Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Another side to Ron Paul the pol: Dad

There he was, the familiar face of Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-like long-shot Republican presidential candidate from 2007-08 who raised some $35 million and came within more than 1,000 delegates of defeating John McCain to win the ultimately useless GOP nomination that year.

Paul was on the Fox News Channel this week, the one that so outrageously barred him from its 2008 New Hampshire Republican primary debate, even though Paul had done better in Iowa than some of the other ultimate losers allowed onstage, like Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.

Two years later Paul keeps popping up on TV, the blunt-talking cable antidote to those GOP suits on Capitol Hill who make Benadryl seem like a stimulant. But he was looking different this week; older for sure. After all, he turns 75 this summer, nearing the end of his 11th House term from Texas.

When you hear Paul talk, he usually seems to be reading, droning on about big government, big spending, the big Education Department and the Fed. Oh, and the Constitution, always the Constitution, as if it was some kind of special sacred document or something.

Rand Paul and Ron Paul

Paul is a weird one. A Republican who opposed the Iraq war. A congressman who's adamantly opposed to congressional spending earmarks, unless they're headed for his 14th District. In fact, the former ob-gyn has the charisma of a grapefruit breakfast.

Yet millions voted for him and many spent long wintry hours standing on bridges over Interstate highways holding his signs, as if their sheer will would force passing drivers to support their guy.

But this week Paul wasn't talking like a pol. He was talking like a pa.

His 47-year-old son, Rand, a Tea Party supporter, had won the GOP Senate nomination from Kentucky.

He had upset the hand-picked choice of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who now says he's 100% behind the eye doctor and will appear with him at a Saturday unity rally.

Rand the unknown did it by winning 109 of 120 counties against the better-known secretary of State, Trey Grayson, and racking up 15 times as many statewide votes as his father did in the presidential primary.

Dad was proud. But worried. Like many pols, he's had mixed feelings about an offspring following their parent's campaign footsteps. “I thought it was an overwhelming task," Paul the father told "Fox & Friends." "And as a parent I don’t want to see him put a lot of energy into it and, you know, be hurt."

Many politicians (and athletes) have said it's actually harder to watch a loved one play the game -- and be played -- than to take the beating themselves.

As a sign of Democrat worry and respect in this year of angry voters, Paul the son was attacked within hours of his victory by Jack Conway, the state attorney general, who during the long run-up to Nov. 2 will attempt to paint his opponent as some kind of fringe extremist.

The elder Paul admitted, in effect, he had not expected the primary victory. "I didn’t know how far we’ve moved with the freedom movement,” he added. 

But father Paul was feeling pretty dad-gummed good for now. "What he has done is way beyond my expectations," the dad said with trademark hyperbole. "And that is a very pleasant thing that has happened.”

Related item:

What Tuesday's votes really mean; Americans are mad

-- Andrew Malcolm

No federal funds involved whatsoever. Click here to receive Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Follow us @latimestot  Or Like our Facebook page right here.

Photo: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (17)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Don't worry Paul. I wish all the best for your son.
Taiyo Yuden CDR

"the Constitution, always the Constitution, as if it was some kind of special sacred document or something. Paul is a weird one"

The author of this story is a complete and total moron! If you want to write about politics and government maybe you need to go back to grade school and learn something about the subject matter. Let me guess an education from CA public schools?

Everything done in Washington should be based on the Constitution. This is not "weird" it is the basis of our government. That is why every elected politician MUST take an oath the uphold the Constitution before taking office. I can only think of one who has done so throughout his or her career and that is Ron Paul.

It may not be the norm to believe in the Constitution, but it should be.

Ron Paul 2012

The earmark attack against Ron Paul in this article is cheap and not founded.

Ron Paul always votes against the appropriation. IF he had his way, his district would get nothing from the Federal government.

Next, Ron Paul believes that if money has to be spent by the Federal government, it should be always earmarked. Because earmarking means that Congress keeps its constitutional right to decide the purpose of spending, as opposed to letting the executive branch spend the appropriated money freely.

I am sure that the author of the article knew about that. But he decided not to present those ideas and instead to paint Ron Paul as inconsistent on spending.
This is outrageous. Simply outrageous.

Also, the US government is broke after years of conservative spending, of liberal spending. The US politicians can still buy votes thanks to the printing press: the Federal Reserve. Ron Paul has always been against the Fed and for reasons that prove him right every day.

