Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Ron Paul: The Howard Dean of '08?

Ron Paul in New Hampshire last month. (AP).

Is Ron Paul the Howard Dean of 2008?

Among the Texas congressman's loyal, passionate, Web-savvy supporters, that's not a question. It's a statement -- and a semi-accurate one. Here's a very important similarity: Like Dean, Paul has been against the war on Iraq from the beginning, setting him apart from the rest of the GOP field.

And just as Dean's insurgent campaign effectively used the Web to raise money, rally its supporters and create buzz the year before the 2004 elections, Paul's campaign throughout the year has singularly relied on the Internet to fuel his engine.

All that popularity has translated to online money: $5.1 million in the third quarter, with at least 70 percent of it coming from online donors, according to Paul spokesman Jesse Benton. He raised about $3.1 million in the first and second quarters -- 80 percent of it from online donations.

For months now, the noted Libertarian -- he's for dismantling the Department of Education and thinks the USA Patriot Act, which allows the government to search personal data, including Internet use, is unconstitutional -- has dominated the Republican field on the social-networking sites that serve as a barometer in online enthusiasm. He has more Facebook supporters than former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, who leads the Republican candidates in national polls. He has more MySpace friends than former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who's topping the Republican polls in the early primary voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa. His YouTube videos have been viewed more than Romney, Giuliani and Sen. John McCain -- combined.

"What we're seeing here is less about Paul being the Dean of this campaign but about the resurgence of libertarianism on the Internet. In the early '90s, the predominant philosophy on the Net was libertarian. Ross Perot had a lot of support from that group, which kind of faded in the background once the Republicans took control," said Jerome Armstrong, founder of the progressive blog MyDD and former Internet adviser for Dean. "Now that group has Ron Paul. And they're more about being independent than about identifying with either parties. It's a small voice within the Republican party, libertarians, but they're creating a lot of noise."

Added Joshua Levy of TechPresident, the bipartisan group blog that monitors how the candidates are campaigning online: "Ron Paul's online popularity is really bigger than Ron Paul the candidate. There's a void in the Republican party because there are no candidates speaking to the more libertarian financial conservatism that's been the bedrock of the party. There's a sense that what passes for the GOP right now isn't Republican and it isn't conservative. Ron Paul is filling that void."

And since Paul isn't getting the mainstream media attention that the top-tier candidates are -- Levy calls him "Jerry Brown of the Republican debates" -- his frustrated supporters are going

In June, The Post reported that "Ron Paul" was one of the most frequently searched terms on Technorati, which offers a real-time snapshot of the blogosphere.

Nearly four months later, that still holds true.

--Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post editors  |  October 4, 2007; 6:00 AM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: For Iowans, Thompson Has 'Reagan-like Appeal'
Next: The Bill Factor


There are a couple similarities between Dean and Paul that the author does a pretty good job of highlighting, but I think the differences are more telling. Both campaigns rely on the internet to help spread their message, but I think Dean's campaign was somewhat more of a top-down affair. While Paul's official campaign uses the internet primarily for fundraising, it is the supporters themselves, moreso than the Dean campaign, who have been really fueling the campaign, be it through meet-up groups, Youtube videos, etc. For example, the Nashville meet-up group (of which I am a part) made a big push for Ron Paul to come to Nashville. They convinced him he had a lot of support here, and so he came; it was not an instance where Paul had a scheduled stop in Nashville and then reached out to the internet to get supporters to attend.
A similarity between the Dean and Paul campaigns, as well, is that it is younger voters, especially college students, who make up a large part of his support. Dean, however, I think got a lot of that support mainly because of his opposition to the Iraq war. His other positions were much more mainstream Democrat. Paul, on the other hand, represents a clear split from the current Republican field on a wide number of issues. But it is his philosophical stance, moreso than any particular issue, which drives much of his support.

Posted by: justin.t.offermann | October 13, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

One reason that Paul toils in media obscurity is that he's a run-of-the-mill states rights conservative. The media likes new and exciting political figures, not George Wallace retreads. The major media ignores the John Birch Society, too. It's to be expected.

What's unexpected is that so many people actually think they have found their political savior with this dinosaur. But that was also true with George Wallace. People around the country adored him, too. People are funny that way.

Posted by: wwsword | October 10, 2007 8:18 PM | Report abuse

What blew me away the first and second time I saw him debate was his ability, unintentionally, to highlight the shallowness and the insincerity of the entire field of candidates other than himself.

It was surreal. It would be similar to standing in a very dark room and you don't know just how bad it is until someone (Ron Paul) strikes a match and you can see with real perspective what you have in front of you and that was the most enlightening experience of my life.

I became a Ron Paul follower from that AND NOT FROM THE INTERNET AND I AM 54 YEARS OLD, I am also on that picture he is holding. I am in front of his face right near his upper lip. I am proud to be so close to the lips that speak such inspiring words to such a sorely wounded nation as we are today.

Another thing that I noticed is the sense of community that is coming back into our nation that is in his campaign. We are putting our political disagreements aside and actually forming a sense of community not only in electing Ron Paul, but also in the issues he brings to the table. We are discussing them with no hatred, angst or anger. He has already created a much more mature level of discourse in this country than we are used to under the child President Bush.

I have a womans intuition that we are on the verge of seeing the emergence of a truly great President in this man. All the symptoms are there. I pray for this nation that we have enough sense left to do what is in our collective best interest and believe me electing him President is definitely in our nations best interest.

Finally, I encourage you to take the time to read his positions....THIS IS NOT A SOUND BITE CANDIDATE and if you read him that way, as one person on this forum has already done, then you won't understand the depth of thought and logic that has gone into his shaping of his opinions AND THE SUBTLETY OF HIS SOLUTIONS about OUR COLLECTIVE NATIONAL PROBLEMS. He is far more complex than this system allows us to see and with the MSM boycotting him, it makes it even worse. SO, I ENCOURAGE YOU TO READ HIS POSITION PAPERS ON HIS SITE, THEY ARE ALL LAID OUT FOR YOU ON MOST SUBJECTS OF INTEREST TO US TODAY. IGNORANCE IS THE FUEL FOR TYRANNY.

