Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Ron Paul

New numbers find real Perry-Romney race developing

Rick Perry and Mitt Romney Argue 9-12-11 Debate

Initial signs now of a real two-man race developing in the unfolding marathon struggle for the Republican Party's 2012 presidential nomination.

Rick Perry, the Texas governor who strode on stage so confidently to announce his candidacy 31 days ago, still holds the numerical lead over former Gov. Mitt Romney, who hasn't not been running for years.

What the Gallup organization calls the Positive Intensity Score shows Perry holding strong at 24. However, for the first time since Perry surged to the front of the GOP field, Romney's score has increased significantly.

In a new rating just released Gallup shows that now with a month to compare the two men, Romney's score has surged from 11 just two weeks ago to 16 now.

At the same time the scores for two GOP women have faded. With Perry in the race Michele Bachmann's score has dropped from 13 to 10. And the train appears to be leaving the station for Sarah Palin's hypothetical candiacy; her score plunged from 16 to 10. The 10 for both women are new lows for 2011.

Gallup's Positive Intensity Scores are devised by subtracting the percentage of Republicans with highly unfavorable views of each candidate from the percentage with highly favorable views among those who know the candidate.

Perry's first debate performance at the Reagan Library last week was workmanlike. He held his own standing next to the ever-polite, ever-attentive Romney. no big Perry mistakes.

Monday night's CNN/Tea Party Express debate was a different affair with six of the other seven candidates attacking Perry somehow. Newt Gingrich has reserved virtually all of his ammo for President Obama -- and the media.

Bachmann was particularly aggressive on Perry's later-revoked executive order to immunize sixth grade girls against the human papilloma virus and, Bachmann suggested, possible fundraising ties between the drug's maker and the Perry campaign.

Romney zeroed in on what he called Perry's "over-the-top" description of Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, saying the Texan should not be frightening seniors but rather working to fix the system's problems. Perry, in turn, guaranteed current recipients their Social Security provisions would remain avaiulable.

the Gallup surbvey was taken before the Tea Party debate.

Herman Cain's intensity score of 22 remains above Romney but has fallen five points in two weeks. Rudy Giuliani, like Palin unannounced, is up one point to 18.

Others in the Republican field are Rick Santorum (down from 10 to 8), Gingrich steady at 7, Ron Paul up to 7 from 6 and Jon Huntsman down from one to minus-one.

Next debate Sept. 22.

(UPDATE: A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds Romney leading Obama, 43-40, in a head-to-head matchup.)

RELATED:

Rick Perry vs everyone else

Perry's debate debut gives MSNBC top ratings so far

The Reagan debate: The most awkward, unexpected and weirdest moments

-- Andrew Malcolm

Talk about positive intensity! 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.

Photo: Mike Carlson / Associated Press

This week's GOP debate: Rick Perry vs everyone else

CNN Tea party debate 9-12-11

As a former Air Force pilot, Rick Perry knows what happens to the leading plane in any dogfight. It's the target for the ones behind.

And so it was Monday night in Tampa as the unlikely partnership of CNN and the Tea Party Express produced another early Republican primary debate.

It was a good debate for moderator Wolf Blitzer, who kept the pace brisk and worked hard to get everyone involved with 30-second rebuttals.

It was also a good debate for beleaguered President Obama, who sent his doomed jobs bill to Congress in the morning with yet another Rose Garden photo op. Obamacare came in for the usual bashing. Just about everyone in the GOP field will repeal the legislative abomination as soon as they walk into the Oval Office after the parade on Jan. 20, 2013.

Perry wondered last week if he'd become the pinata. But this debate the forceful Mitt Romney, the game Jon Huntsman, the irascible Ron Paul, the earnest son of an Italian immigrant Rick Santorum and the increasingly aggressive Michele Bachmann aimed their fire at the tall Texan whose 30 short days in the race have changed everything and vaulted him into a substantial lead.

Which maintains the appearance of an ongoing race but means absolutely nothing this early. just ask Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson, who lead at this time four years ago.

Bachmann, who rode her tea party leadership to victory in the Ames Straw Poll, was virtually invisible in last week's Reagan Library debate, rhetorically and sartorially. This time she came back in red and went after fellow tea party fave Perry at every chance, mainly over his admitted and aborted mistake of seeking to vaccinate sixth grade girls against the human papilloma virus.

