Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

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

Ron Paul: Why his silly campaign launch today really matters for 2012

Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul opens his Iowa campaign office 5-10-11

Ron Paul.

Today is the big day. Well, a big day anyway.

Ron Paul, the 12-term Republican representative from Texas, appeared on one of those morning news shows that mixes the weather, singers, weather, authors, weather, actors, weather, the scary kidnapped child story and the occasional animal tale.

Paul conversed with that little guy with the precisely-tousled hair who used to work for Bill Clinton. And 48 hours after Paul opened his Iowa caucus campaign headquarters -- News Bulletin -- he "revealed" to "Good Morning America" his candidacy for president of the United States.

Here's why Paul and ABC did this together: It seems like news. Real news is hard to come by on Fridays. Especially "exclusive" access. Less competition for a bigger headline. It also saved Paul ballroom rent money and got....

...him more national media exposure than some New Hampshire street corner scrum with supporters chanting in the background.Ron Paul Supporter Joe Martin of South Dakota simply amended his campaign sign from 2008

George Stephanopoulos likes politics. He's very good at it; in fact, he should still be doing serious work hosting ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning show instead of what's-her-name-Ms-I-know-it-all-and-have-been-there-too, which ABC execs know now but can't say yet. Stand by, Jake Tapper.

Here's why Paul has absolutely no chance of ever becoming president: Americans were not ready to vote for a 72-year-old President McCain in 2008, so they're sure not ready to vote for a 77-year-old President Paul in 2012. 

Especially not against a 50-something incumbent with one billion dollars of other people's money to throw around as only Chicago Democrats know how.

Abraham Lincoln and George H.W. Bush aside, Americans historically do not like House members as president. (Sorry, Newt. Think Dick Gephardt.) Representatives are just too puny as politicians on the national stage.Texas Republican Representative Ron Paul in Iowa 5-10-11

But here's why Ron Paul's candidacy is very important:

While his perpetual calm manner comes across as the attentive, retired ob-gyn that he is, Paul's words and impossible policies reflect the powerful distaste for usual pols, their obsequious blather and the screw-you anger of a significant sector of motivated American voters.

And these militantly unhappy folks are not just Republicans; plenty of Democrats out here are frightened too because so many things like jobs, home values, retirement and hopey-changey Obama are not going as promised.

Wasn't it Obama who ran against the Iraq war, then ordered two troop surges into Afghanistan, took on Libya and now warns Syria every few days?

Paul's been in Washington a generation, but he talks like an outsider. His followers, now with one cycle's campaign experience under their tightened belts, are like Sarah Palin's believers genuinely motivated (even with amended campaign signs from 2008--see photo above).

Met many really excited Tim Pawlenty people yet? Or by-golly Rick Santorum boosters willing to wave his placards at cars passing under an interstate bridge for hours in the rain? Well, numerous Paul people are actually moving to the first primary state to work and vote for their candidate in New Hampshire.a Ron Paul Supporter listens to his candidate in iowa 5-10-11

Paul is really good with money. Last cycle he raised more than second-place finisher Rev. Huckabee, who's enjoying a lucrative private life now. After last week's little-noticed South Carolina GOP debate, Paul raised $1 million in 24 hours.

Like a fiscal conservative who walks the walk, Paul ended 2008's bid with not one penny of campaign debt. In fact, flying commercial and staying in Super 8's, Paul had a $5-million surplus, which he put toward sowing the seeds of something called the tea party.

Perhaps you've heard of it. Ron's son Rand got elected senator that way. As did the new 2011 Republican majority in the House.

The libertarian-like movement speaks to a broad-based unhappiness with and suspicion of too-big government, too much spending, too much debt, too much war. Bureaucracies and businesses saturated with cronies who take care of each other at the expense of those folks paying the bills.

Paul wants out of those wars. Forget the American empire. Use the money back home. Cut the federal government. Follow the Constitution. Get out of people's lives. Paul's plans don't have a snowball's chance in a Galveston August of becoming reality. But despite all the tea party media mocking of two years ago, it was this movement that drove last fall's midterm election debate -- and victories. And the ongoing budget, deficit and debt limit arguments.

Now the same priorities are setting the parameters for choosing a Republican nominee to confront the Democrats' ex-change agent.

Funny how the mantle of leading drastic national reforms has so quickly fallen from the shoulders of the younger guy and into the experienced hands of the newest -- and oldest -- fellow now in the White House race. 

-- Andrew Malcolm

Follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or click this: @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photos: Charlie Neibergall / Associated Press (Paul and supporters in Iowa, May 10).