The good news is, the MAINSTREAM MEDIA ARE LOSING READERSHIP TO FOREIGN PRESS. That is where I now get all my news if I want to know what is REALLY going on in my country.

Posted by: ppfg1 | October 6, 2007 4:29 AM | Report abuse

Like madkison15, I too am a non-US citizen, so I am not extremely familiar with the pressing issues of this country. I have been in graduate school for the last 3 years, currently on a one-year sabbatical in my home country. I am, however, following all the debates with great interest, and I have developed tremendous regard for Ron Paul.

Simply put, all that he says makes so much sense!!!! He has already brought reason, nuance, and the value of historical precedent back to political discourse. The most refreshing aspect here is that he does not see the world in terms of absolutes--he realizes there are more gray areas than black and white. I am also struck by how he manages to hold his ground each time his position is challenged by people possessing one-tenth his intellect and none of his integrity. I considered myself to be left-leaning and come from a place struggling to come out of the shackles of socialism. Listening to Dr. Paul, however, helped me make the distinction between a true free-market economy and corporatism. I hope for America's sake, and indeed the rest of the world, Dr. Ron Paul will be President Ron Paul.

PS: I might add here that a number of my extremely bright colleagues at school have barely heard of Dr. Paul. Clearly, the word is getting out, but more needs to be done.

Posted by: sirgoodsport | October 6, 2007 3:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm a non US-citizen who came to NYC in 1999 to start an event promotion business. Unfortunately I'm barred from voting and even donating money to Ron Paul since I'm here only on an investor's visa basis.
Ron Paul strikes me as the quintessential American. I disagree with him on abortion and gun control, but his character and stance on other positions is outweighing my concerns by far.
It is absolutely mindblowing how Dr. Paul is living a political life on principles, but not turning extremist or irrational.
He is the candidate of the thinking man, a shining product of a democratic society. I hope he will win.

Posted by: | October 6, 2007 1:21 AM | Report abuse

As an actively serving Marine and veteran of Iraq, I disagree with Dr. Paul on the war. However, THE WAR IS NOT OUR COUNTRY'S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY! Believe it or not, we are failing in our duties to defend our Constitution against its domestic enemies. (If you have served that should sound familiar.)

Our nation's priorities are being set by two or three major media outlets. Ron Paul is the only candidate talking about personal property rights. The Democrats are screaming the standard redistribution of wealth mantra of increased taxes on the "rich", free (taxpayer funded)healthcare for every American, and their judicial appointees are destroying our rights to have exclusive ownership of real estate (see Kelo v. City of New London). As the Democrat agenda becomes more and more inevitable, Republicans, the "frontrunners" anyway, discuss whatever issue happens to be getting thrown in their face today. None of them have ever been principled so they dance around and try to justify past positions on less than important issues.

Ron Paul is a consistent, principled, and honest defender of the everyday American's personal liberty, not only those who can buy it through the court system. He is the ONLY candidate talking about these things. Real issues! Whether you vote for Ron Paul or not, please America, WAKE UP.

Posted by: madkison15 | October 6, 2007 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who stands firmly and consistently on the principles of the American Declaration of Independence and the limitations of the U.S. Constitution. Yet, the major television and cable "news" channels completely ignore his principled stand on the issues.

He is also the ONLY presidential candidate of either political party opposed to the current U.S. military interference around the world. Significantly, Dr Paul cites the U.S. Constitution for his position.

And he's considered a "radical" because of his principles.

Dr Paul is (and has been) a strong opponent of the socialism which has engulfed this nation.

It's his principled stand that is drawing such a broad spectrum of support, and it will continue to grow as more and more Americans see the stark difference between Dr Paul's common sense approach and the same old socialist tripe spewed out by the other candidates (of both major political parties).

Dr Paul's campaign would do well to remind Democrats that "crossing-over" (as in Texas) to vote for the ONLY candidate opposed to the "war" would strike a terrific victory for liberty and freedom.

Posted by: pappywes | October 5, 2007 9:03 PM | Report abuse

This is why ron paul needs to win, I'm a Libertarian now and paul gets my vote, I Don't care if you a democrat, republican, green, black, brown or any other, this is the time to vote for him.

Ron Paul, Help Us, before it's too late.

Posted by: emerilescaladefan | October 5, 2007 7:39 PM | Report abuse


Thank you for the intelligence you brought to this discussion. While we don't quite see eye to eye on this issue, it's refreshing to see that we respect each other's opinions and are also mature enough to recognize where we do agree.

If Presidential candidates had this kind of exchange in national debates we would all be better off.

Peter |

Posted by: peter.christopher | October 5, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

There have been so few candidates in recent history who have looked anything remotely like Ron Paul, and that's why only imperfect comparisons can be made. Furthermore, any comparison going back prior to 2000 are irrelevant due to the increased role the internet has begun to play in politics. Finally, has anyone else noticed there are only two overtly negative comments regarding Ron Paul here? He's the real thing.

Posted by: ohio4ronpaul | October 5, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Register to vote:
Ron Paul rules!

Posted by: allelectricworks | October 5, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

With regard to intentional suppression of Ron Paul by the mainstream media, on Meet The Press this past Sunday the commentators were discussing the GOP candidates who finished in the top 5 at the Iowa Straw Poll, and for some reason, Ron Paul wasn't one of them! He did place 5th, didn't he?

Posted by: ielcla | October 5, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Jose: the comparison is tone-deaf. Compare and contrast candidate events and the count of small-dollar donations. Paul's campaign is nowhere near as active or vital as Dean's, and his base of support is much smaller.

For a change Jerome is actually insightful here. Libertarianism and the internet go way back. For the past six years most "libertarians" have been folded into Team Bush (e.g. Glenn Reynolds), but now they are beginning to emerge and probably pick up some support.