Santorum hit Perry's government mandated vaccination too. And they hit Perry for championing in-state college tuition for children of illegal immigrants and for opposing a border fence with Mexico as not realistic.

Perry, as usual did not back down, but he needs to get smoother in his answers, whose pauses suggest uncertainty. "We were clearly sending a message to young people regardless of what the sound of their last name is that we believe in you," the governor said, adding it's the American way.

Marc Antony, oh, no, it was Mitt Romney actually, was full of praise for Perry's job creation record that grew employment just like his predecessors Democrat Ann Richards and Republican George W. Bush, only fewer, and with the help of oil reserves, Republican courts and Republican legislators.

Asked what he would bring to the White House, pizza exec Herman Cain said a sense of humor, which brought the evening's lone laughter. Along, of course, with his 9-9-9 plan--9% business, income and national sales taxes.

Newt Gingrich kept his criticism aimed at Obama, the main target in previous GOP debates.

Ron Paul again showed why his disciples love him and why he can never win this party's nomination. He is very consistent and firm in his strict constitutionalism themes and isolationism, which earned him boos from the audience of 1,000 conservatives. As he did with Giuliani last cycle, Paul lured Santorum into a fight by suggesting the United States invited the 9/11 attacks by aggression against other lands.

Romney pursued Perry like a prosecutor on Social Security, calling the Texan's Ponzi scheme comment over the top. Bachmann was relentless. She's seized on the inoculation of "little girls" as a violation of freedoms, parental rights and suggested a connection among a drug company, a former Perry aide there, campaign contributions and Perry's executive order.

It's a theme she carried into the post-debate interviews and a somewhat puzzling fundraising email immediately after titled "I'm offended."

Bachmann may also have set a modern debate record for mixed metaphors, talking about the Federal Reserve Bank:"They have got to be shrunk back down to such a tight leash that they're going to squeak."

There are some signs of desperation in the Bachmann camp since Perry's entry and her poll slump. She's cutting back South Carolina campaigning to focus on Iowa and her email solicitation asked for "a special emergency donation" without explaining what the emergency is. Money?

Earlier in the day, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal endorsed Perry and ex-candidate Tim Pawlenty endorsed Romney. Coincidentally, Romney will help pay down Pawlenty's campaign debts.

Speaking of campaign dropouts, the GOP field will winnow in coming weeks from the surviving eight. The next Republican set-to isn't for another nine days, which is about how long it will take you to read Monday's full CNN transcript over here.

RELATED:

Perry's debate debut gives MSNBC top ratings so far

The Reagan debate: The most awkward, unexpected and weirdest moments

Mitt Romney: 'We can't lead the world by hoping our enemies will hate us less'

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to 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.

Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

Rick Perry's debut gives MSNBC top GOP debate ratings so far

    Rick-Perry-Republican-presidential-debate-Reagan-Library

You could call it the Rick Perry bump.

Fox News trumpeted its ratings after the Aug. 11 Republican presidential debate in Ames, Iowa, and now MSNBC is snapping its suspenders about its numbers for Wednesday's GOP debate from beneath the wings of Air Force One inside the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Wednesday was the much-anticipated debate debut for Texas Gov. Perry, who announced his candidacy Aug. 13 and is already the field's front-runner. The debate aired on MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo, and streamed live on Politico.com.

It drew 5.4 million viewers for MSNBC, with 1.7 million viewers in the key Adults 25-54 demographic. It's the highest-rated of the four Republican debates aired so far in 2011, with two previous ones on FNC and one on CNN.

MSNBC's predictable main post-debate "analysis," which spanned the cable channel's ideological spectrum from Ed Schultz to Al Sharpton, lost half the viewers, down to 2.7 million total, with 817,000 in the target demographics.

Also on hand were Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell and, for hAmericas-Got-Talent-Silhouettes-Dance-Troupeumor, Chris Matthews, who got no tingle from Perry.

But while MSNBC fielded its "A" team on analysis, no MSNBC personalities participated in the debate itself.

Moderators were Brian Williams of "NBC Nightly News" and John Harris, Politico's editor-in-chief, with a cameo question period by Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart for the immigration interrogations.

By contrast, June's CNN New Hampshire debate featured anchor John King, and both Fox News debates -- May in South Carolina and August in Iowa -- featured FNC anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace.

