No official announcement–yet–but Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) is doing presidential candidate-like things, like speaking yesterday in New Hampshire, before 500 or so people at the University of New Hampshire. From a Union-Leader report:
[Paul's] ideas appeared to resonate as much yesterday as they did during his 2008 presidential run….
Paul said he thinks "people are starting to wake up" to his ideas. That could be a result of the powerful Tea Party movement, which pushes views on cutting government and spending that are similar to what he has said for some time.
Paul's views of reduced spending may gain more traction with budget crises looming nationwide, and he got cheers of support as he spoke of how spending has run amok in Washington.
He also blasted Republicans who said they cut funding to National Public Radio to save money while approving billions in spending for the conflict in Afghanistan.
"It just strikes me as totally inconsistent and not addressing the subject," he said.
Thursday's crowd at UNH's Memorial Union Building included a cross-section of young and old. There were devotees, with their "Don't Tread on Me" signs and T-shirts, as well plenty of students, some clearly in support and others more curious.
Stephen Cote, a 25-year-old freshman from Chichester, said he came to find out what Paul was all about, and he liked what he saw. He particularly liked Paul's idea that American troops should be brought back from Afghanistan and Iraq.
Cote has a unique perspective on that issue. He served as a Marine in Iraq before attending UNH.
National Journal yesterday quoted Paul insider Jesse Benton extensively on the possibilities that Kentucky Senator Rand Paul may run, but only if his father Ron does not. I blogged the other day on why I think 2012 should still be Ron's year to run.