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UPDATE: Hold on! Ron Paul did NOT quit the GOP presidential race

(UPDATE: Though Ron Paul stopped short of telling supporters in Texas Thursday night that he was quitting, his campaign website posted a statement overnight that he is indeed packing it in. "It is time now to take the energy this campaign has awakened and channel it into long-term efforts to take back our country," Paul said.)

Throughout yesterday afternoon and evening news reports flashed all over the Internet that Republican Rep. Ron Paul was going to officially end his hopeless presidential campaign.

ABC News said the campaign, "a pugnacious, ideological crusade against big government and interventionist leaniRepublican presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul waits to speak to some supporters--not shownngs in the Republican party, will officially end Thursday at a rally outside the Texas GOP's convention."

A European wire service that we won't identify (we'll call it AFP) said: "Maverick Republican White House candidate Ron Paul, a rival to his party's presumptive nominee John McCain, announced late Thursday he is dropping out of the U.S. presidential race."

A certain Washington blog about the campaign Trail reported last night: "Texas Rep. Ron Paul is officially ending his presidential campaign." Even keen observer and enthusiastic Ron Paul supporter Lew Rockwell appeared to give up hope.

But just you wait one Texas minute! We know better than that here at The Ticket.

Once before, three months ago, Paul put out a video message to his hundreds of thousands of supporters saying he was "winding down" his campaign. And we fell for that one, hook, line and libertarian sinker. We wrote that the 72-year-old, 10-term congressman "appears to be....

... -- this is so hard to write -- if not quitting, then almost certainly sort of stopping his race for the Republican nomination for president. Probably."

But hundreds of Paul supporters -- see, we didn't call them longshot Paultards -- descended on The Ticket's comment area and informed us of the error of our words. That we were not only wrong but dead wrong. We didn't know anything. Neither did our parents. Or anyone at the leftist neocon L.A. Times, especially our editors. We kind of agreed with some of that.

They said Dr. Paul will never give up. And lo and behold, he didn't. The videotape was a trick. Paul kept campaigning and selling his new bestselling book all over while his operatives kept maneuvering at county and state GOP conventions to gain control of grass-roots operations and boost their delegates, which the Associated Press puts at 24.

Rep Ron Paul's heroic poster

Yes, yes, that's more than 1,000 short of ambushing McCain's nomination victory. But you see, we now understand, thanks to many instructive and yes, well, blunt and, OK, even crude comments, that the Ron Paul Revolution isn't really about winning, as strange as that may seem in normal political terms.

Nor is it about Paul, we've been taught.

It's about changing the long-term way Republicans think, away from being a political party that simply wears better suits than Democrats into one that truly believes in smaller government, less foreign intervention, canning the Federal Reserve and abandoning the United Nations.

Our perceptive Times colleague, Scott Martelle, knew that too as a loyal Ticket reader and guest blogger. In his news story for this website and today's print editions, Martelle notes astutely that Paul's rambling speech stopped short of actually saying he was quitting his campaign.

He talked instead about "shifting gears" and "a technical change" to launch a vigorous new effort, the Ron Paul Campaign for Liberty, using the nearly $5 million left from his successful $34.5-million presidential fund-raising effort over these last 17 months.

In the fourth quarter of 2007, Paul actually raised more money than millionaire Mitt Romney, who seems to print the stuff in the basement of one of his many homes.

True, Paul's old website carries an obviously counterfeit message claiming Paul is ending his presidential campaign. But that site has clearly been hijacked by neocons and other dastardly demons determined to undermine libertarian unity, to confuse Paul's 1,400 meet-up groups and to build that somehow subversive highway across Texas that could maybe undermine American sovereignty like a sinkhole and cause Canada to take over all 50 states. (57, if you're an Obama Democrat.)

First, if Paul officially quit the campaign, he'd lose control of his delegates under party rules, the one little pocket of power that might give him some leverage for platform phrasing or a speaking spot at the Republican National Convention in early September in St. Paul (no relation).

Second, if Paul was giving up like those better-known Republican wusses from Arkansas and Massachusetts, he would likely be endorsing McCain as a gesture of party unity, something that simply ain't gonna happen, if only because Paul opposes everything about the Iraq war, wants an immediate withdrawal and those resources spent on America's own pressing needs. Wait a minute, that sounds kind of, dare we say it, Democratic.

And fourthly, no thirdly, if Paul was really quitting, why would he also announce a paRepublican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul signals victory to someonerallel gathering of the Paul gang -- possibly 11,000 strong if they fill the Williams Arena in Minneapolis on Sept. 2 during the Republican convention across the Mississippi River?

He also wants to register by then 100,000 members of his new liberty campaign, which may not be too hard since he received 1.1 million votes during GOP primaries this election season.

Paul will have plenty of time to gather those new members at grocery stores and carpet outlets because he is unopposed in his House district for election to his 11th term on Nov. 4.

