I wrote last week about the historical reasons to believe Ron Paul's revolution within the Republican Party may have a future. Today the Associated Press via Huffington Post takes a close look at two states where Paul people are running the show within the Republican Party, Iowa and Nevada.
Iowa's state Republican governing body this month voted to re-elect as chairman and vice chairman two of Paul's top 2012 Iowa caucus campaign aides. Last year, Nevada Republicans similarly elected top Paul supporters to its two spots on the Republican National Committee…..
Paul backers also have made inroads into Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, in part vestiges of his 2012 presidential campaign.
Indeed, across the country, thousands of Paul's followers, many disillusioned after fighting in vain for his failed bid of 2008, regrouped in 2012 and dove head-first into the behind-the-scenes Republican Party delegate elections, fighting tooth and nail with old-guard GOP establishment activists for national convention seats.
And while Paul retired from Congress this month, his disciples picked up House seats in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Texas last year.
The AP story points out the various areas where Paulite libertarianism rubs up against the mainstream GOP, but also points out that some of Paul's more right-populist supporters can be even more socially conservative than the GOP mainstream, like on gay marriage (where Paul ended up talking a "get state out of it entirely" stance, but which some, mostly older, Paul fans are against).
And although Maine Paul delegate Mark Willis is fighting to oust him, AP write that "Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, elected in 2011 to resuscitate the RNC's fundraising, has sought out Paul supporters as he seeks re-election." And some within the GOP are noticing Paul and Paulism seem their best attempt to win younger supporters.
But who knows what a Paul fan will do?
Paul's network could give son Rand a readymade platform on which to run, although former aides note it's not a guarantee he, or any Ron Paul protege, would automatically inherit his supporters.
Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also get mentions from Ron Paul supporters as philosophical heirs to the former Texas congressman.
"Whether it's Rand Paul or someone else, I have allegiance not to them, but to their ideals," said Drew Ivers, Ron Paul's 2012 Iowa campaign chairman and now finance chairman for the Iowa GOP. "Whoever steps forward to lead that charge is the kind of leader we should champion."
My book on the roots of this movement, Ron Paul's Revolution: The Man and the Movement He Inspired.