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Ron Paul's big chance for a modest splash

This could be a big weekend for Rep. Ron Paul's longshot but determined campaign to acquire some Republican delegates in the race for his party's presidential nomination.

The 72-year-old, 10-term Texas congressman has been largely dissed and dismissed by party politicians and the media in this lengthening primary race. But his loyal followers have been more than generous in recent weeks, donating nearly $20 million in the last three months of 2007 to make him the most successful GOP fundraiser then and the only one to increase his donations every quarter last year.

According to Paul's website, supporters have given an additional $5 million-plus since Jan. 1.

On Friday, Republicans started three days of caucusing in Maine, a largely ...

rural state where Paul's brand of independence and smaller government might well fit. He's got several hundred volunteers working the caucuses with the same kind of determination and imagination that drove Paul to a distant second-place finish behind Mitt Romney in Nevada's caucuses last month.

Paul is using his funds judiciously, traveling around the country and speaking largely under the major media's radar. He did well in the Louisiana caucuses and even beat out Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson elsewhere, though he finished dead last in the Florida primary.

Earlier this week Paul campaigned in Washington state, speaking to a sizable crowd of enthusiastic students in Seattle about the economy and a possible recession. "The most important thing you can do is nothing," said the onetime Libertarian candidate for president, who recently voted against the $146-billion economic stimulus package.

Paul holds that the market should be allowed to correct itself while a restrained and reduced federal government stops trying to protect millions from the economic consequences of their bad decisions.

Paul was the only Republican candidate to actually visit Maine, a fact that could go over well with locals. The nonbinding caucuses are the first step toward picking 18 Maine delegates who'll travel to the national convention in St. Paul in August.

A win in Maine on a slow news weekend as the only presidential preference voting underway just before Super Tuesday could garner Paul priceless free publicity.

Paul's message of strict constitutionalism has attracted an eclectic crowd of disaffected Democrats and Republicans and libertarians who've formed more than 1,400 meet-up groups across the country. They see their freedoms threatened by such legislation as the Patriot Act and want to bring the troops home from abroad and spend the money on domestic priorities.

Although Paul typically gets the least speaking time during GOP debates, if he isn't barred from participating altogether, he makes the most of his time. He drew numerous positive reviews after the recent Republican debate at the Reagan Library when he said it made no sense to bomb bridges in other countries, only to rebuild them with American taxpayers' money, while the bridges at home are falling down.

"The Constitution was written for one specific purpose," Paul recently told a Seattle crowd, "and that was to restrain government, not to restrain the people."

-- Andrew Malcolm

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More downplay by the LA Times.

I wonder why their website traffic has been on a downhill slide for the past two years? Are there any rocket scientists out there? Some help with this one please!

Ron Paul's message must be spread.

"restrain the government... not the people"

Tell me the truth Andrew Malcolm, do you write these articles because you know RP supporters will come to your site and increase readership? Because I learned nothing from this article that I haven't read elsewhere, and there was no insight in the entire thing. Actually, there was some insight, but it was totally wrong. Define "modest". See if modest means maybe winning one primary out of all fifty, then RP can get a modest victory. or maybe it means having your best showing being second place.

You did forget to mention that a survey was taken in New Hampshire that showed that 63% of Republicans actually dislike RP. Not just don't prefer, but dislike. But you don't need to mention that, because you want to seem hip, and jump on this band wagon. I mean, why mention that Ron Paul can barely connect with his party? That wouldn't be a story.

I've read the LA Times since I was a kid. But this kind of awesome journalism is the reason your paper is no longer relevant to me. Hurray Sensationalism!

(Ron Paul supporters are a small minority of our thousands of daily visitors, albeit a very welcome bunch. Not everyone reads everything online about the good doctor, as you obviously do. We endeavor to tell good stories and Dr. Paul and his hardy band of supporters is one of the best stories in this election cycle. Thanks for coming here and taking time to leave a comment.)

More time in the debate woud've been nice,
but thanks anyway L.A. Times.

Intelligent people without bias vote for Ron Paul.