The most apt comparison to Dean is that Paul is willing to take on holy cows within his party. However, he's not running a serious campaign, so the parallels are superficial at best.

Posted by: joshk | October 5, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for your mention of Rep. Ron Paul. I am proud that he has chosen to run and give us a choice among the many GOP clones. I believe the Dean analogy is flawed in that (to my knowledge) there was no crossover appeal for the governor. I don't think I ever met or heard of a Republican who considred voting for Dean. By contrast, Rep. Paul has broad support from acorss the spectrum, including Dems, Libertarians, Independents, and, of course, conservative Republicans.

Peace be with you.

Posted by: cfountain | October 5, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Many left leaning people in this country are moving to support Ron Paul (I am one of them) because he is for real change. Change in abolishing the Federal Reserve, the IRS and free trade which enslave the people (not the top 10%) of this nation. All of the other candidates (with the exception of Kucinich and Gravel) in both parties are just a continuation of the behind the throne, elite rule that this country has put up with for generations. This country is slowly moving towards dictatorship and Ron Paul is the candidate to stop it.

Posted by: r06ue1 | October 5, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

My uncle had a heart attack and died while arguing with an IRS agent. I'm voting for putting that man out of a job.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | October 5, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

You've hit the nail on the head in describing this as a continuation of the Federalist/Republican debate. I'll admit right up front that for the most part my sympathies are with the Federalists and against Jefferson.

I want to be clear, however, that I believe that implied powers arise from a broad interpretation of Constitutional language, not simply from a disregard for the Constitution. Phrases like "general welfare" and "necessary and proper", as pointed out in my previous post, admit of no clear-cut definition, but they are most certainly there in the text, and I don't consider them mere rhetorical flourishes. I think they clearly point to powers somewhat beyond those specifically enumerated in Article I. The precise nature and limits of those powers are defined in the interplay between the legislature and the courts.

You are of course correct that these powers are susceptible to abuse--all power, whether in public or private hands, runs that risk. I think that implied powers can do enough good that the risk is worth taking.

Posted by: tjmaness | October 5, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Why does Ron Paul have to be the Howard Dean or the Ross Perot or the Ralph Nader of this election? Why can't he just be the Ron Paul? Comparing him to those others really does him a disservice and links him to any negative baggage those other candidates have. (Maybe that is why they do it.) Dr. Paul is truly like none of those others. He strikes a chord in so many people from so many walks of life. It is refreshing to hear him speak on the issues because, unlike most Democrats and Republicans, his rationale is consistent -- limited government on both social and fiscal issues. I have yet to introduce Dr. Paul to someone and have them provide me with negative feedback. Rather, I receive a very positive response usually accompanied by the comment, "Wow, I am voting for that guy!"

Posted by: dschexnaydre | October 5, 2007 9:10 AM | Report abuse

When you say "His purpose is to take votes away from Democrats" are you implying that he is funded by someone other than individuals? His campaign is not accepting corporate donations and there is a limit to the amount an individual can donate, I think it's $2300. For a more interesting story, check out how the Bull Moose party was created to get the Federal Reserve Act passed.

Posted by: izacore | October 5, 2007 3:08 AM | Report abuse

While I agree with Ron Paul on most issues, abortion being one exception and will be casting my vote for him here in the Red State of Georgia, Ron Paul is the 2008 version of Ralph Nader in the swing states.

His purpose is to take votes away from Democrats.

taken from:
"Mr. Perot's populist presidential campaigns in 1992 and 1996 were seen as mostly hurting the Republicans, while Mr. Nader's 2000 Green Party candidacy was widely blamed for helping defeat Democrat Al Gore."

Posted by: andtokyo | October 5, 2007 2:00 AM | Report abuse

In rushing to "do something," even good people are tempted to promote a very bad idea, presenting Americans with a false choice: give up the precious liberties of Bill of Rights and cede greater power to the federal government, or face more youth violence. Reality, of course, demonstrates something very different.
-Ron Paul

Dr. Paul does not base his presidential campaign soley on strategy, rather he bases his campaign on blunt honesty.

Posted by: idteller | October 4, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse

Despite the reference to internet support, there are no other comparisons that can be made between Howard Dean and Ron Paul.

Dean is a nice man with a huge ego; he talks fast and has a hot temper.

Ron Paul is a nice man with virtually no ego, not much of a temper and speaks moderately.

Posted by: zenpiper1 | October 4, 2007 9:25 PM | Report abuse

If you want to vote for Ron Paul make sure you are a registered Republican. Lots of states are changing their rules and not even letting the public know. In NY and NH you must register by OCTOBER 12, 2007. This year. 8 days from now. The secretary of state in NH only put this information on its website yesterday. So much for living free!

Other state agencies are giving out false information about whether or not you can vote for him if you are an Ind.

Do not take any chances. Become a Republican today. Don't let them steal him from you!

Posted by: tygh | October 4, 2007 8:16 PM | Report abuse

On that subject in case you hadn't heard. The New Hampshire and New York Legislatures (scared of Ron Paul and screwing America and Americans with socialist tactics) Are moving the deadlines for registering Republican ( Closed primary) to October 12, 2007 that is 2007 8 days from now. DON'T TAKE A CHANCE REGARDLESS OF YOUR AFFILIATION REGISTER REPUBLICAN TOMORROW AND IF YOU CAN DROP IT OFF OR OVER NIGHT THE REGISTRATION TO YOUR TAX OFFICE OR WHEREEVER IT NEEDS TO GO. OCTOBER THE 12TH IS THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER REPUBLICAN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AND NEW YORK. PLEASE MAKE THE CHANGE IF YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT ALREADY OR ARE ALREADY REGISTERED REPUBLICAN.

