Ron Paul is dropping out of the presidential race.
The new phase of the revolution officially begins with a speech tonight in Houston and a Web video to be posted on his site, officially ending Paul's presidential campaign and freeing up the more than $4.7 million in campaign cash for investment in a new advocacy group, The Campaign for Liberty.
Paul will not endorse McCain tonight, in case you've been paying no attention and thought that was a possibility. I talked with Paul spokesman Jesse Benton a little while ago to confirm some more details.
– Formally, Ron Paul 2008 will be suspended, not shut down. It will exist for "a few more months" as the campaign workers "close up shop."
– Paul will not release his delegates, kinda-sorta. "I believe they'll technically be released," Benton said, "but Ron will actively be encouraging them to become a positive presence on the convention floor."
– The Campaign for Liberty will be based in Virginia and Texas; Benton will be on staff, as will certain (unknown so far) members of RP2008, but they're looking for "new blood."
– The rumor that CfL will be publishing books by Paul and friends is not true: "We'll be publishing, but it'll be new media, streaming video, and blogs. There are no plans for books right now."
– CfL plans to keep the 20,000-odd volunteers who signed up as precinct leaders active. "If we expand that program," Benton said, "we train them, and we recruit and support more people who want liberty, we can take over the country."