If your not voting and/or/donating/canvassing, you probably don't get it...

Wake up sheeple!

I hope he does well. I saw him in Denver yesterday (2/1) and nearly 3000 peopel showed up. The local radio news (I stopped watching TV news pretty much) reported about Romney's visit today and his "thousands of supporters", and it reported about Obama's and President Bush's visit here yesterday but not one word of Dr. Pauls visit much less it being his 51sy weding anniversary. They (media) can't even be civil to the man.

(Well, you could read about it here.)

Is Andrew Malcolm the only non-biased journalist left in the US?

Strange times indeed!

Swiss Friends of Ron Paul


I mean... I dont think you downplayed Ron Paul. I think you've been the most fair journalist out of every major news center even when you've been tongue and cheek, which i'm glad you didn't do here.

I can't figure you out sometimes Andrew.

I almost think you want to believe!

Thanks for the mention, Mr. Malcolm. Nice to see the MSM black-out is not total. It's so funny to watch people clamoring for the next "true conservative" and he's hiding in plain sight. In fact, he's one of the four republican candidates. It is said that President Reagan was able to unite the three "types" of conservatives: social, economic and defense. He did, and rode landslides into the whitehouse. Today, we have a social conservative, Huckabee, an economic conservative, Romney and a defense conservative, McCain. Yet, Dr. Ron Paul embodies all three types of conservatism. Reagan not only endorsed him, he campained for Dr. Paul. He would strengthen our military by ending global interventionism and defending our own borders. Paul would drasticly reduce the size of government and end the income tax. He's a strong Pro-Life, OB-GYN who knows what he's talking about and says the federal gov't has no business banning abortion. It's a issue for each state to determine. It will be intersting to see who the first "Main stream" person is who, finally, has the light bulb go on! Then to watch as they scramble over each other to "investigate" this "hidden" story of freedom emerging. Imagine, a real, peaceful resoration of the Constitiution and the Founding Principals of our country.

I'm shocked and at the same time pleased with the LA Times doing the unexpected and what major media has been incapable and brazenly unwilling to do - reporting the unbiased facts. Mr. Malcolm you are brave and I salute you.

I'd implore readers to ask themselves why in the world they would cast a vote for McHillary, ORomney or any of the corrupt establishment elites presented for our consumption by the major media. These are the same people and ideas who have delivered us to this sorry state we find our nation in today. One need look no further than their own life or wallet. It isn't about liberal, conservative, Dem, Rep - its about freedom folks and it's under a coordinated attack. Everything in not okay.

"The Constitution was written to restrain government, not to restrain the people."

It doesn't get any better than that. Think about it, please.

Thank you again.


Thank you for your continuing effort to at least be more positive and cover Dr. Paul and the many things that have been happening from the ground up through his supporters grassroot efforts. There is indeed quite story here in many ways.

Maybe some people do not support some of his views--however I would argue that if you look at what is really going on anyone should be excited and impressed. On average his contributions come from 'regular America' in small amounts from thousands and thousands of people everywhere. (Including foreign countries) He is consistently getting donations from new donors daily.
I do not think the same can be said of ANY of the other candidates from either party.

He has inspired many people who have given up on the political 'process' years ago a new life--as some say "the message has cured the apathy." And for others in the younger age brackets he has given them hope to be involved and make a difference.

Many people are not aware enough of about what the Constitution stands for and why it exists in the first place--and just how far we have strayed from it. If nothing else even a person vehemently opposed to Paul should respect him for his wealth of knowledge and clear attempts to educate the voter when alll his colleagues want to do is subvert attention elsewhere like a matador with his cape.

"I mean, why mention that Ron Paul can barely connect with his party? That wouldn't be a story."

Here's a story - the 'Republican party' is disconnected with Ron Paul and its own stated principles. Do some research, what passes for the GOP is disgraceful - it's been hijacked by globalists, just like the DNC. Same thing.