Posted by: riceowlex | October 4, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm 56 years old and I also am very excited about Dr. Ron Paul and the message that he brings with his campaign!! The last time I voted was against Richard Nixon back in the 70's and I never voted again!! I also have never donated to any political party in the past but all that has changed now that Ron Paul is running for the presidency because (like many other Americans) we are sick and tired of the LIES, AND CORRUPTION that has been crammed down or throats all these years!!!..I also blame you! the main stream media for not defending "our" country with fair and honest news journalism!!.Ron Paul may not become president but the American People who vote for him and listen to him will know the truth as to How?and why? this country is in the state that it is!! WE know about the North American Union, The Nafta Super HighWay, The Federal Reserve who take our hard earned money!!..Torture, The Patriot Act that most of our congress didn't even bother to read!!! So do you get my point??? If you weren't working for or owned by the elite group that is trying to bring down this GREAT COUNTRY, YOU WOULD BE VOTING FOR RON PAUL TOO!!!!

Posted by: Stephenbru4 | October 4, 2007 7:34 PM | Report abuse


You bring up some valid points and I can't say I disagree with you entirely. I for one appreciate the flexibility built into the Constitution just as much as you do, and I know that Ron Paul does as well--in fact, he wants to repeal the 16th Amendment (but would never dream of trying to circumvent it through Unconstitutional means).

In a way, this discussion is an extension of the debates between Jefferson and the Federalists, and it's as valid to have now as it was back then. You can argue that the Federal government should have more powers than spelled out by the Constitution, and you may even win such an argument.

However, I can't entirely agree your claim that "the Constitution has grey areas wide enough to drive a truck through." The 10th Amendment clearly states that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved for the States respectively, or to the people." That seems pretty clear to me.

I don't feel the Constitution should be a straitjacket, but to disregard the 10th Amendment is dangerous. S-CHIP may arguably be an effective program (I won't debate that here), but I promise you that for every effective federal program you name I can list at least 10 ineffective and wasteful ones. Well-meaning Federal programs almost always end up as trainwrecks.

The other point I want to make is that just because a program is noble in purpose does not mean it should be exempt from Constitutional restrictions. Those restrictions are there to protect us from ourselves. One only need to look to 20th century communist governments to see that idealism can easily lead to oppression if it is forced on the people by the government.

Peter |

Posted by: peter.christopher | October 4, 2007 7:20 PM | Report abuse

If you want a copy of the mosaic ad that Ron Paul is holding, or one of many other Ron Paul Mosaic images, visit:
It was great to see Ron holding a piece of work that I helped create! Thanks for the photo!
All content on the site is public domain for Ron Paul supporters to use as they see fit.


Posted by: eb | October 4, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Please remember to register as a Republican (soon!!!) if you aren't's not something I ever thought I would do, but I will happily do it to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. If he doesn't get the nomination, I will have to vote democrat.

Posted by: omnilatham | October 4, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Washington created the First Bank of the United States in 1791, but its charter expired in 1811. Madison created the Second Bank of the United States in 1816. So, we're both right.

Posted by: tjmaness | October 4, 2007 4:19 PM | Report abuse

In response to tjmanness...

I was under the impression that the National Bank was created by Madison.

Posted by: fawcettj | October 4, 2007 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Of course the Constitution isn't "just a piece of paper". But it is subject to quite a bit of interpretation. After all, Article I states that Congress may make "all laws that may be necessary and proper" to carry out its various duties, one of which is broadly stated as "provid[ing] for the common defense and general welfare of the United States". The Constitution has grey areas wide enough to drive a truck through, and a good thing, too: after all, the world in general and this country in particular have changed just a bit since 1787.

Also, your argument that the country has worked pretty well for the past 220 years by following the Constitution tends to support my point that flexibility of interpretation is a good thing, since the government was making use of implied powers from the very beginning. Washington appointed a cabinet and created a national bank, neither of which the Constitution explicitly authorized him to do. John Marshall asserted the Supreme Court's power of judicial review, which exists nowhere in the Constitution. Washington and Marshall understood that the Constitution provides the government with a structure, not a straitjacket.

Posted by: tjmaness | October 4, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

From tjmaness - "he thinks that the federal government can only help people in ways explicitly enumerated in the Constitution."

If only all our representatives were so "inflexible" as to believe that their (and the Government's) powers were really confined by that authorized in the Constitution. We would all be much better off.

Posted by: MDLaxer | October 4, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

I consider myself a Reagan Republican and have come to support Ron Paul fairly late in the game. What has come as a suprise to me are the number of Democrats I've spoken with who are crossing the aisle/changing affiliation in order to vote for Dr. Paul in the primaries.

Perhaps there truly is a large demographic of Americans who simply want government to stop controlling every facet of their lives.

Posted by: jc | October 4, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, according to some studies on the Republican Party, up to 45% of registered Republicans are considered Libertarians. In the Democratic Party that figure is about 25%. Libertarian and Christian Conservatives make up 80% of the party today, with 20% left-over for moderates.

Posted by: thelibertarian | October 4, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

A nice article, but I caution against the repetitive suggestion that the RP campaign is really "using" the internet all that much.

I have actually done some code work for the campaign, and they're -- no offense -- just not all that savvy.

Dr. Paul has admitted to being baffled by how the internet works (probably as baffled as the other candidates). So here's how it works:

People go and look things up themselves They check sources and read voraciously. The more people do this, the more likely they are to support Ron Paul. It's not a top-down manipulation of the net, it's just the Net, working how it's supposed to work. Informing people.

Posted by: whyyousee | October 4, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for the article and posts on Ron Paul. Here in Ada county, Idaho, I have been proudly wearing my Ron Paul 2008 button for the last month. There are Ron Paul for president posters in Boise. I dont see any for any other candidate. I think Paul would carry Ada county in a primary or presidential election. Incidentally, I talked to the folks at the Ron Paul headquarters in Alexndria, and they are really nice people. Ron Paul would make a good president.

