. His campaign organization HAS been terribly weak, and I think they kind of expected someone else to do all of the work for them. PLUS, his spokesman is marrying his granddaughter, so even if he sucks at his job (he does IMHO) ya can’t exactly fire the guy. Ron has become pretty laid-back in recent years, and I don’t fault him for it, but it could have easily been made up for with a dynamic spokesman with…say…a little wit, maybe?

  60. >Dondero

    Who cares?

  61. “Maybe if Paul was in the news, generic Republican voters wouldn’t be about to give primary victories to two candidates he’s endorsed in North Carolina, Walter Jones and B.J. Lawson.”
    Huh? Like, if he was in the news, these guys would lose through guilt by association?
    Weigel, hasn’t Raimondo kicked your butt enough yet?

  62. Like, if he was in the news, these guys would lose through guilt by association?

    If their opponents could raise money off the “I’m trying to keep another America-hating Ron Paul out of Congress” pitch, maybe. Probably not.

    Weigel, hasn’t Raimondo kicked your butt enough yet?

    This is the guy who claims that there was nothing actually wrong with the newsletters, right? The position that not even Ron Paul holds?

  63. Only a fool wouldn’t cash in on a book deal. It’s made the Clintons into multi-millionaires, the Obamas into millionaires. Didn’t McCain meet his wife at one of his book signings?

  64. Weigel, are you still on the Trilateral Commission?

  65. It’s the message anyway.

    Either you think he stands for white-supremacist theocratic fascism

    or you think he stands for humble foreign policy and sound money

    Take your pick. Eitherway he wasn’t going to win it.

    Of course, I forgot the get-rich quick scheme. That’s why we need to have the gov’t protect us from shyster candidates like Paul. Vote Nader 2008!

  66. McClintock has zero competition in the primary. The guy he’s running against has a DWI on his record who is politically a non-starter. I’m not worried about McClintock failing to win the seat.

    I don’t understand why Dave hates Ron Paul so much.

  67. Maybe Dave thinks Ron Paul is a race-baiting, lying scumbag lunatic.

  68. I don’t understand why Dave hates Ron Paul so much.

    I like Ron Paul. I voted for Ron Paul. I’m not attacking Paul when I attack his bumbling campaign staff or the guys who gave him 15 years of headaches by writing bigoted crap under his name.

  69. Weigel attacked Paul! Therefore anybody Weigel votes for must suck!
    Weigel voted for Paul!

  70. Maoism?! the writers at reasons are liars and spinsters. Pathetic!!

  71. “You know who” = spinsters!
    Brilliant! Sitting around in their rocking chairs, knitting and petting their cats. They’ve got the time and the motive. Why did I not see it before?

  72. WE WILL HAVE LIVE COVERAGE of the Indiana and North Carolina Primary Tuesday May 6th, Ron Paul’s first WIN?

    Hello everyone,

    We will be hosting LIVE primary coverage TODAY May 6th from Indiana and North Carolina.

    We know the media is not going to report on the results of Dr. Paul SO WE WILL!

    This is the main reason we started this network and we will continue to report the truth and let the American people for once decide based on the facts!

    We have people on the ground in these states from all over the states that will be bringing us live updates on what is happening during the primary.

    We are also going to provide live reports on the votes for Dr. Paul.

    Start time 6pm until 12pm eastern time.

    We are also going to open up the phone lines for all callers to discuss the success we are having all over the country.

    Please let everyone know about this special LIVE event.


  73. “Ron Paul’s supporters aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.” -Edward

    “I think they could easily beat an intelligence contest against those who support a man who sings ‘Bomb Iran’ to Barbara Ann.” – Mark

    I am tickled by the idea that not only is “Barbara Ann” a golden oldie, but so is “Bomb Iran.” That #1 hit on the jingoist Top 40 from my early college years of the late 70s and early 80s is on top again. It will soon challenge “The Twist” and “The Monster Mash” as the all-time comeback king!

    Frankly, I’m tired of history rhyming so much. We all have ipods these days, don’t we? Can’t we just skip this selection and move on to something better?