 
Comments () | Archives (77)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Sounds like you're finally seeing the light, Mr. Malcolm. Welcome to America.

Andrew, you sir, have not done your political research. Educate yourself before slapping together lackadaisical articles. Then again, you work in mainstream media for one of the ugliest distributors. I guess I shouldn't expect much.

This is coming from a neutral politician. Ron Paul has a chance, but he SHOULD have one considering the founding fathers wanted everyone to have a chance. Even you. Stop counting any of them out. I like some of his ideas, he's worth consideration. To the LA Times: stick to easy news. Let the big boys handle politics.

1) "Wasn't it Obama who ran against the Iraq war, then ordered two troop surges into Afghanistan"? That's what he said he'd do in his campaign
2) "And these militantly unhappy folks are not just Republicans; " maybe not; but EVERY tea partier is a Republican. Otherwise, they wouldn't have run as Republicans.
3) Every Ron Paul supporter (like libertarians) is a white male. If every white male voter went for Paul, he'd still lose.

So no, I don't think it matters.

This - the extreme opposite of wise - writer believes that 'age' is the main qualification or disqualification for someone seeking the presidency of the US?

LOL, talking about 'substance'.

I could say a lot about R. Paul's mistake, running as a GOP and staying in the GOP party - and no, I do NOT advocate him going to 'the other party' but within the context of such a superficial piece... nothing more to say. Really.

I support Ron Paul for President because he has integrity and a clear voting record that puts the US Constitution and the American people first. He is a calm and rational man who doesn't spin or lie to the public. He is the true Conservative in this race.

GO RON PAUL!!!

Oh, bullpucky with your childish criticism of Obama's mantra of change. How disappointing to find yet another mouth in the media with the depth of a puddle of flea pee.

You think one man can bring about change all by himself--LASTING, INFLUENTIAL change, not just more whiney, gripey, selfish crap? YOU and writers and commenters and other shallow people like you are the real reason we are in this bind. YOU and your ilk refuse to look ahead and work toward a goal. Why does't the U.S. have a five-year plan or something like? Why doesn't it have ANY plans at all? Because YOU see things only in the moment and only as they pertain to YOUR immediate, selfish, childish needs.

I can't wait for your generation to pass so we can get on with planning OUR future.

Ron Paul is this nations only hope. The government is printing money like its going out of style and inserting into the system, devaluing the tanking dollar and sowing the seeds for economic collapse. If I print money and put it into circulation it's called counterfeiting. There's a lesson there that you insist on ignoring.

You do a disservice to the country by calling Ron Paul's campaign silly. I'll be voting for him. So should you. So should we all.

Rome wasn't burnt in a day.

We need a strong anti-war, anti-debt candidate to run. We need to have this debate in America. I'm glad he's in. I'm voting for him.

WHEW!!! Thank God he's running again! Silly? And the American media is not skewed and messed up?! It's not a propaganda machine?! It's always an immediate smear campaign against Ron Paul. Funny thing is, there's nothing to smear. The man blows the competition out of the water. Unfortunately, many of my fellow countrymen have not stepped foot outside of North America and don't realize that the world now despises us Americans because our government has become a tyranny -- incessantly starting wars and destroying the global economy. Ron Paul predicted all the mess we've been getting ourselves into and even pointed clearly to the reasons why it would happen. My fellow countrymen, dig a little deeper. Do the diligent research. Ron Paul has been right all along. Vote Ron Paul 2012! (Remember to vote in the primaries!)

Ah so ... the corporate media begins its assault on Ron Paul.

"Paul's plans don't have a snowball's chance in a Galveston August of becoming reality" you say. Is that because Americans hate freedom deep down in their hearts? Is it because they love a totalitarian government like the one we are moving towards?

Simply tell the American people what they "want" and what they "need", and the fools will obey.

Easy on the cynicism! You finally showed you were listening toward the end there. It's astounding how the press just cannot report on Paul with out taking jab...just in case some of their friends are listening.

One might think that you don't like Ron Paul. That's fair. His supporters don't like you either. But ultimately, even your article grudgingly admits (in a backhanded sort of way) that Paul is right on the issues since your only clear objection is that he is too old.

This "article" gives convincing evidence as to why the print media is dead, and indicates your probable online demise as well.
Still don't get it do you LAT/Andrew Malcolm? A majority of us are ready for a President who will actually uphold the Constitution, not sell us all down the river like those of the last hundred years.
A little reconsideration on my part leads to the following
Possibly you do know what a true Constitutional Republic would mean to yourself and you benefactors, and thoughts of a People free at last makes you tremble. The currant police state is to your liking, it's use of force both here and abroad gives you a sense well being and personal accomplishment. You are the type who enjoys watching women and children molested in our airports.
I personally hold your ilk in contempt.