This was an unbiased and fair article reporting facts. Ron Paul supporters don't want special treatment, just fair treatment. If another candidate beats Ron fair and square, so be it, but Main Stream Media has unfortunately shown itself to be HIGHLY biased over the last few months. In some cases they just ignore Ron Paul. In many other cases they outright ridicule and dismiss him. This is usually because he actually makes sense and it is very difficult to debate him on the actual issues. You'll notice that when (or if) he does get to speak, they tend to just let him say his piece and move on. No one is foolish enough to attempt to debate him on economic issues. To many voters, his economic and fiscal policies are really just common sense and a grassroots army is forming not just to back Ron Paul, but to back his message.

I've searched around the Internet to find more information on Ron Paul. My fiancee sent me this link today that explains many of the theories behind why people should vote for him. I sent it to some co-workers and after reading it, they were converted. If anyone is interested, you can find it here.

Why is Ryan so harsh on Andrew?

As a student journalist it is clear that what I have learned in school, might be real journalism... but there really isn't a market for that triva. We need focus on advertising a big lights and big sounds. Awww General Mortors you have ad time awwwwwww you don't like Ron Paul.... k we won't play that story... you like McCain... we'll go cover some of his speechs.

why don't you go back and see what Ron Paul said about Iraq before the war.
Whats he has been saying for 30 years... that our goverment is out of control.
Bush has enacted 1100 excutive orders overriding the senate.
That is news

Nice to see a real paper cover Ron Paul, but the man has done so much..

hey ryan,

where did you get that polling information? I haven't seen it anywhere but in your blog entry. What's with the personal attack against the writer of this article? My advise to you would be to get your head out of the sand & say something of substance rather than using petty, personal attacks to get a NON-POINT accross. All you're doing is showing yourself to be a deluded, arrogant, uneducated, defender of the status quo.

The way I understand it, the job of a newspaper is to dessiminate information.

If, in your opinion, this story is not worth the paper its printed on, you could do better by taking your rant elsewhere.

Thank you so much, Andrew, for doing your job!

Thanks Andrew. As we get closer to the big showdown Tuesday, one has to wonder if Dr. Paul enjoys even a modicum of success, it will truly be in spite of the MSM. What could have been if the discussion had included the Paul platform? Or more interestingly, why they are so opposed to it? There is an unavoidable truth to much of what he talks about and it's almost laughable at how quickly the media and his opponents change the subject. Isn't that in and of itself, news?

LA Times I must commend you for being brave enough to report on the truth. I dont know if you understand the grand scope of this topic but I thank you for at least trying (no disrespetc intended). I feel that reporters of today dont have the true freedom of speech that they should have. I feel that there is more than one reporter that would love to report what is happening here but the need for a paycheck, cencorship from managment, and fear of having to find look for a new career is holding them back. I t is a shame that we dont have the freedom to report for fear of loosing a paycheck. Please keep up the reporting on this for you wont be sorry in the long run.GO RON PAUL.
H.C. Ashley.

@ Scott

If you've learned nothing from this article then I guess you're a know-all.

Ron Paul is much more than your perception has allowed. Ron Paul has reached the hearts and minds of millions across the globe. You see, here in the rest of the world we find American aggression to be very distasteful. Frankly we've had enough of it and it's about time something good came out of America.

It is the war that's bothering you, Scott, isn't it? You want to fight wars against muslims and arabs and what-not... but it's not like you and your neo-con friends sees it. The real world is different.

Most republicans don't like Paul because no one likes to have all their mistakes pointed out to them at their own events. It is a beautiful thing to watch. The talk is that we Ron Paul Republicans are not leaving the party, but we are going to take it over and change it back to the way it should be. If they think a defeat in the primary will put an end to us, they are mistaken. We're in it for the long haul. We know a third party has no chance. They can form a neoconservative third party as far as I'm concerned.

this is becoming a lonely little corner of comfort. let's get fired up. i want to hear the story about how you walked into the editor's office and demanded that the chains that keep you beholden to the military/industrial complex be severed. something like that. you know you wanna. . .