  74. David Weigel, you forget to mention that Raimondo’s defense of the newsletters is picking and choosing some of the soft balls in them. Notice Raimondo doesn’t try to defend comments like Martin Luther King was “a gay pedophile” I would love to have Raimondo explain how that statement is mis-understood, taken out of context or exagerated by “cosmolibertarians”

  75. The spokesman should have corrected them? Are you kidding? The spokesman IMMEDIATELY corrected him and some tiny papers printed that, and all the others kept repeating he had dropped out of the race. You know us Ron Paul supporters. Right?

    I ASSURE YOU that every on line mention that he dropped out, that allowed comments, was corrected. Loudly and not always politely, to be honest. We were furious that papers kept printing he had dropped out.

    First he said he was concentrating on his Congressional campaing and ‘scaling back’ and they said he dropped out before one set of primaries. After those, CNN and a couple other media outlets clarified he hadn’t ‘completely’ dropped out. Then right before the March 4 primaries there was another wave of ‘he dropped out’ media, to be corrected by a few after the March 4 primaries. After that there was so much out there saying he dropped out that the small papers just continued to reprint it, across the country.

    Major media loudly proclaims he drops out, but does not loudly correct themselves.

  76. How can anyone blame the Ron Paul campaign? Do any of you have a clue what the McCain-Feingold campaign laws did?

    Those laws limit free speech because it limits the amount of money people can donate. This leaves the MSM as the #1 place for information on candidates. When the MSM shows the candidates 600 times for every 1 appearance you guy gets, then no amount of an ad campaign is going to help you.

    I didn’t see a single ad for any of the candidates honestly. But I seen them on the media EVERY night. The only way to see Ron Paul was if it was announced he was going to be on, or watch it on YouTube.

    Is it any wonder why he “does so well on the internet” but no so well in the media? Because it’s biased crap.

    Do you realize how much a single ad buy costs? And go ahead and try to get a point across in 30 seconds. And compare that to news shows who defend your positions back and forth for hours.

    Not to mention the amount of inflation that has occured in the past 7 years. The price of gold/oil etc has basically tripled. So the 2400 when the law was passed isn’t the same as the 2400 we were able to donate. The max donation should have been over $6000 per person if adjusted. This means it’s also going to be worse in the future.

    These laws basically give all the power to the media, with little chance for a campaign to overcome it.

    And what do we have here? One of the guys who writes the laws wins the next election?

    I seen better acting on Gilligan’s Island. I’m not buying it.

  77. “I like Ron Paul. I voted for Ron Paul. I’m not attacking Paul when I attack his bumbling campaign staff or the guys who gave him 15 years of headaches by writing bigoted crap under his name.”

    Touche. Yes his campaign staff leaves something to be desired. I gave him a bunch of money anyway. I still think it was worth it.

    Anyway I had you confused with Matt Welch.

    Matt why do you hate Ron Paul?

  78. How can anyone blame the Ron Paul campaign? Do any of you have a clue what the McCain-Feingold campaign laws did?

    Did they force the campaign to run ads on immigration, the same issue 10 other candidates were pushing?

    Did they force the campaign to direct supporters to wave signs on corners instead of going door to door and phonebanking?

    Did they force the campaign to lay down zero groundwork in Paul’s most promising state, New Hampshire, before a flood of volunteers arrived in December to find no information collected on where to find potential Paul voters?

    Yes, Paul was starting off with two strikes against him. Yes, the media gave him next to no coverage. Yes, he was discriminated against at the debates. But that doesn’t excuse the stupid mistakes the campaign made.

    It’s like when the Dolphins play the Patriots at Foxboro — sure, the odds are against them winning from the outset, but that doesn’t excuse them committing 8 turnovers and racking up 500 yards in penalties.

  79. And before you accuse me of hating Ron Paul, note that I donated, phonebanked, and voted for him. That’s why I’m so pissed about the paid professionals in national HQ being outperformed by fucking amateurs like myself.

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