The core political question for the US today is not whether money should be spent for the military or for education but whether the US should (1) default or (2) run hyper inflation.

So, default or hyper inflation???

This writer is awful.

Tweak away, Andrew. I hope you gets lots of comment entries today.

(AM responds: Me too, Darryl! Just like the old days with you guys. :--)) )

Ron Paul is not against earmarks. He has said that all federal spending should be earmarked - in other words, specified by Congress instead of the administration (there's that pesky Constitution again). What he's against is deficit spending and federal government spending on anything he believes is unconstitutional.

Another "lazy" journalist. Are you deliberately trying to smear Dr. Paul or do you really just not understand the issue? Either way I will make sure that you are accountable for this article to the many supporters of Dr. Paul.

Please name me one time were Dr. Paul has voted for an increase in spending and then earmarked that increase in spending to his district. Do you even understand the difference between an "earmark" and an "appropriation"?

If you truly do not understand the difference, than please e-mail be back and I can refer you to some reading material.

(AM responds: Hey, good to see you. Now it's you who needs to do some studying. Rep. Paul, like many other members, regularly adds goodies for his home district to bills destined to inevitably pass. The only difference is that he then votes No. Also, would definitely appreciate your passing on word about us to the few Dr. Paul supporters who haven't been friends over here for years now. Thanks again.)

Maybe Ron Paul has a bevy of grandchildren who can run in 2012. We need Representatives who will stand against big government.

Actually it's Rand who is pendantic; Ron is passionate. And he's not against earmarks; he's against excessive spending that is not paid for.

But go ahead, spout your lies. After all, you are the LA Times.

As I have been saying ever since 2008 Andy, American's are waking up!
When a Neo Con Slime like Kyrstol says, "There's room in the GOP for Rand Paul" you know they have seen the writing on the Wall! I would take issue with you calling Ron Paul, "A Weird One" strange, I mean is it weird to be a Person of Character and Principle? Earmarks? Come on you know that he always votes NO on the Appropriations right? I can still feel your bais shinning through, but Hey Nice Job! You are almost a memember of the team
Cheers Andy,

Just to let you know the referance to the Constitution As if it was some kind of special sacred document or something, FYI Every President must Swear an oath to defend and protect the constitution, also our armed service men must swear a simular oath, You might want to educate your self before writing articles you make your self look ignorant.

This article is rubbish, and the writer is either deliberately smearing the good docs' names with lies, or doesn't know the basis of our government.
I like how these unqualified writer-pundits just report propaganda instead of truth. Is it any mystery why your viewership and rates have gone down???


I'm going to write a quick "Op-Ed" news piece in response to this one: Andrew Malcolm, columnist for "LA Times Top of the Ticket" has, yet, another terrible news story on political figures that have made it to the media forefront. Yes, and the play on the word news "story" is very much intentional, as Malcolm’s "story" about Ron Paul has indeed been fabricated. Mr. Malcolm went off on a tangent today about Congressman Ron Paul, who maintains a flawless personal and professional record, one that would suggest that Malcolm and others who are tempted to attack such an honest an integral man might be suffering from some severe envy issues. I mean, if you have screwed up your whole life, lied, cheated, stole, and had to put others down to make yourself feel good, wouldn't you feel bad when the person you are talking smack about has done NOTHING wrong to no one? Or worse, wouldn't you feel terrible if you were denouncing another who has stuck by his or her principles and lead something in America called the "Freedom Movement" (gasp!) while you stood back and supported the tyranny movement? Yes, I can see where Malcolm is coming from, and it must be hard. But, as Dr. Paul says, we are in a Revolution, and he believes it can be fought intellectually and at the ballots. With op-ed authors like Andrew Malcolm, this makes our Intellectual Revolution looking a whole lot more like victory for the freedom-fighters. Hey, Malcolm - get out of the middle and start defending what is right - the Constitution that every public office candidate must swear to uphold, defend, and protect.

I would like to hear from the silent majority, is there anybody out there?

Prepare For The "Machine" To Attempt To Undermine Good Men.

The Valiant Rarely Stand Alone.

Don't be so harsh on this author! After all he has written 10 nonfiction books. It is probably the only thing he knows how to write.


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

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.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: