No matter how many times the Ron Paul campaign is declared over, it is not over. Long after its meaningless straw poll caucus vote in January, the long process of actually selecting delegates from the state to the national convention in Tampa is over, and here's the Paul campaign press release summing up the results:
Dr. Paul won 10 of 13 delegates elected at today's state convention in addition to having won 11 of 12 delegates elected at last night's district conventions, for a weekend total of 21 of 25 contestable delegates, all unbound.
Dr. Paul's victory in the Hawkeye State affirms his delegate-attainment strategy and it has the added benefit of having occurred in the first-in-nation voting state, also a swing state.
"We thank the many Iowa Republican activists for working tirelessly toward this meaningful victory, in particular the work they performed in the service of constitutional government and personal liberty. This win is a real validation for our campaign and its many supporters in Iowa and across our great nation," said Ron Paul 2012 National Campaign Chairman Jesse Benton.
"We look forward to bringing the Ron Paul delegation to Tampa and to making a significant, positive contribution to the 2012 Republican Party Platform," added Mr. Benton.
The current chair of the Iowa state party is A.J. Spiker, a longtime Paul supporter.
Ron Paul loyalists were triumphant at the Iowa GOP convention today, overcoming an attempt to knock very well-organized members of the liberty movement off the national convention rolls.
"The movement has a huge responsibility when it goes to Tampa to show Iowa we're a real movement and we're not there to be ramble rousers," said Dubuque Republican Dave Cushman, a liberty activist and new GOP state central committee member.
After a two-day tug-of-war marked by bouts of angry shouting, Iowa Republicans elected 25 delegates to send to the national convention in Florida in late August.
By far, the majority will be Paul backers – much to the disappointment of some Iowa Republicans who wanted to send a more mixed "unity" delegation to vote for all-but-certain nominee Mitt Romney.
However, in a sentiment that will drive many Paul supporters and potential delegates up the wall:
Cushman said he doesn't anticipate any attempt to nominate Paul as president instead of Romney – members of the liberty movement simply want to espouse the Paul message.
"The goal is not to embarrass the party," he said. "The goal is to make the party stronger and broaden the base, and walk the Republican talk."
This is just one, one of the calmer, signs of a reality the Republican Party and the nation will have to deal with: the people energized by Ron Paul are not going to stop influencing national and local politics just because Ron Paul is gone from the scene. And whether Paul's name is "officially" nominated from the floor will matter less than the attempts to actual Paul's libertarian values in politics (and culture) down the line.
For the story of how the movement got here, see my new book Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.