Posted by: tiktin | October 4, 2007 2:16 PM | Report abuse

The mainstream media will continue to smear Ron Paul long into his 2nd term in office as President. Why? Because they're all a bunch of FDR-worshipping communist trash, that's why. But you know what, Washington Post bozos and all the rest of you media collectivist dimwits? You know what? We The People are not gonna stop at POTUS. No. We're gonna fill the Congress with guys like Paul, and the local school boards and the state legislatures. And we're gonna keep going until we have CUT THE HEAD OFF THE COMMUNIST THREAT to our country. So shove your smear campaign up yer ass. It's not going to work.

Posted by: timattrin | October 4, 2007 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for this great article (and the great choice of picture - that's my friend there, getting that poster signed so it can be sold for money to be donated to the campaign)!

I'm glad to see the media reporting on Dr. Paul's fantastic fundraising as of late. To be a part of it, and to know that he makes the money he does through individual donations from other liberty loving people who want the government to follow the rule of law is truly heartwarming.

Like many others, I used to be able to identify as a Republican, but the Conservatism of the party has been snatched out from under us. Now, I will only vote Republican if the party nominates the Thomas Jefferson of our era, Dr. Ron Paul.

Thanks again for the article!

- Corie []

Posted by: CWhalen | October 4, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

The real story isn't just Ron Paul's success, but the fact that the mainstream media missed it until yesterday, when he announced a five-million-dollar quarter (and a one-million-dollar week to close it out.)

How about actually sending a reporter out on the campaign trail, instead of relying on random telephone surveys of people who barely know which candidates are running?

Ron Paul has been drawing the largest crowds in the Republican field. He has been winning Republican straw polls. Instead of YouTube or Facebook or MySpace comparisons, how about looking on Where people actually volunteer to go beyond the Internet and help their candidate in real life, Ron Paul has 50,000 supporters -- more than the rest of the candidates put together.

Ron Paul has the most actual supporters of any Republican candidate. So why is he treated as such a long shot?

Posted by: drd6000 | October 4, 2007 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The full-page newspaper advertisement Ron Paul is looking at in the photo is made up of tiny photographs of his grassroots supporters, and is also paid for by those supporters.

Posted by: wgadget | October 4, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

What major media totally misses is that the right-wing "Base" of the Republican Party has never been a majority and it is quickly fading away. It's always been a marginal clique that has nowhere else to go, since they represent a tiny sector of the population.
Yes, Republicans have won elections by "solidifying The Base", but only at the expense of those civil, constitutional advocates of individual liberty who constitute the preponderance of Republican voters.
Levy has it half right.
It isn't "conservatism" that's winning Ron Paul support, it's the libertarians who want both personal and financial freedom from tyrannical government.
That is and always has been the "bedrock" of the Republican party.

Posted by: westmiller | October 4, 2007 1:29 PM | Report abuse

There's nothing wrong in principle with S-CHIP or FEMA (although I FEMA's efficacy is obviously questionable of late). But there is something wrong with unchecked federal growth.

The Constitution, in the 10th Amendment, is quite clear that powers not explicitly granted the federal government by the Constitution are reserved to the states. It's easy to make something a federal power; just follow the amendment process.

The reason politicians don't like the amendment process is it would throw sunshine on the plans and require planning ahead of time. Probably if people and states had to approve the taking of their tax dollars for this project or that, there would be less waste and more oversight.

The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. Nothing dramatic here -- I don't think it's chiseled by God on stone tablets -- but to ignore it is to ignore our entire legal framework. Ron Paul is the only candidate that supports the rule of law.

Posted by: vsync | October 4, 2007 1:19 PM | Report abuse

what mainstream news media refuse to say is that members of the military prefer ron paul -- this panics the mainstreamers because it fails to jibe with their fiction that members of the military vote as conservative republicans -- but it explains why the mainstreamers keep losing ground as they fight their rearguard action

Posted by: herbert-de-turbot | October 4, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Nuts to get rid of FEMA? You either weren't watching the Katrina debacle or it is you that is nuts. The whole point of the 10th Ammendment was to keep power and control with the states and local government for exactly this reason: a giant bohemeth, out of control beuacracy, and a one size fits all approach to regional disasters, education etc does not work! Our country trails behind most 1st world countries in education, FEMA showed itself to be a huge failure and abortion and immigration policies continue to tear our nation apart. If we would give the power back to the states (like Ron Paul would advocate) to take care of these issues themselves, we would not have these problems, I assure you.

Posted by: kalonzo001 | October 4, 2007 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is not "another inflexible ideologue who will put abstract political ideals ahead of achieving real results." Tjmaness, are you implying that the Constitution is merely an abstract political ideal? If so, you forget that Constitutional principles have been "achieving real results" for 220 years!

In fact, if you look back in history, especially to the presidencies of Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush, we get into the MOST trouble when we stray from our Constitutional principles. I am using foreign policy as an example, but these principles apply just as well to domestic policies.

Ron Paul is not nuts and the Constitution is not just a piece of paper.

Posted by: peter.christopher | October 4, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Thanks TJManess for posting the only sensible comment of this story.

This is the same guy that wants to get rid of things like FEMA, because he's nuts.

Posted by: thegribbler1 | October 4, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

I myself was once a Republican supporter. But once they grew to love big government, I was turned away. That's why I couldn't vote for Bush a 2nd time. He supported massive spending increases and even signed into law the McCain Fiengold bill. What a tragedy. The Republicans can stop counting on my support. Ron Paul represents true conservatism: fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, federalism, etc.

Posted by: onwaj6 | October 4, 2007 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of whether Ron Paul wins, his campaign has been a big boost for me. It's heartwarming to see all the support he is receiving, and to know there are many others who value individual liberty.

Posted by: moab241 | October 4, 2007 12:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm a Republican - or was one - in the Goldwater tradition and actually even further in the vein of the "old right" conservatives of the first half of the 20th Century.

I voted for W. in 2000. By 2004 I went off the reservation in disgust, and voted Libertarian. With what passes for conservatism these days, it's no wonder it has a bad name. The GOP has already lost me. They have one chance to get me back, and that's by nominating Ron Paul. I am not alone in this. I know a lot of conservatives who are equally disgusted with the state of the Republican Party and feel like they have no home. Ron Paul is the only answer.

