In the long summer before the 2008 Republican convention, Rep. Ron Paul only sort of admitted defeat. He turned his main organization into the Campaign for Liberty; he did the same to his youth organization, transitioning its president, Jeff Frazee, into a new, ongoing role.
Five years on, Paul has a clutch of acolytes in the House and Senate, and Young Americans for Liberty meets annually to train young activists and let them hear political pep talks. At least 40 reporters showed up for night one, which started with a series of prizes for students and continued with a panel of stars: Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Rand Paul. I'd hoped for a free-for-all of student questions, pinning down the senators on libertarian litmus test issues, but what I got what a Frazee-moderated discussion that stuck almost entirely to the NSA and fiscal policy.