Individual liberty, obeying the Constitution, non-interventionism abroad--the bedrock on which our country was founded, and all non-mainstream stuff now. It takes awhile to get the word out and get people to hear it. Paul is doing a remarkable job, and at 72 he is quite an energetic guy.

When I read about the unconstitutional powers that the President has arrogated to himself, or the lunacy of the feds' trying to spend our way out of recession with money they don't have, or some candidates' plans to take us the rest of the way to socialized medicine, it's all very discouraging. Ron Paul inspires hope.

Ron Paul would need Clint Eastwood endorsement

Thank you for reporting on Ron Paul. When I'm searching for coverage on his campaign, your articles are the few (often only) ones that are there. When did it become poor journalism to report on the more "controversial" candidate? Sadly, the principles upon which our country was founded are now controversial in elite political circles, even in the Republican party! Principled journalists do give equal and fair time to the candidates so that the people can make informed decisions. Has our country forgotten how it became the greatest beacon of freedom and hope in history?

This may be a good month for Ron Paul. Google Mercury retrograde.

"So shines a good deed in a weary world." Andrew, I love you for telling the truth about some of Ron Paul's successes. In today's stifling media climate, where it's hard to believe the press really does have freedom, since they act like their mouths are taped so often, you are the big exception to the rule. No wonder you were a Pulitzer finalist.

Praying for a Ron Paul victory in Maine...

Hey, this is a fair and balanced news piece... I'm surprised. Thanks Andrew!

Read this interview with Ronald Reagan from the 1970s and you'll see Ron Paul and Mr. Reagan aren't so far apart in their views:

The only difference is, Paul is a lot more forthright and willing to break political rules (as compared to Reagan). I guess that's part of the reason he hasn't been doing well in the primaries so far.

Is this the LA times that attached its name to the Romney- McCain dog and pony show? If you ever let Dr.Paul have equal time in a debate he will win in a landslide.
You should be ashamed (oops that requires a conscience}.

(Uh, no not that I know of. This blog doesn't run debates, except internally here in the comments section, and we're not the Editorial Board endorsing this or that candidate. But we do try to be equal opportunity offenders. So at some point all sides hate us--and at another point they love us. That's fine. We can all have an interesting dailogue here about this fascinating political year. Thanks for reading.)

Clint Eastwood should now endorse Ron Paul

Scott wrote, "Why mention that Ron Paul can barely connect with his party?"

Tell me, which of the Republican candidates IS really connecting with their party? The answer is: None.

Ann Coulter herself said that she will vote for and even CAMPAIGN for Hillary Clinton if John McCain gets the Republican nomination, because, as she says, "Hillary is more conservative, lies less, and is smarter." Half the Republicans I've talked to have serious misgivings about McCain, who is very tight with Democrats and votes as if he is one very often. HE does not connect with his party. He appeals mostly to people who are too lazy or inept to research who they're voting for.

How about Romney? Not only have a full one quarter of Republicans said they don't want to vote for a Mormon (give them credit for their honesty at least), but his flip-flopping on the crucial abortion issue leaves the sizable pro-life faction wary of him, and the healthcare plan he imposed on Massachusetts is a giant step toward socialism that Republican voters like me see as a deal-breaker.

Tax-Hike Mike Huckabee doesn't connect with most of the Republicans either, or he'd be doing better in the primaries. His appeal to Christians won him votes in Iowa but cost him in the long run.

None of the candidates is connecting with the whole Republican party, which is never a unified entity, anyway. The party is in shambles this election cycle and pretending otherwise is a show of ignorance.

Put this article in the written print of the LATs, front page with a picture of the man. That would help our cause. We are all sacrificing out here my dear friend. You in the media, from the bottom up, must do like the rest of us trying to save our country from economic disaster and out of control government. Working against us is not helping. If you understand math then you understand that regardless of what the media does the message that Ron Paul is verbalizing is going to spread exponentially. I would think being remembered for reporting THAT event in history would be motivation enough.

To Ryan; Ryan, you must remember that the Presidednt and his staff took us to war and almost 4,000 Americans have died in ordere to make profits for the firiends of he President. Arguments such as "stay until it is safe to leave' just means hang in there to make more money.

Keeping fingers crossed. I'm house hunting within 60 miles of New York City majority of yard signs I've seen (outside of "for sale" signs) are for Mr. Ron Paul. Don't see signs for Clinton thankfully.

This is a pretty neutral article, just basic information, I'm not sure why or how it would upset anybody.

I think the changes in the Republican party over the last 25 years, and fact that Paul isn't really connecting with the mainstream Republican party, is itself an interesting story.

They wouldn't vote for an electable candidate : John Edwards but they might vote for a radical such as Ron Paul in defiance of the face of the corrupt 2 party system. This man is a walking Joke and is about as much Presidential timbre as Pat Paulson was back in the 60's. Keep sending him your hard earned cash. He'll need it to sustain the Spartan lifestyle he's chosen.

Andrew Malcolm for Ron Paul Press Secretary!

Thanks for reporting on RP, keep up the good work!
Go RON 2008!!!!

Thank you LA Times for mentioning Ron Paul.

I am disgusted with how CNN moderated the most recent Republican Debate. It wreaked of the communist censorship we Americans have fought so hard against.

Instead of hearing all 4 candidates answer questions, the silly bickering between two lying candidates encompass the entire debate. I think that CNN’s TV ratings had more to do with this debate and shame on CNN for exploiting the process of electing our next President.

On a side note:
If McCain is elected, we will hear him say “Radical Islamic Extremist” at least 30 billion times (the US dollars given to Pakistan to protect the Radical Islamic Extremist).

What has happen to America? Have we lost our minds and our freedom?

We love the LA Times. It is now one of my links to check for the morning news. I would like to suggest to Mr. Malcolm that the Times might want to investigate what is going on in Hawaii. Someone from there mentioned on yesterday that after Dr. Paul had secured a large amount of people certified to be delegates, compared to the other candidates, the locals changed the rules and extended the deadline. It sounds like another Louisiana. He writes: 'Here in Hawaii we've been doing very well with Ron Paul delegates. Now the GOP is changing the rules and allowing people to continue to sign up as republicans after the caucuses and still attend the convention.'

ron rocks... whoever typed that long and exhausted page long criticism of Andrew Malcolm should get a life... RON ROCKS AND THE MEDIA SHOULD REPORT IT!!

With less than 10% of the primaries, if Ron Paul does win Maine, it'll just be much ignored by the Media going into Super Tuesday. It simply would be a non-event, broadcast softly, so no one hears, with all the wrong adjectives, and none of the hype. It would be portrayed as a loss, a bone, just like the fourth quarter campaign contributions report. Or, all the grass polls last year. Or, Rudy admitting Ron Paul won all the Republican Debates. The ignorant will remain ignorant.

And your little LA Times blog can go merrily along bashing the only candidate who would truely change out Country for the better. Eliminate the bubble and burst economy. Change foreign policy to make us a more peaceful country, less likely to be the target of enraged people half way around the world. Bring us back to the "Rule of Law", the a Constitutional form of government.

Yes, LA Times blog, you can feel all warm and fuzzy about being right all along, as the coming high inflation devalues your money, increases your reported profits (profits due to inflation) that you'll pay taxes on. Right that attacking another Democracy, Iran, was the right thing to do. Democracy for some, Dictators for others, oil for all, as the Globe slowly cooks.

Yes, LA Times blog, you have done the right thing, haven't you.

Andrew —

Judging by reactions, many readers have misinterpreted the tone of your recent articles. When I read your articles, I see a commitment to good journalism, frustrated bemusement about an honest man (Dr. Paul) who is not getting his due, and a subtle sense of humor about the race.

As I've written before, I live in New Jersey — New York Times territory — where, until recently there has been a press blackout toward Dr. Paul. NYT coverage about him is, at best, deliberately denigrating.

Throughout these past few months, you have provided an invaluable service to us, as a MSM outlet who openly acknowledges Dr. Paul's candidacy, and who keeps him visible for the newbies to learn more about.

Thank you, sincerely, for your journalism.

I believe the ugly tone to some of the recent comments is due to pent up rage and frustration because Dr. Paul does not seem to be treated fairly. I know NPR (National Public Radio) did not get money from me during their recent membership drive, due to biased reporting. We all want him to do well, because his message is important to our country at this time. We want to "protect" him.

Readers — I urge us to channel our strong feelings in a productive direction. Attacking Andrew has no positive consequences. Be patient, read through his past articles, and take a deep relaxing breath.

Then go door to door in your neighborhood and spread Dr. Paul's message of hope with a handshake and a smile.


I appreciate the very fair articles that have recently been published here. Too bad it's just a blog and not in your actual newspaper. RP and this campaign have to take what we can get because of the media blackout and smearing of this good man's name and message. I think if he wins Maine the media will still give it very marginal coverage, if at all. Look at our showings in LA and NV, the record setting campaign donation money, the fixed debates, etc..

We are getting the word out, slowly but surely. It is SO IMPORTANT to get out and canvass. Ron Paul is spending his golden years out here fighting for us and fighting the biggest fight of his political career! How can we supporters do any less? It's our civil duty! RP knows he's having to come in under the radar, yet he keeps at it, day in and day out. Ya gotta work with what you've got! Let's keep hope that Main will get us some coverage and validity, but the fight is NOT over if it does not. We have a long fight ahead of all of us, keep your resolve to do the right thing! WE are making history here, keep it up. You really have no other choice for another candidate now. My vote is my small voice, but it is MINE and it will be heard! Thanks for the article LA Times!

The only way we can lose is to forget that we are winning!

Good to spread info to the general public. How could anyone resent this???? Should have happened long ago. Unfortunately at this point in the camapign it's beyond messages... It's who's supporting whom, what sound bite plays best, who has the most money to plaster over the media, and who doesn't trip. Glad to have this reporting, but sad that it didn't happen earlier. The up side is that many seeds have been planted and will grow. The message will become louder and more "mainstream." Already some of the candidates are using some of the concepts Paul has been carrying. Thanks Andrew for opening up the view.

Down Scott Down.



I'll ask it again and again until some Paul's supporter answers me: why all this tremendous online support simply doesn't translate into votes?
Media censorship? Well, it may be, but should you care? aren't we in a new wonderful age of social networking and new media and free debate in which tv and newspapers are simply obsolete and irrilevant?
Unless there's some very big surprise on Tuesday this much is clear: all this enormous online support must be from people who doesn't vote or shout so much they seem much more than they really are-
Just like Howard Dean four years ago: what happens on the Internet stay on the Internet

More Blah blah from the media. The fact is that the GOP is dead in this race if there is no Dr Paul. McCain and Romney do not have a chance to beat either HillBill or Obama with a pro-war stance. Interestingly, the NeoConsters got themselves in a pickle, they can not support Dr Paul since he will cut off the trillions in cash flows to their group and end the war pronto. The motivation power of even the $1million million now supporting our empire is overtly corrupting. So now what? Maybe they do not even care. HillBill actually pointed out at the last debate that Bush et al is setting up a government operation outside the control of Congress. Maybe, we do not get a meaningful election, just the appearance of an election? Bush did say being Dictator would be easier! We thought the Democratic controlled Congress would end the war, did that happen? So why are we to believe the change-o-rama Democrats will actually follow through? What if we had another false flag event just before the election? Do you think Bush would call martial law? Since the bad guys are everywhere, so are excuses for such an event. One scary hypothesis.

The fact that Ron Paul is now married for 51 years is a testament to his integrity. It is hard to say that for the Clintons, McCain, or now defunct Guilani. The race just now is getting interesting. Vote Ron Paul 2008, clean this mess up, now.

thank you Andrew
for another (truly) fair and balanced piece
about the only man (or woman for that matter)
who deserves to hold the high office of
President of the United States.
charles ranalli

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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