Texas Democrats may be divided over Hillary and Barack, but they're not dumb enough to challenge a septuagenarian former ob-gyn named Ron Paul, who acted worried this spring and only got 70% of the GOP primary vote.

In the end, whether one Ron Paul campaign stops or another begins may matter more to nonbelievers than to -- what shall we call them? -- Paulites, Paulers, Paulicans.

"We will be a permanent presence on the American political landscape," Paul vowed Thursday evening. "That I promise you. We're not about to let all this good work die."

And, by golly, The Ticket  will be there too with full, often fair coverage.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo Credits: Associated Press / Jim Cole;

Comments () | Archives (87)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Nice work, Malcolm. This is an article I can feel good about sharing with friends and family.

i'm going to miss your column.

good times. . .

Being a non-American, I don't understand your political system fully. But why can't Ron Paul run as an independent? Why was it run as a Republican or nothing? This guy needs to get elected...or at least get a good percentage of the vote so next time another Libertarian can run with confidence. I just know Obama will be a profound disappointment and McCain just more of the same. The world has hated America since the 1960s, the only way to turn this around is with the intelligent Ron Paul....not with a cliche' spouting dweeb like Obama or Bush lite McCain.

"see, we didn't call them longshot Paultards "

How quaint, Andrew. I'm sure we're gracious and masochistic to accept your refrain from completely degenerating into another Wonkette or Red State -- the snarky, off-the-cuff, back-handed compliments does us a due service -- considering the coverage, begrudgingly.

"We didn't know anything."

I sincerely hope this is true. Our Lunesta is believing TotT posts light-hearted slap-stick news, rather then knowingly malicious propaganda. Whatever helps us sleep and keep us reading, eh?

Just the beginning- Obama will be elected in 2008, he and the Democratic congress will interpret this as a public embrace of their Left-laening ideas and attempt to socialize even more of the economy. There will be a backlash just like in 1994 and the Republicans will again retake the Congress in 2010. The only question is whether the NeoCon scum will be purged from the ranks and die with McCain's inept candidacy. We Paulites are taking over at the grassroots level and will have our own Liberty Candidates in 2010.

A dream to see a Congressional caucus not organized around race, ethnicity, or Party but around freedom. A Liberty Caucus of the few old, and in 2010, newly elected representatives who were sent to Washington to protect our freedoms.

Israeli Zionism = German Nazism = American KKK

* All 3 are racist political ideologies that seek the creation of a pure race state.

How can a TRUE American ever support a racist 2 state solution for Israel? That is against everything this country stands for. The KKK also wanted a 2 state nation.

Israel = a Crime against humanity and a Crime against the American Tax Payer.

Andrew don't complicate things,... call us (Ron Paul supporters) Republicans or even better Real Republicans.'s that simple.

OK, it's over. But, damn, it sure was fun while it lasted, wasn't it? Now, after this oh-too-brief pause for sanity, it's on with the slow, painful and ugly demise of America. Apres moi, le deluge...

The forefathers made a deal with their agent, the federal
Ron Paul just wanst to hold them to it. That deal has been violated. The "Bill of Rights" was a big part of that agreement. Between Bush, Hagee, McCain, it will continue to be in violation if the Party wins without Ron.
But if McCain will promise to live up to the "Deal" Maybe Ron will join with the party enthuastically.

Dr. Paul is the only person I've seen in washington who's been continually working for change, I want to move to his district.

I couldn't be happier to see RP continue to inject our nation with spinal fluid.

I'm still giving Dr. Paul My vote.

Andrew, you are clearly the wisest and the funniest in the press. You inform, entertain and help us become a little wiser, too.

Now since it seems to be obligatory to complain, I will say that, in a sense, Ron Paul is related to St. Paul--through his faith. For that reason, the term "Paulians" might apply to some of those who stand by Ron Paul.

Andrew, you are a political hack. Think sarcasm will get you points?

Andrew, your grandchildren will not live with McCain or even Obama as presidents. Both have pledged their support to Israel by threatening to attack Iran if Bush-Cheney don't have the cajones.

You and your grown up children really should join U.S. Armed Forces (regardless of your age) and fight Iranian forces when Iran-Syria is attacked.

Your flippant commentaries are worthless that do not contribute to the political debate on an intellectual level.

Your incorrigible display of pomposity will surely end up in destructive vanity.

LOL! Very Good!

I think that the record shows that this blog was one of the more thoughtful and professional of the 2008 campaign season.

It is nice to see that some corner of the MSM has room for this kind of commentary, which I always took be honest and candidly cheeky.

As for the rest of the electoral process, and the media that covers it, Paulites should be mindful of H.L. Mencken's definition of democracy -- "the theory that the people should get the government they deserve, and deserve to get it good and hard."