Ron Paul was the Johnny Appleseed of the tea party. Nice.

The media made a concerted effort to silence Dr. Paul in the 2008 campaign after the big money bomb showed him to have legitimate support. But his ideas don't need the media spotlight to grow.

Washington DC is now a corrupt, corporatist mess. The political machines have no vested interest in changing the status quo. They are dependent upon it. We need a principled statesman now more than ever. Ron Paul 2012.

remember when ralph nader did not have a chance but ran anyway (and had a big effect on the election?)
although the american people do not know it yet (and perhaps never will) ron paul is the only person running for office who matches what the people really want as president. if everyone knew his policies he would get 50% + of the vote.
if the media let ron paul debate obama on television (very very unlikely) then
the democrats will lose everything. ron paul is not charismatic and he does not court the press. the issues do not matter to the average american voter, who typically votes with his/her heart rather than mind. . that is what hurts ron paul.

Success can be defined in may ways. Critics will point out how few delegates Paul received in the last presidential primary and characterize him as a loser, but his is a campaign of ideas as much as it is one for public office. If you look just beyond his delegate count from 2008, you will see a dramatic increase in public interest around Paul's ideological positions and the issues he has been championing. Beyond the election of his son to the U.S. Senate, the liberty movement has experienced significant gains in state and local politics where this base has begun to exercise its political muscle.

Ron Paul is at the forefront of an emerging movement, and every time he appears in a presidential debate or is interviewed on the mainstream media, more people are exposed to an ideology that offers real alternatives to what has become a substantially homogeneous political system has become progressively hostile to the middle class.

So, depending on how you look at it, you could say that Ron Paul was the big winner in 2008, and could go even further in 2012.

First they said Bush was electable. How'd that work out?
Then they told us Obama was legit too. How's that working out?
Now the richest media conglomerates in the world have decided Ron Paul is just not main stream enough.
Ron Paul 2012. 14 trillion reasons...and counting.

Since Obama is going to be the party nominee, Democrats have a great opportunity to shape the republican party by switching affiliations and making sure Gary Johnson and Ron Paul become the main contenders by voting for them in the primaries and caucuses.

If foreign wars, drug wars, patriot acts, republican spending sprees are your thing, then ignore my advice.

Wow, what sheep wrote this article? baaaa baaaa Ron Paul 2012!!!

Restore the Republic! Vote Ron Paul 2012. And don't forget the primaries. If, by chance, you don't support Ron Paul, dig a little deeper. Visit ronpaul.com and see his real political stances. We may just have one last shot at getting this whole "Home of the Free" thing right.

A decent article overall. If I had to guess I'd say you will be voting for the man, despite the obligatory snark comments.

In the beginning a patriot is a scarce man, hated and feared and scorned. But in time when his cause succeeds, the timid join him, because then it costs nothing to be patriot.
-Mark Twain

I will never tire of the propaganda from the government lapdogs, Andrew Malcolm is just another talking head turd neck. We all know why Ron Paul's Ideas don't have a snowball's chance in a Galveston August of becoming reality, The powers that be including the obviously boot licking media have way to much invested in this Draconian Despot to let anything evil like Pauls Ideas come to reality. You know those evil vile things like following the constitution, ending the empire building overseas, Ending the drug war against the American people. We know who you are Andrew Malcolm, just another media thug boot licker. You people have lost, look around you the World is on the brink, and its YOUR fault. We need a real change, and a refocus on what is important not more NeoChange media GARBAGE!

You should pray for Ron Paul to win, take your medicine the easy way NOW, before its too late for YOU.

"Wasn't it Obama who ran against the Iraq war, then ordered two troop surges into Afghanistan, took on Libya and now warns Syria every few days?"

Because every conflict in a country with brown people is exactly the same thing? I can't believe this kind of nonsense gets published. You're a published troll, congrats.

"Americans were not ready to vote for a 72-year-old President McCain in 2008, so they're sure not ready to vote for a 77-year-old President Paul in 2012."

McCain did not age well, for example his adolescent singing Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran to a Beach boys tune. He had a haggard tired quality and seemed to be nuts. Ron Paul has a long history of being consistent on his issues. He is also the only one with a plan.

Obama is evidently going to run as a Republican, good luck O.

I enjoyed this well-written article. However, I almost passed it up based on the title: the word "silly" implies a strict negative bias, although the article's content doesn't seem to present that bias.

Remember the '07 - '08 campaign ...
Remember what they did, remember who did it.

nader paul kucinich gravel mckinney baldwin ventura sheehan
This time a whole citizen army of every stripe stands behind Dr Ron.

