Ron Paul, Still Running for President, Wins Minnesota
Just like he told you, Ron Paul is continuing to rack up delegates and outright state wins in his continuing race for the Republican Party presidential nomination. In the Minnesota state Republican Party convention on Saturday, he came out controlling 32 of 40 delegates from the state.
The Park Rapids Enterprise reports on how Paul, who showed up to talk to his people at the convention the day before the final delegate vote, was received:
To chants of "President Paul," 2,000 Minnesota convention delegates welcomed the Texas congressman and presidential candidate.
"There are a lot of friends of liberty in this town," Paul said….
U.S. Senate candidate Kurt Bills endorsed Paul and Paul endorsed Bills. The Senate candidate said he will continue to back Paul until he is out of the race.
Several convention observers said that while Paul was well received, they did not hear probable Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney mentioned during the day-long convention.
Paul, who finished second to Rick Santorum in this year's precinct caucuses, told the Republicans that it is not just their party that latches onto his ideas.
"It is much, much bigger than this," he added, saying that independents "and even Democrats" support his ideas.
Things have changed for Paul since 2008 as his liberty movement grows:
Paul's Friday appearance was in stark contrast to four years ago, when he was banned from speaking to the Minnesota convention in Rochester. Instead, he talked in a light rain outside the convention center.
Many of the 2,000 convention delegates attended a state event for the first time.
A Paul campaign press release sums up all the good news for the campaign over the weekend, in a long game that extends beyond Tampa in August:
In Minnesota, Paul organizers won a decisive 12 of 13 delegates to the RNC at the Rivers Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, wrapping up the North Star State's two-tier nominating contest. Earlier this spring, Paul supporters won 20 of 24 delegates at district conventions. In all, the Paul camp has swept the state of Minnesota winning 32 of the state's 40 national delegates.
In addition to Paul's consequential victory in Minnesota, Paul organizers won delegates in Mitt Romney's home state of Michigan. There, Paul supporters estimate that they have won eight voting slots plus one non-voting delegate and 11 alternates. Of the 14 Congressional District voting contests held this weekend, Paul organizers won RNC delegates in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 6th, and 9th Districts, denying Detroit-born Romney a clean sweep of his home state. The Michigan victory occurred despite a heavy Romney campaign presence promoting a win for the establishment pick and presumptive nominee.
At the Vermont Republican State Convention this weekend, Ron Paul supporters won two of 14 national delegates, with two more considered potential allies, and they won 10 of 14 alternates. In all, Vermont has 17 delegates including super delegates.
Finally in Virginia, 11 district conventions have been taking place in recent weeks and have ended this weekend. In those contests Ron Paul supporters won 17 of 33 national delegates selected, with the remainder of the state's 49 delegates including super delegates to be selected at the June 16th state convention. Also in Virginia, Paul supporters elected a Republican Congressional District Chair in the Third District, over a dozen liberty-oriented Republican State Central Committee Members five of whom are Ron Paul supporters, dozens of Republican county and city committee chairs, and hundreds of county and city committee members.
From the Alaska Dispatch via Christian Science Monitor, a fair summation of where the campaign stands now:
[I]n Minnesota Saturday[,]"The Paul crowd pulled off a bloodless coup," the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. "Unlike other states where brawls broke out between Paul fans and Romney supporters, the Minnesota convention was a relatively civil affair. There were no fistfights or shouting matches on the convention floor."
In a nutshell, that sums up what Rep. Paul needs to do as the Republican Party works its way toward the nominating convention in August: Keep supporters of his "revolution" revved up, laying the groundwork for what he hopes will be a prominent role in Tampa, Fla., while not coming across as a political curmudgeon trying to undermine the candidacy of presumed front-runner Mitt Romney (with whom, it's been reported, he has a good personal relationship)…..
"The ball is in the court of the Republican Party and the court of Mitt Romney," Jesse Benton, national chairman of Paul's campaign, told reporters this past week. "We're bringing forward an attitude of respect, and we're also bringing forward some very specific things that we believe in. If our people are treated with respect, if our ideas, their ideas are embraced and treated seriously and treated with respect, I think the Republican Party will have a very good chance to pick up a substantial number of our votes."
"On the flip side," Benton warned, "if they're treated like they were in 2008, a lot of people are going to stay home and a lot of people are going to sit on their hands."….
"Ron Paul started what his supporters call a revolution," Maggie Haberman and Emily Shultheis observe on Politico.com. "Now, that revolution is threatening to march on without him."
Which seems to be exactly what Paul wants.
My April Reason cover story on "The Ron Paul Moment." My article last week on why the GOP must mind Ron Paul. My new book, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.