I will not be saluting America's increasingly rapid decline into democratic despotism at home and abroad. However, I think that Dr. Paul's campaign, whatever the shortcomings of the candidate (e.g., the refusal to disavow racist commentary and fanning the flames of border xenophobia in NH), could represent the start of a searching intellectual and philosophical inventory in some GOP quarters. And perhaps even insipire some Democrats to question their misguided fealty to the State as the font of human freedom.

Thank you, Mr. Malcolm!

Hope? Change? I intend to write in my vote for Ron Paul and only Ron Paul. Period.

The hypnotized moron voters will get exactly what they deserve. Unfortunately, intelligent people will get exactly what the morons deserve as well.

That is exactly correct, he didn't quit. Dr. Paul hopes to have 100,000 new members signed up to his newly formed Campaign for Liberty by Sept and the start of the Republican convention. Dr. Paul will have a huge turnout in St. Paul where he is planning a big event for his supporters and delegates. Dr. Paul is taking his campaign which started from absolute zero scratch and forming a coalition that will do nothing but get bigger, better and more powerful. Dr. Paul will build a force that will restore the principles of our Constitutional Republic. Dr. Paul will take back what was taken from the people of this great country. Yes, that is exactly correct Ron Paul didn't quit.

Andrew, I have appreciated your coverage of Ron Paul's campaign. I am a physician and a senior officer in the United States Navy -- with the nearly the same tin-foil hatted background as Ron Paul, and I must say I have really enjoyed your wit.

I invite you to cover the Campaign for Liberty as well as Bob Barr's run with the Libertarian Party.

(Thanks, Shawn. Not sure what there will be to cover other than the membership drive. But we'll give it a try. Appreciate your reading -- and nice words.)

This time, Ron Paul will draw more supporters than ever before and begin the election of real conservatives to office around the country.

He will stand as people get convicted for their dastardly crimes.

He will stand as more of the ""Official Media"" falls.

He will stand as Liberty is returned where it belongs, to the people.

Ron Paul will stand for those values that Tim Russert knew him as, and Russert's children will see his revolution succeed even though Russert has passed on.

There will be no more of the two party system, that official dictatorship is going to end as the more unseemly neo-liberals and other tyrants get thrown out of here.

Right into jail or forced out of office where they belonged to begin with, the people have spoken.

Wow, I read up to page 100 in Dr. Paul's best selling book, "The Revolution: a Manifesto", on a business trip to Orlando and I was enthralled. This man is a genius and a true statesman.

I appreciate your fair and coverage of Dr. Paul Andrew, and your satirical and somewhat occassionally sarcastic tone of your blogs have grown on me and I now rather appreciate them. But I think that even when you poke fun of the sometimes quirky and zealous supporters that are occassionally drawn to Dr. Paul, I think you must realize that this is a truly revolutionary man.

I believe that some day many people will look back in awe and amazement at the wisdom and prophet-like qualities that this tremendous statesman possesses.

I was watching some clips of Ron today- My favorite is his speech at the IOWA first in the nation straw poll.

It brought a tear to my eye.........


-RON PAUL- 2007

We'll miss you like family Ron, we love you and saw your dream-our dream... Of an America that could have been.. In our minds we see this place and it's beautiful,
free and your our leader.

We must never give up the fight, but for now, for today, lets look back at the REVOLUTION and know that we tried to change our Country with the pure vision of the founders, channeled threw Ron Paul

Lets hope we get there someday........

Paul Revere II ,NH

"...Paul opposes everything about the Iraq war, wants an immediate withdrawal and those resources spent on America's own pressing needs. Wait a minute, that sounds kind of, dare we say it, Democratic."

The Democrats have controlled the House and Senate for two years yet the war has been escalated. The democrats do not want to end the war, if they did it would have already happened. Power of the purse gives Congress the ability to end this war. There is very little difference between the two parties and the fact that the war rages on only further proves this.

Excuse me while I wipe my eye...


"what shall we call them? -- Paulites, Paulers, Paulicans."

I think you should call us, Americans.

YAY! You got it Andrew! You got it! You just might be the first journalist in the media to truly "get it." I've been reading your articles since the beginning and you have truly grown to understand this subject well, my friend. Keep up the good work!

Thank you for not calling us "Paultards" like most do... it's sad to be called retarded for having your own political opinion....

Only Ron Paul can save us. We are all powerless to do anything without him! Liberty through paranoia!

A giant roadway will subsume our very being! 9/11 was faked! AIDS is not caused by HIV!

Am I missing any?

Well, at least they're all rather open about their views, and motivated. That's more than I can say for most people, I guess.

I am still writing Paul's name in the write-in space for my State of Wyoming. I surely hope Ron has not quit as the contest is not even gotten started yet. I've spent too much money for my station in life, to let Paul just pull up stakes.
Don't do it Ron, please!

I think Ralph Nader is a fine alternative for Ron Paul supporters.

Paul speaks against BIG GOVERNMENT. And contrary to what news bites and propaganda would have you believe, Nader is also against big government. Consider the enormously bloated military budget which accounts for nearly half of the government's total operating budget. This is a tremendous waste of taxpayer money going to imperial wars based on lies.

And as part of this war, we have more BIG GOVERNMENT in the form of citizen surveillance. The PATRIOT Act (which Barr VOTED FOR) grants the government unprecedented powers to watch over American citizens without the need to prove probable cause in the court system.

Nader is against big government when it is fraudulent, wasteful or illegal. He calls for end to the intrusive PATRIOT Act and a massive reduction in the military budget. He wants to put an end to the excess of corporate welfare and put and end to the intrusive, failing drug war.

Nader is against maximizing government and sees its role as simply protecting the rights and interests of citizens and society as a whole.

Truth about income taxes:

Here is the legislative intent of the 16th amendment:

Here is the Preamble to the Bill of Rights which states that "In order to prevent miscontruction or abuse of its powers, further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added":

Conclusion: The Bill of Rights is intended to restrict powers not specifally authorized in the constituion and is used to prevent abuse powers. The ninth amendment PROHIBITS the government from taxing for the purpose of unconstitutional spending, wasteful spending, squandering(taxing and not spending the money on anything), creating a complicated tax code, taxing to pay off a debt that derived from unconstitutional and wasteful spending, and taxing for political purposes such "everyone should pay their fair share".
The Supreme Court also cannot abuse it's judical power, meaning it has no judical supremacy. It doesn't anyway because Congress controls it's jurisdiction under article 3, section 2 and can choose not to fund the Supreme Court. This would mean that it doesn't have exclusive authority to interpret the Constitution. Juries also limit judical authority with jury nullification which is a tradition dating back to the Magna Carta. The Supreme Court might not admit this but it deosn't matter as this would be an abuse of judical power as stated in the preamble to the Bill of Rights and the ninth and tenth amendments.

Also, because previous proposals for the 16th amemdment were rejected because they were not precise, shows that if a power is not explicit it shall not be misconstrued.

"The truth shall set you free"

Go Ron Paul, keep up the good fight!

Dr. Ron Paul is STILL a REPUBLICAN. If Republican politics has sickened you as much as it has me over the past few years, why in the name of common sense would anyone vote for a Republican?!!

I support the Constitution Party and it's presidential contender, Chuck Baldwin!!!

Headline: Malcolm stays relevant because Paul continues campaign.

I'm tired of complaining so I'll just say thanks for the coverage. I get your jokes, but don't you have anything new? You are becoming trite.

(This is an old item. You should move on.)

Conservatively 1.1 million revolutionaries. Many more who didn't make it to a primary but share our beliefs. We've swam against an ocean of resistance for months. I was sad to hear that the presidential campaign was ending, but then I realized the real campaign is just beginning.

Whether or not you agree with Ron Paul, doesn't giving supporters a name like "paultard" seem really offensive and unprofessional? It seems that it derives from 'retard' but used in a way that is derogatory towards Ron Paul supporters. Really? It is disgusting to me that the LA times would exploit a mental handicap and use it to make fun of people. I will be emailing your editor because this is just terrible.

Amusing indeed.

I only wish what is happening in our country really was unimportant enough to ridicule and laugh about, but it is far too serious for me to take lightly.

I truly hope, Mr. Malcolm, that your children and grand-children will see truth for what it is, recognize that they must fight for liberty in this country, and live to enjoy the victory. For them , and all Americans, expecially those who come after us, I want freedom, not tyranny.

Our generation has frittered away our freedom and our rights and our privacy. This is a sad legacy to leave our children and grandchildren. Because we were not vigilant, we have lost all but one of our rights, and it is daily being assaulted. We have elected poor leaders, who have their global agenda in mind, a world with seventy percent fewer inhabitants, and no middle class, all herded into twenty percent of our country. The PNAC pet project of Cheney and the CFR, environmentalists and their Wildlife Project that will make it illegal to live in most of America, and so many other "little" projects they have prepared for us--all these will destory life in America--just as they have planned it.

May whichever God you pray to have mercy on all our souls and those of our children.

You laugh today Sir, but within five years, if not sooner, you will rue the day you ridiculed freedom. It will be gone forever, regardles which MSM candidate is elected-honestly or dishonestly- into office.

The "homeland" (that detestable word so reminiscent of Hitler) will never be the same if people do not wake up soon. It is nearly too late. As Franklin wisely admonished, "We have given you a Republic, if you can keep it."

"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." - Albert Einstein

As for you so called journalists and pundits:

"Tis better to remain silent and appear a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught in falsehoods school. And the one man that dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool ---- Plato

When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.---Dresden James

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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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