The next GOP debate is Monday at 5 p.m. Pacific in Tampa, Fla., co-sponsored by CNN and the Tea Party Express. It will be carried live on CNN, CNN International, CNN.com and CNN Radio. Also available via live-stream in the CNN Apps for iPhone, iPad and Android.

While MSNBC got the Wednesday numbers, NBC was actually Politico's co-sponsor.

Since it's summer, it's a bit surprising that NBC didn't air its own debate -- except that Wednesday is the night of the "America's Got Talent" results show, which easily trumps choosing a presidential nominee.

The "AGT" show drew 7.9 million viewers, giving NBC the win for the evening in total viewers, and tying it with second-place CBS for the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demo.

When it comes to competitions, Americans are still more interested in who will wind up with the $1 million and headline a Las Vegas show than who might move into the White House in January 2013.

RELATED:

GOP debate scores big ratings for Fox News

Rick Perry grins, shrugs and swings away at Reagan Library GOP debate

Presidential debate: The most entertaining, unexpected, weirdest and awkward moments

-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH.

Speaking of 2012, 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: Rick Perry on a monitor at the Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Library; dance group Silhouettes on "America's Got Talent." Credits: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images (Perry); Trae Patton / NBC (Silhouettes).

Presidential debate: The most entertaining, unexpected, weirdest and awkward moments

presidential debate Reagan library Nancy reagan 8-9-7-11

Quick take-aways from last night's Republican presidential debate at the Reagan Presidential Library:

BIGGEST WINNERS: Rick Perry, who did much better than not bomb, and Mitt Romney, who looked presidential again and magnanimous.

BIGGEST LOSER: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who wasn't there, but will learn this morning that he'll be joining the 14 million unemployed if virtually any of these Republicans get to the White House.

BEST PRESIDENTIAL PUT-DOWN: Romney calling the president a nice fella but one who's clueless about economics.

MOST OUTSPOKEN LIBERTARIAN: Ron Paul.

MOST ELOQUENT: Newt Gingrich warning moderators probing for differences among the eight Republicans that any minor distinctions pale in comparison to their unity over defeating Barack Obama.

LOUDEST APPLAUSE: See Most Eloquent.

BIGGEST AIRPLANE EVER HANGING OVER DEBATERS: President Reagan's Air Force One 707.

PINKEST TIE: Rick Santorum.

MOST ENTERTAINING CHRIS MATTHEWS BLOOD PRESSURE RAISER: Perry on this whole global warming hoax.

WARMEST FAMILY MENTION: Michele Bachmann, as message-disciplined as ever on Obama killing jobs, also recalling raising five biological and 23 foster children.

MOST PUZZLING PLAN ABOUT SOMETHING: Herman Cain's 9-9-9.

BEST FINANCIAL TIP IF THE GOP WINS NEXT YEAR: Buy stock in border fence companies.

MOST UNEXPECTED APPLAUSE-GETTER: NBC's Brian Williams asking Perry about Texas executing 234 convicted murderers.

BEST FIVE-WORD ANSWER: Perry asked to explain that applause: "I think Americans understand justice."

CALMEST CHINESE-SPEAKING EX-AMBASSADOR: Jon Huntsman.

MOST AWKWARD MOMENT: Moderator John Harris introducing a gotcha video clip of Romney that wouldn't play. So, the gotcha guy got got.

UNDECLARED CANDIDATE WHOSE ABSENCE WENT LEAST NOTICED: What's-her-name from Alaska.

WEIRDEST SUGGESTED ECONOMY MOVE: Ron Paul's idea to save billions by bringing home air conditioners cooling troop tents in Afghanistan.

BIGGEST UNANSWERED QUESTION: What in the world did Telemundo's Jose Diaz-Balart do to be denied a chair on stage like Williams and Harris had?

RELATED:

Ron Paul's federal disaster relief plan: Kill FEMA

Rick Perry grins, shrugs and swings away at GOP Reagan Library debate

Gov. Jon Huntsman's jobs plan: 'Straightforward and common sense'

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to 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 re-Tweet buttons above to share any item with family and friends.

Photo: Chris Carlson / Associated Press (Nancy Reagan and the eight Republican presidential debaters in the library's reconstructed Oval Office).