Always with the marginalization Andrew? I don't understand why this author is aloud to write anything for years he has touted his wrinkled old opinion. That is exactly what this drivel is, opinion with shreds of news. Take a look at what Malcolm has written in his past on Paul, nothing ever positive never discussing the deeper understanding of what Dr. Paul is trying to defend for all Americans rather then just a one sided ideology. Paul's points are not always ideal for me but make better sense for the collective good of everyone restoring liberty and freedoms for all Americans.

I strongly urge everyone to read Ron Paul's book Liberty Defined then get the slant from this author or others who clearly have an agenda. Paul's points are complicated and require more understanding then the 3 line commentary Americans are used to getting from their news sources these days. I urge everyone to do their research this election on all of the potential candidates so they can make an informed decision rather then what America has come to accept as news. This is a complicated world and we owe it to our country not to be typical lazy Americans or we will always get what we deserve.

This is official notice that I'm not wasting my time this year with your old hat hit piece articles on the Thomas Jefferson of our times.

The only thing old that matters here is your old fuddy duddy snarky sarcasm. What a waste of time reading this drivel.

This guy is a Libertarian stud of a politician.
Remember...LIBERTARIAN...as in FREEDOM?

As a Pro-legalization, fiscally conservative person I think a guy like Paul can finally give some legs and legitamacy to Federal legalization policies. Legalize and tax it while ridding us of the evil and overly intrusive IRS that needs to knows how you make every penny you have. Right or left you should support a guy like this because he wants YOU to be free.

We need to get... "out of those wars. Forget the American empire. Use the money back home. Cut the federal government. Follow the Constitution. Get out of people's lives." for the sake of our country, but this article is not from a reporter - and this "commentary" is clearly from someone who knows little about the Constitution. Most of us learned in elementary school that the federal government is there to PROTECT OUR FREEDOMS, not to keep growing and sucking the life out of the American taxpayer. Andrew, you should be ashamed of this rhetoric you are trying to use to manipulate your readers.

Instead of responding to your ideas about what "national reforms" are necessary to repair all the broken parts of government, perhaps people might learn something about how our country has gotten to the place it has, and what the solutions are. I suggest starting with reading _Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedoms_.

Ron Paul's book should clarify for you what Andrew Malcolm cannot. This is not a reform movement, but a patriotic battle to save our country. At least he recognized one of Obama's many failures in this article, but I guess that is because Malcolm wants you to vote for someone else - unfortunately, that someone else will not be HALF the statesman Ron Paul is.

Sounds to me you should try very hard to help get his message heard. This country needs a good peaceful revolution, and, it sounds like Dr. Paul is just the man to give us one. God bless and good luck to him..

Andrew Malcolm: I love your style of writing. More people would read the “paper” news if it were written is such a humorous and effective way as your column. I agree with you that Ron Paul (AynRand) will provide a amusing spectacle to enjoy up until the primaries until he fades away like the other 2008 character that some of my friends donated the max $$$ allowable… Who was that..? Oh yeah, Fred Thompson (anyone remember him?) the other silly clown.

"Abraham Lincoln and George H.W. Bush aside, Americans historically do not like House members as president"

Oh that's all "old antiquated thinking." Todays Americans don't like any politicians as president!

Ending wars, including the war on drugs, sounds good to a lot of people -- almost good enough to forget all the loony stuff about civil rights, the Federal Reserve and the UN. Sooner or later, "mainstream" politicians will notice and adopt some of the good stuff.

Andrew Malcolm: I love your style of writing. More people would read the “paper” news if it were written is such a humorous and effective way as your column. I agree with you that Ron Paul (AynRand) will provide a amusing spectacle to enjoy up until the primaries until he fades away like the other character that some of my friends donated the max $$$ allowable… Who was that..? Oh yeah, Fred Thompson (anyone remember him?) the TV clown.

What partisan drivel. Mr. Paul, while interesting, has nothing to say that hasn't been said, he's done nothing to get anyone excited about his cred and he's given us a son who wants to dismantle Medicare in lieu of increased taxes on the wealthy and on our largest corporations. How is any of this interesting to anyone except for right wing op-eders? Next year, the "do-nothing" guy will get re-elected in a landslide and Mr. Paul will take his side show back to Texas, a once great state that now borders on the 3rd world.

Wow, I'm glad that I wasted my time reading this article, it really goes to prove how out of touch and ignorant of the situation the author is. The reason people werent willing to vote for a 70something McCain was not his age, but his demeanor, that and his poor choice of running partner, typical superficial Californian analysis of the situation though. Ron Paul has a pretty decent chance of winning and even if he doesnt, he'll raise awareness of how things should be done.