Posted by: dpmcclain | October 4, 2007 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul is probably a long, long shot as others have posted but still he makes people of both major parties feel a hope that sanity could return to American politics. Both major parties are out to lunch, a 5 martini, very long lunch and neither has a candidate that can offer more that more of same same. Hopefully Ron Paul can somehow force a change where Dean was unable because of his far left position.

Posted by: jstratt2 | October 4, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I appreciate Ron Paul's positions and candor. However, I think he's the "Snakes on a Plane" candidate.

That is - a lot of internet buzz but no box office.

Posted by: molsonmich | October 4, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Ok, you wrote that Paul has had to rely on the Internet to get attention. Well that is your fault.

If you covered him like you cover the "1st-tier" candidates, then that statment would make no sense.

Look at this Qtr. Ron Paul out raised Romney in donations. Romney raised $4 million and donated $6 million to his "war" chest.

Can't the media see the picture. Romney is trying to purchase the Whitehouse.

That would tell me that there is more ground support for Ron Paul than Romney, yet Ron Paul still gets zero airtime!

Give him the attention he deserves. Cover Ron Paul's events as you do every little cough Rudy and Romney have on the trail, then come back and tell us where the support is!

Posted by: jacastillo | October 4, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I love how over 100 million people voted for John Kerry and George W. Bush in '04, and we are the crazy ones!

Posted by: jaredtheripper | October 4, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Paul appeals to "anyone who loves freedom", eh? What about those of us who love freedom, but who think that S-CHIP was a good way to help the uninsured in this country? Ron Paul voted against expanding S-CHIP, and it's not hard to see why: he thinks that the federal government can only help people in ways explicitly enumerated in the Constitution. He's another inflexible ideologue who will put abstract political ideals ahead of achieving real results. Haven't we seen enough of that kind of thinking since January of 2001?

Posted by: tjmaness | October 4, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat with a wide Libertarian streak, I would LOVE to vote for Ron Paul in a general election. Unfortunately, I will probably have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary.

Posted by: jpslette | October 4, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Ditto, i was a registered independent, and recently switched over to a Republican just to vote in Florida's primary. I don't know why, but I get a feeling that there is way more support for Dr. Paul than many think.

Posted by: jupiterrawkstar182 | October 4, 2007 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Who does these "scientific" polls? A poll of 500 people, let's see... that's 50 to 100 dollars worth of phone calls. And then it's front page news.

Posted by: gaoxiaen | October 4, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

The problem with calling him "Howard Dean" is that Dean's message was NOT transferable between the parties. Ron Paul has a very universal message that draws hippies and military people in as supporters. His supporters are from every age and background. Howard Dean appealed to the very liberal only. Ron Paul appeals to ANYONE that LOVES their freedom!

Posted by: TruthUnderYourNose | October 4, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Because I support Ron Paul, I am now registered as a Republican for the first time in 30 years!

Posted by: srtuttle | October 4, 2007 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Many experts are now tossing around theories to explain away the uncomfortable realities that a Ron Paul campaign brings to the political establishment. Their conclusions often lead to the existence of some fringe group--disaffected Republicans, Internet dwellers, anti-war spinoffs, and so forth. This seems like overanalyzing and undervaluing what is more likely: that a growing mass of the electorate is looking for a new home. They are feeling disenfranchised by ineffective and gimmicky politicians and upset by the Two Establishment Parties that are putting elitist agendas ahead of National agendas, In addition, a growing base of Ron Paul's support comes from young/first-time voters who easily recognize pandering and insincerity from the "mainstream" candidate. These youth are attuned to their futures, and can't relish the increasing burdens that both Parties are pushing--more reliance on a welfare-warfare state.

This is why there is a lurking mass of "undetected" voters lying beneath the polling radar: independents, first-time voters, people who haven't voted in years, and so forth. And they could represent a sizable voting bloc.

Posted by: smharmon1 | October 4, 2007 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Let's take a look at some other 'polls', where virtually millions of people weigh in...not just 400-800 people over the phone...the uncensored and uncontrollable internet.

When Rudy engaged Ron Paul on May 15th. in the second debate (in South Carolina, on Fox News) Ron's numbers on the net started to spiral up. Let's take a look at the current standings from a number of different barometers, all measuring, what one could gather, some type of popularity or 'stickiness'.

First, if you look at all the online polls following all the major debates, Ron Paul won resoundingly. Ok, you say the polls were 'spammed'. If Ron didn't just raise $5M dollars from normal, everyday, folks making $5 & $100 contributions, I might buy that. These polls involved 10's of thousands of people responding. And all the other candidates have supporters too - couldn't they be doing the very same thing? Or is it that their candidates just aren't saying anything that's exciting enough to get them to even weigh in on such issues.

Two 'text message' votes by Fox News. First vote on May 15th with Ron taking a close second to Mitt Romney but firmly beating the Fox fave, Rudy G. with some 40,000 votes placed. Fox buried that right away and dismissed Ron away (see Second vote on September 5th, on Fox in NH - Paul resoundingly beats everyone with a 33% first place win; Huckabee trails with 18%, and again, the Fox Fave, Rudy G, gets 15% and Romney 12%. Fox accused Ron Paul supporters of 'redialing and redialing' to the American public, alluding that their own poll could be spammed. But that was proved wrong by more than one supporter videoing attempts to vote twice, only to get the message that 'Sorry, you've already voted'.