Rick Perry grins, shrugs and swings away at Reagan Library GOP debate

  Reagan-Library-Plaque-Presidential-Oath
Texas Gov. Rick Perry came under fire as Republican aspirants to Ronald Reagan's old job gathered under the wings of his former Air Force One tonight, for another debate aired on national TV.

Fresh from surveying wildfires in his home state, Perry was the shiny new toy at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. It was his first presidential debate, and moderators Brian Williams of "NBC Nightly News" and Politico editor-in-chief John Harris called on him at most every opportunity.

And he didn't disappoint, particularly in pointed exchanges with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who was the presumptive front-runner until Perry entered the race on Aug. 13, the day of the Ames straw poll in Iowa.

Consider this exchange on the question of job creation:

Perry: "Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt." (A grin and a "whaddya Rick-Perry-Mitt-Romney-GOP-Debate-Reagan-Library gonna do?" sort of shrug followed.)

Romney: "George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, Governor."

Perry: "That's not correct."

Romney: "That is correct."

Williams: "Nice to see that everybody came prepared for tonight's conversation."

Or, when Rep. Ron Paul of Texas said Perry wrote a letter in the '90s "supporting Hillarycare."

Perry countered that he was his state's agriculture commissioner during the Clinton administration and that he was urging Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the first lady, not to forget rural healthcare in her proposal to overhaul healthcare policy. Then he looked at Paul and said, "I was more interested in the one you wrote to Ronald Reagan, saying, 'I'm going to quit the party because of the things you believe in.' "

"Oh," said Paul, "I need an answer on that!"

He went on to explain how he'd supported Reagan in 1976, and supported his....

Continue reading »

Tonight's Republican debate may really be between 2 Texans, Rick Perry and Ron Paul

Republicans Governor Rick Perry and Representative Ron Paul of Texas

Eight Republicans will line up for the debate in the shadow of Ronald Reagan's Air Force One in his presidential library this evening.

But the most interesting debate dynamic will likely be between the two Texans onstage with the same pair of initials -- Rick Perry, the governor, and Ron Paul, the representative.

This was supposed to be the second GOP panel for Perry, the late-comer and new front-runner. But he pulled out of Sen. Jim DeMint's values forum in South Carolina Monday to fly home and be governor during the giant state's wild wildfires.

Tonight, everyone will pay verbal tribute to Ronald Reagan, who might have some trouble winning the presidential nomination of the new Grand Old Party these days. The debate will be carried live on MSNBC at 5 p.m. Pacific.

Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman will be asked about their jobs plans. Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich will chime in. For an interesting look at the surviving GOP field, check out Chris Stirewalt's perceptive rundown here.

Obama will be a certain target but less so because Republican House Speaker John Boehner saved the Democrat from himself. Obama wanted to talk jobs tonight too to a joint session of Congress. Boehner suggested Thursday was better and the president acquiesced.

Cross-state rivals Perry and Paul have already been sniping at each other. The 11-term congressman has criticized the nation's longest-serving governor as not a real conservative and dismissing him as more of the status quo.Texas Republican governor Rick Perry listens to wildfire victim Cindy Cruz in Bastrop 9-5-11

Tuesday Perry's surprisingly well-organized camp fired a salvo at Paul, citing his 1987 resignation letter from the Republican Party in which he criticized the president now entombed just steps from tonight's debate site.

"There is no credibility left for the Republican Party as a force to reduce the size of government," Paul wrote near the end of Reagan's second term before Paul ran for president on the Libertarian ticket. "That is the message of the Reagan years."

“It will be interesting," a Perry spokesman suggestively suggested, "to hear Rep. Paul explain why Reagan drove him from the party at tomorrow’s debate on the grounds of the Reagan Library."

Recent polls have confirmed Perry's rapid surge to the front of the Republican field. He appears to have most hurt Bachmann, another tea party favorite who can be expected to attack. A Gallup Poll this week found Perry and Romney to be about equally well-liked among Republicans (seven-out-of-ten).

But Gallup's intensity score gives Perry twice the rating of Romney, 25-12.

A larger question many ask is how good is Perry at debating? Put another way, how bad can he be? He's never lost an election.

It's still almost a year out from the GOP convention in Tampa. Ahh, Florida in August. Who wouldn't want to wear funny hats in that weather?