I am a disabled 65 year old retiree and this article points out exactly why I will support and vote for Ron Paul in 2012. I disagree with the assessment of his viability as a candidate but either way, this country has to take a hard turn back to constitutional government and Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate willing to lead us in that direction.

Well look who wants to poo poo Ron Paul! I remember your snide crap from the last campaign. You are going to eat your words this time. All the media pundits and political experts really have no idea what is coming. That army of his only grew since 08. We infiltrated and flat out took over state and local GOPs all over the country. We took the house back. Our brand is exploding while the brands of Barry and Bush look one in the same. Yawn...

Don't waste your time commenting on old fuddy duddy Malcolm's hit piece on the chances for the Thomas Jefferson of our time to be President of the USA. He'll just "thought police" all your comments away down the memory hole anyhow.

Funny how Malcolm pretends with such an air of superiority that he is the master of all destiny and chance for a good man to be president.

Trust me, from my experience a few years ago, commenting on this blog is definitely a waste of time. Let this be my notice to him and the rest of the world that I'm finished with this trash. Get with it, or get the heck out of the way!

I agree with most of what you wrote in the article. In 2008 Ron Paul had little hope in gaining the GOP nomination, but he did a great job educating the people about an alternative to polics as usual. 2012's run is just getting started, and in the words of somebody famous "You Ain't Seen Nothin Yet!" This time Dr. Paul will control the flow of ideas in every up-coming debate. The other candidates will try to sound like Paul, but won't be believable. This time, it's the other candidates that will have no hope.

Those in the media like Andrew Malcolm who make fun of the few politicians who want to put an end to the foreign and fiscal policies that are bringing this country to ruin are destroying their own credibility in the eyes of the masses of Americans who are waking up and opposing the political establishment's perpetual destruction of our country. At current rate, it's only a matter of time before Ron Paul or someone who shares his principles makes it into the oval office. I will be delighted to see the Andrew Malcolms of the world disappear into obscurity.

Ron Paul is NOT the answer to saving the Republic and he's definitely NOT the godfather of the Tea Party movement. No one is the Leader of the mvmt. We marched because Washington was not listening to the American people.

It just goes to show you how wrong the media is once again.

If Ron Paul is Republican candidate the media will peg him as the crazy uncle & Obama will win reelection.

Ya know when rags like the LA Times and the rest of the corporate media go around saying someone has no chance of winning, it kind of becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. He'll never enjoy support, or even unbiased reporting from any form of corporate media, because he refuses to pander to your corporate overlords. Sad times when our corrupt system is self perpetuating and the people speaking the truth are labelled as outsiders.

As long as the elite controllers of "public opinion" continue to hate on Ron Paul, we can be assured he's doing something right! LOL. How have the "electable" candidates like Bush and Obama worked out so far?

Ron Paul 2012. 14 trillion reasons...and counting.

"Paul's words and impossible policies reflect the powerful distaste for usual pols, their obsequious blather and the screw-you anger of a significant sector of motivated American voters."

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

You might think that Americans won't vote for someone over 70, or someone who really believes in libertarian ideals instead of paying lip service to them, but you're grossly underestimating the number of people who want to send a giant "F- You!" to the establishment in Washington if you don't think Ron Paul can win.

"Especially not against a 50-something incumbent with one billion dollars of other people's money to throw around as only Chicago Democrats know how."

So you are saying the Presidency has been bought by corrupt gangsters?
And that is a good thing???

All the more reason to support Ron Paul!

I think Andrew Malcolm is "too old" to be writing about politics. He did a lousy job last election too. He should retire in disgrace.

"Here's why Paul has absolutely no chance of ever becoming president: Americans were not ready to vote for a 72-year-old President McCain in 2008, so they're sure not ready to vote for a 77-year-old President Paul in 2012. "

Lol, I always thought it funny that McCain was repeatedly asked about his age in 2007-2008, but Ron Paul was not asked about his age...not once. He was/is a year older than McCain. I guess it helps to eat well, exercise regularly, and to be invigorated by your ideals.

After the last election, I didn't dare to hope he would be running this time, because of the age factor. I'll bet he had no thought of it, either. But we had better hope he has a chance of being elected. In our critical times, he is the only one who fits the bill.

All I can say is that Dr. Ron Paul has my vote and intend to provide his campaign with a substantial donation. I don't see a whole lot of other choices that are very palatable to go against the weak willed, financially irresponsible, distracted, race baiting, pathetic excuse that is President Obozo.

 
1 2 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

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


Categories


Archives
 



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: