Ron Paul, waiting to be wooed, defies concession to John McCain
He won more than 800,000 primary votes, more than far more famous, one-time, surefire front-runners Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson. He raised nearly $33 million, nearly three times the funds assembled by what's-his-name from Arkansas. And he's got a list of some 400,000 would-be Republican voters.
So Ron Paul's waiting to hear from the certain GOP nominee, Sen. John McCain, who's not calling Paul, according to a spokesman, because the Texas congressman has yet to inform the party's primary winner that he's giving up his presidential campaign.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Paul says he's still out campaigning here and there -- North Carolina, Pennsylvania, perhaps Idaho -- as long as he senses the support from his fervent followers, who created quite a ...
phenomenon during last fall's campaign, raising more money in the fourth quarter than any of the other party big shots who, Paulunteers feel, have hijacked the Republican Party from its conservative, small-government principles and opposition to foreign intervention.
And, as reported here earlier this week, Paul supporters have achieved some successes at the grassroots level this winter.
"We agree with the Old Right," Paul tells Ralph Hallow, "and they're the New Right, which is The Wrong."
According to voters polls, the Republican Party in 2008 could certainly use an extra 800,000 committed voters and dedicated donors. Oklahoma's Rep. Tom Cole told Paul he'd like to see them remain in the party.
There's more than one serious problem, but one big one is called Iraq. The 72-year-old Paul wants all U.S. troops out ASAP, as part of the demolition of the American overseas empire, and the money spent back home. The 71-year-old McCain has made steadfast support of the war surge and winning there a bulwark of his campaign. And he just went there to underline that.
But Paul, who is unopposed in November for his 11th term representing Texas' 14th congressional district, says he still holds out some hope for party reconciliation. "You can work to change a party without endorsing some of the people that aren't the kind of Republicans you want to be," he says.
-- Andrew Malcolm