Current numbers for the following 'POLL' taken from Ok, let's move on to some other HUGE polling indicators on the web. YOUTUBE. YOU what? YOUTUBE. For those of you who are older, this is a medium that is absolutely huge - and the candidates are trying their very best to use it to reach the younger, more tech savvy voter. In May (again, coinciding with the Rudy-Ron fight in the second debate May 15th.) Ron's YOUTUBE subscriber-ship was just about even with Barack Obama (at around 5,800 subscribers). Today, Ron Paul is way out in front, the #1 presidential candidate of both parties, with 29,605 subscribers and 4,315,921 channel views; Barack, in second place has 11,292 subscribers and 3,564,427 channel views. Next stop, 'friends'. Again, a social networking site that appeals to lots of younger voters. Ron Paul is 3rd. behind Barack and Hillary, with 66,478 friends, but is #1 out of the republicans with second place in the GOP going to McCain with 39,148 friends., another social networking site has Ron Paul 3rd., again behind Obama, and Clinton, but leading the GOP pack., an Experian (credit) company, tracks online traffic to 1 million websites, using a traffic sample of 10 million internet users (just a tad more than the 400-800 phone respondents that answer the traditional bought-and-paid for media polls - many of which STILL do not even include Ron Paul's name - yes...that's right...they leave him off the poll!) Web traffic breaks out like this: Obama, 17.38%; Clinton, 15.73%; Ron Paul,13.66%; Thompson, 12.13%; and the rest of the GOP pack pull in less than 6% each. Ron Paul is the top GOP site with 29.52%; 2nd. place is Thompson with 26.21%. In the 'Top 10 Presidential Candidate 2008 Search Terms' category, Ron Paul is both #1 and #10 (he's on the list twice).

Some other interesting facts. Ron Paul edges out all the other candidate on Ebay with more stuff being sold to support his campaign than any other candidate. Ron Paul is the #1 candidate on Wikepedia. Ron Paul is the most popular search term on Google over all the other candidates (with the least amount of mainstream coverage). Ron Paul has ranked in the top 10 (and for most of the past five months - the top 5) of the most-discussed terms in the blogosphere per

And both active and retired military personnel, last fundraising quarter, spammed Ron Paul with more dollar contributions that ANY other candidate (10x more than Mitt Romney). I say all that to say this - one can only shake their head and wonder why the tabloid (formerly mainstream) media is NOT telling the American people what Ron Paul really stands for. So, that's what the internet is for folks - do your homework carefully - all the info is right here under your noses. Go to;; www.FreeMe.TV; www.Justin.TV;;; or just Google Ron Paul. Register REPUBLICAN to vote for Ron Paul in the primaries. Tell all your friends, neighbors, co-workers...tell the world. Put a bumper sticker on your car. Get some slim Jims. Join your local group for Ron Paul (he's got some 50,000 volunteers (958 groups in 772 cities, in 22 countries).

Posted by: MIForRonPaulcom | October 4, 2007 10:59 AM | Report abuse

If you really must compare Ron Paul to anyone, I like the comparison that Andrew Napolitano, former judge and current Fox News Analyst, made at a recent freedom conference where he was a guest speaker. His comparison of Ron Paul to being the Thomas Jefferson of our day is right on the money. Ron Paul appeals to Americans who want take this beast of a federal government (over-grown and over-extending)and stuff it back into the box. Getting rid of the department of education doesn't mean he wants to get rid of education. He simply wants to return the power to the states to determine their own guidelines in education. One can certainly argue that are students are no smarter today, than 25 years ago - in fact, they are dumber. So why should we be blowing billions down that drain? Wake up America - read the articles on the other candidates - do you see these types of responses? Why not? You should. Ron Paul evokes passion - the same type of passion that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Paul Revere, and Benjamin Frankin evoked in their day.;; www.FreeMe.TV;

Posted by: MIForRonPaulcom | October 4, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I believe there is one thing that all can agree on- freedom and a retun to the constitution. I don't see that happening from any other candidate.

This political system is a "divide and conquer" system, where all the little issues seem to override our ability to solve the big issues. Then the media steps in and confuses everything.

I say lets get out from under the thumb of massive corruption and Federal Reserve fraud, then we can hash out the little details later in a more positive environmment.

Ron Paul's an Awesome start. I am excited for our futures, like never before.

Posted by: bohemianowl | October 4, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm, lot's of comments, and not one "pimply-faced geek" among them. These are the comments of serious, mature people, and (with an occasional reservation) 100% for Dr. Paul. I think something's happening here. I myself (60 years old) am ecstatic about having a shot at a REAL statesman for President.
I live offshore, and as a non-resident of the U.S. cannot vote, but I DO vote with my $$$. And actually, THAT vote counts a lot more than the ballot box kind. Good Luck to us.

Posted by: islandflyer | October 4, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It is critical if you want to vote for Dr. Paul in the primaries that you register Republican now! Many states are changing the rules and you have to register by October 12, 2007. The special interests are doing everything they can to insure that they have their candidate on the Republican and Democratic ticket and don't want Ron Paul to change the policies so that they are for the people. Register now!!

Posted by: crldrummer | October 4, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

bucinka8, I don't doubt that there are millions of individuals that relate their worldview to libertarian values. That said, within the Republican Party, the so called libertarian-Republican, is not a growing entity in that party. Ron Paul's candidacy does not represent the Republican wing of the Republican Party. It is a small faction of that party, but it speaks to a larger group outside of the Republican Party.

Will the Republican Party embrace Ron Paul? Maybe. That would be a good thing for the most part. It would probably take a defeat the size of '64, and then some, it just doesn't seem in the realm until Republicans give up on the fiasco in Iraq. In finding a fit for his movement, Ron Paul is better suited running in the Libertarian Party than the Republican Party, but that would consign a couple of plurality parties to the dominant Democratic Party-- at least in the short term, because if the Dems do take full control, and are not out of Iraq by 2010, I expect we'll see our own revolution.

Posted by: jeromearmstrong | October 4, 2007 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Yes. He attracts democrats who would not vote for clinton.

Posted by: tabita | October 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Sorry - Dr. Paul is no Howard Dean.
Dr. Paul is the only candidate that has read and actually understands the Constitution of the United States. He is going to surpise the country during the next few months as everyday people hear his story and find out about his positions on major issues.
Dr. Paul, when are you coming to Indianapolis? The northside of Indy has a huge population of Republicans that need to hear your message!

