Republican Ron Paul predicts a President Obama come January
Rep. Ron Paul, the House member from Texas who technically remains in the race for the Republican Party's presidential nomination against Sen. John McCain, predicts that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States.
According to the campus newspaper of Maryland's Goucher College, the 72-year-old Paul made the surprising statement during campaign remarks Thursday at a school presidential forum.
The newspaper report said the auditorium was overflowing with students and parents, who interrupted the congressman with applause nearly two dozen times during his speech.
Paul was very successful in political fundraising during the past year, amassing more than $34 million, more than twice the amount collected by more prominent candidates such as ex-Gov. Mike Huckabee.
But Paul, whose views often run counter to standard Republican policies, had very disapppointing showings in party primary elections, with a couple of second-place caucus results but mainly third-, fourth- and fifth-place finishes in primaries. At one point in New Hampshire,...
...Fox News even excluded him from a nationally-televised GOP debate as politically irrelevant.
Paul has absolutely no chance of turning his handful of delegates into an upset over McCain, who already has sufficient votes to capture the nomination in Minneapolis-St. Paul come September. But he may hope to disrupt the candidate's coronation with platform or floor fights.
But despite the adverse numbers and his professed belief that a Democrat is destined to win on Nov. 4, Paul has continued to campaign sporadically, often on college campuses where he receives large crowds and enthusiastic responses to his message of drastically smaller government and an end to foreign military involvement.
His dedicated followers have scored some recent successes at county GOP conventions that his partisans hope will boost the number of delegates pledged to Paul at the national convention.
Paul, a former ob-gyn who is unopposed for his 11th House term in November, was the lone Republican presidential candidate to oppose the Iraq war and, as a result, refuses to endorse McCain, a strong proponent of finishing that job without a precipitous withdrawal.
As reported in The Ticket, Paul is also traveling to promote his new book, which was released this week and, propelled by the eager purchases of his dedicated followers, immediately soared to No. 1 on the Amazon.com bestseller list.
According to the Goucher paper, The Quindecim, besides his unexpected Obama prediction, in his nearly 40 minutes of remarks Paul touched on his standard strict constitutionalist positions, advocating much less federal involvement in citizens' lives. Many of the students were apparently more curious than they were devoted Paulunteers.
"I told my mom I was coming to see him," said Lindsey Rich, a senior international relations major, "and she was like 'Oh my God, that's the lunatic fringe!' "
-- Andrew Malcolm
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