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Ron Paul's Candidacy May Transform the GOP


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Guest Night Phantom

Ron Paul's candidacy may transform the GOP

 

 

By MATT TOWERY, The Times-Union

 

As we continue to poll and observe the various states involved in the early caucus/primary battles for the Republican presidential nomination, one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me.

 

While Ron Paul may lag behind most of his GOP competitors in the polls, the intensity of devotion from his supporters makes his candidacy deserving of more attention than it's gotten to date.

 

His sometimes-quirky mannerisms and oddball demeanor fly in the face of what most Republicans traditionally look for in their presidential nominees.

 

And his comments startle many for their bluntness and contrariness to long-running establishment GOP thinking.

 

That's exactly why Paul could have an unexpected impact not only on the Republican nomination process, but also on the November general election, as well.

 

Consider that over 600 people turned out for a rally for Paul in Reno, Nevada, recently. The media described the crowd as a mixed group that included many college students.

 

That's another indicator of the potential impact of the Paul campaign. I recall in 1980 when establishment Republicans and conservatives were backing George H.W. Bush, John Connally or Howard Baker for president.

 

But on college campuses, the birth of the modern college Republican movement was feeding off of the support of frustrated college students for the maverick in the race, Ronald Reagan.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am not predicting Paul will pull a Reagan and somehow beat the GOP's establishment contenders.

 

I will suggest that Paul may fatally damage several potential candidates, and perhaps the entire Republican Party, if he breaks away and runs as a legitimate third-party candidate after Tsunami Tuesday's primaries in early February.

 

Paul blends a unique mixture of cynicism over the health of the economy, loud opposition to the erosion of civil liberties, plus a stand as the only GOP candidate who's opposed to the war in Iraq.

 

Those issues unite a seemingly disparate group of voters who collectively feel that 20 years of the presidency being shared between two families - the Clintons and Bushes - is more than enough.

 

Paul could be deadly to someone like conservative Mike Huckabee, who is steadily rising in many polls but can't be assured of the devoted turnout of his supporters, as Paul almost surely can.

 

Paul's words have also taken away some of the ink that should have gone to Fred Thompson, who entered the race as the supposed "I'll say anything and throw caution to the wind" candidate, but whose measured and often boring campaign speeches have consistently fallen short of their billing.

 

Unlike many GOP candidates, Paul has little or nothing charitable to say about the president. And with new revelations coming from Bush's own press secretary about "who knew what when" in the CIA leak scandal, Paul's distance seems all the wiser.

 

It's possible that Paul fare better than expected Wednesday in the much-awaited CNN/YouTube debate in St. Petersburg. Paul is often quicker and less plastic than his counterparts, and could do well in such a format.

 

Paul could seriously damage the Republican establishment his followers so despise.

 

By running as a third-party candidate in critical red states, where the vote may turn on just a small percent, Paul could block any hope of a GOP victory.

 

That would likely mean a Hillary Clinton presidency. But it might also mean a true remake of the Republican Party.

 

The abandonment of the get-along, go-along Republican Party is something that many would like to see.

 

Times-Union columnist Matt Towery can be e-mailed: [email protected].

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Ron Paul as a third party candidate could possibly have an effect on some states. There are no positives here for the GOP.

Well, it would probably help the Democrats, the same way a third party evangelical candidate would.

 

At least he has the guts to be the only person opposing the occupation of Iraq on the Republican stage.

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Ron Paul as a third party candidate could possibly have an effect on some states. There are no positives here for the GOP.

Well, it would probably help the Democrats, the same way a third party evangelical candidate would.

 

At least he has the guts to be the only person opposing the occupation of Iraq on the Republican stage.

He would take votes from both sides IMO. If people believe he can win and are against the war, they will choose him over Hillary.

 

If the GOP is looking for positives they should try welcoming in all the folks registering Republican to support Dr. Paul, insteading of attacking them as liberals masquerading as conservatives and insisting that there is something conservative about pre-emtive undeclared wars that lead to massive deficit spending and huge profits for the war profiteers and the domestic oil cartel.

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Look, I'm a conservative Republican and I find Paul downright terrifying. That people can actually identify with him makes me question if they've even come to understand his proposals.

 

He wants to completely withdraw from the U.N. He wants to do away with income tax and instead fund the government solely on excise taxes (which of course will lead to further outsourcing) and he vehemently opposes the creation of new money for the money supply.

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Guest CrimsonCane

It reeks of pretentiousness when you call him Dr. Paul.

 

a phd earns you that title

And winning a senatorial election earns you the title of Senator, but you don't see people solely referring to their candidate of choice as Senator McCain or Senator Obama. (They're simply referred to as John McCain and Barack Obama, unless being directly addressed in an interview or something) Honestly, calling him Dr. Paul makes him sound like a cult leader.

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It reeks of pretentiousness when you call him Dr. Paul.

 

a phd earns you that title

And winning a senatorial election earns you the title of Senator, but you don't see people solely referring to their candidate of choice as Senator McCain or Senator Obama. (They're simply referred to as John McCain and Barack Obama, unless being directly addressed in an interview or something) Honestly, calling him Dr. Paul makes him sound like a cult leader.

 

This.

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