Posted by: chrislitzsinger | October 4, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Even the comparison with Dean and Perot is really a put-down. Paul has more substance than both combined. He is, by any traditional measure, a real candidate with real support and a real chance. As a former Republican who refuses to vote for the party of massive deficit spending and centralized federal control over everything (yes, that is the Republicans, and it has been for a long time), I find Paul to be the only candidate in the field to whom I could give my unconflicted vote. I would bet a great many of independents and cross-over voters of both parties feel the same way.

Far more than Dean, what Paul represents is a real change in the status quo. Our media outlets are thoroughly invested in the status quo. Their complicity can best be seen by their lack of shame and alarm over the fact that 1/3 of Americans still think Saddam and the Iraquis were behind 9/11, the only idiots to whom claims can possibly be pitched that we are "fighting them there so that we do not have to fight them here."

Paul is simply right about everything. If you let that kind of stuff get out, people tend to like it. The only way he can be stopped is by keeping people from knowing about him, or thinking of him as a Dean or Perot type - a bit of a crack-pot. Instead, his sin is being far more sane and rational than most. Dangerous stuff in these times of illusion.

Posted by: dkaa4 | October 4, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Find out what candidate supports your policy positions:

The quiz is only 11 questions, but very helpful in determining which candidate you match up with most, in terms of policies for this country.

Posted by: dave.sommers | October 4, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Definitely, we need to take the Republican party back to Goldwater/Reagan traditional conservatism.


We want our party back from disguised lefties called neo-cons!

Posted by: iaoki | October 4, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul's message is more powerful than the rhetoric of the front runners of both the Democrat and Republican parties. People want to hear more about him and since the media has censored him the internet is the only source with ample information about him. I am Conservative Republican and finally have been given a real choice for representation. While Dr. Paul is not the polished politician, he is a statesman and a true Conservative Republican.

Posted by: mescaj901 | October 4, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

This article and others about Ron Paul really show how media has changed now that the "gatekeepers" of information, i.e., the mainstream media, are no longer in control. Ron Paul has mountains of supporters organizing and informing themselves without much notice by the MSM (unless it's to call them crazies, or otherwise marginalize them), and yet every article I see in the Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or anywhere else, makes sure make clear that Ron Paul's support is small, fleeting, or otherwise insignificant to the Presidential race.

Incredibly, the mainstream media then responds to charges of bias by claiming that they are only covering what their readers want. That's odd, because many of their readers, such as the commenters here, are clamouring for more coverage of Ron Paul.

So the question becomes, are the requests of readers who want coverage of Ron Paul merely worth less than everyone else's? Or is that just an excuse from reporters and editors who don't like the fact that people are no longer relying on them to guide their political information?

Posted by: foreoki12 | October 4, 2007 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The old media's reticence to cover John Dean cannot be compared to their reticence to cover Ron Paul. Indeed, that is precisely why it is dangerous to predict what is going to happen with Ron Paul based on what happened with Dean. The article is misleading and could have been corrected with just a modicum of research since the Washington Post editors certainly have access to the Lexus/Nexus search engines containing all the old media's reports on both Dean and now Paul.

For a quick quantitative view of how the discrepancy between online interest and mainstream interest regarding Paul, see:

Compare the frequency of searches for various candidates to the frequency of their names appearing in the old media news stories.

Posted by: jabowery | October 4, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't think it could have been said any better. I am a republican who is giving my support to Dr. Paul. I am fed up with congress and our president. Democrat or Republican it doesn't matter they are all beholden to special interest. It is time to clean house and restore power back to the people

Posted by: drjohn | October 4, 2007 8:26 AM | Report abuse

The media tried to hold back Howard Dean when he was rising and then broke him when he was a frontrunner after a vigorous speech. Now they are denying Paul's inspiration but slowly acknowledging his momentum. It will be interesting to watch the media as Paul becomes better known through the long campaign.

The people need an honorable leader like Dr. Paul and not the usual slick politicians who lie and promote failed methods and thinking.

Posted by: thoughts | October 4, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

The last few paragraphs of the article do a disservice to the libertarian movement. Ron Paul is a Republican in label only. His political approach and philosophy are pure libertarian, which exists apart from the GOP. Libertarianism is not just a "small voice within the GOP," it is a full-fledged party and movement in and of itself. I can't help but think the editors of this article wordsmithed it to make it sound like this on purpose.

Posted by: bucinka8 | October 4, 2007 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for this article. It isn't just the Ron Paul has gotten less coverage in the mainstream news - in fact, they have on many occasions deliberately suppressed it. I can prove this, and so can many other folks. Here's one example of the AP leaving Ron Paul out of coverage (see here:,
ABC News has left Ron Paul out of Polls, as has outlets like MSNBC. In each case the other so-called "Second Tier" candidates are included except for Paul. It's also known the "Phone Polls" leave Ron Paul out as a choice (then the media reports he's low in the polls!) I hope people will seriously consider Ron Paul's campaign: he is a serious, honorable man standing on principle who will *not* be just another candidate. He will bring real, meaningful change.

Posted by: wsc321 | October 4, 2007 7:11 AM | Report abuse

This analysis seems particularly accurate in highlighting the discontent with the current Republican party and its associated abandonment of its major economic position of fiscal responsibility. So many in the MSM write about all the independents and Democrats crossing over for Dr. Paul, but people like me -- i.e., disgruntled Republicans who favor limited government -- play a large role in Ron Paul's popularity. His growing campaign is not merely peopled with pimply-faced basement dwellers soaking off Mom and Dad because it's cool to be against the war. True conservatives (and the Republican party in general, historically) have been against sending our troops overseas to play policeman of the world. Conservatives crave a return to the Goldwater/Reagan legacy that is still very much alive, despite G.W. Bush's attempts to thwart it with cries for amnesty and "compassionate 'conservatism.'" I want my party back, and so do many other Republicans.

Posted by: colleenryor | October 4, 2007 7:01 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company