But this month is already crucial. It's the last in the second quarter of campaign fundraising. We'll soon see how big a money bump Bachmann got for winning the Ames Straw Poll. If Paul's $1.6 money-bomb was a one-day explosion?

And how big are the bundles being assembled by Perry's reputed hundreds of newly-recruited, enthusiastic bundlers, including some well-connected folks in California, where Perry will forage for cash all day Thursday.

RELATED:

Here's how President Obama wants 9/11 observed

77% of Americans say Obama leads nation down wrong track

Obama's approval now lower than his uncle's blood-alcohol level

-- Andrew Malcolm

Don't forget to 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: David J. Phillip / Associated Press (Perry, left); Mary Ann Chastain / Associated Press (Paul); Alberto Martinez / Associated Press (Perry listens to wildfire victim Cindy Cruz in Bastrop, Sept. 5).

Ron Paul's federal disaster relief plan: Kill FEMA

Ron Paul campaigns in Iowa 8-27-11

Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul is on his his third bid for the presidency.

A distinctive and refreshing trait of the libertarian's campaigns is that the retired doctor calmly provokes politicians and voters to talk about the political givens they otherwise would prefer to leave alone. Why is the Federal Reserve so powerful and secretive? What benefit do we really get out of foreign wars? Couldn't those billions be better spent at home?

Disturbing to some, who boo Paul at Republican debates.

But that's a healthy thing given the tendency of well-coiffed candidates to blather out their focus-grouped, well-rehearsed talking points at every opening. You don't get the impression that Ron Paul is ever saying what he thinks you want to hear, a sign of genuineness that attracts his devoted band of followers and sticks out in American politics, albeit often self-defeating

Also, honestly, Ron Paul's straight-faced ability to drive government-loving TV interviewers into incredulity is most entertaining.

The 76-year-old's latest willing victim is CNN's Anderson Cooper. And Paul's latest contribution ...

Continue reading »

Rick Perry broadens national lead over Romney, Bachmann, Palin

Texas Republican governor Rick Perry demonstrates his brand of intense campaigning 8-15-11

Fourteen days after announcing his Republican presidential candidacy, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has expanded his lead in a new national poll, while both Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin slide slightly and Michele Bachmann is in single digits.

A new CNN/ORC International Poll of Republicans out today shows Perry now holds the support of more than one-in-four (27%), up significantly from the 15% he had before his Aug. 13 announcement at the Redstate Gathering of conservative writers in South Carolina.

Romney, who had 17% then, now has 14%. Sarah Palin, who's expected to make her candidacy plans or lack thereof known at an Iowa tea party rally Saturday, has slipped from 12% to  10%.

Bachmann, the Iowa native and early tea party favorite, has the support of 9%, down from 12% in mid-July. The congresswoman's win at the Ames Straw Poll seems to have provided a short-lived bump.

In a poll that removes Palin and non-candidate Rudy Giuliani from the race, Perry's support jumps to 32% and Romney's to 18%.

The latest poll numbers reveal the tectonic shifts caused by Perry's energetic entry as the nation's longest-serving governor. Perry's support is strongest among tea party supporters but crosses a broad swath of the GOP and appears to be drawing support away from Bachmann and even perennial candidate Ron Paul.Rick Perry campaign Logo

The numbers also highlight the potential dangers of Romney's strategy so far of focusing heavily on New Hampshire and attacking President Obama while largely ceding Iowa and South Carolina to other GOP hopefuls.

His strategy is based on the belief that, in the end, Republican primary voters will eschew the excitement of the moment and choose someone, anyone, they believe can defeat the Democratic incumbent on Nov. 6, 2012.

The new CNN/ORC Pollalso shows that despite his dedicated disciples' determination, Paul's national standing has faded by half from early August, from 12% down to 6%.

A recent Gallup Poll of Republicans found a similar commanding lead for the Texan with a broad base of support among GOP incomes, gender and educations. And a new Rasmussen Reports survey found 38% of likely U.S. voters agree with Perry's professed goal of making Washington as inconsequential as possible in Americans' lives.

Even further changes in allegiance are likely in coming days as Labor Day and the fall campaign season arrive.

In addition to  Palin's long-teased decision Saturday, this weekend features a tea party candidate forum in South Carolina run by Sen. Jim DeMint where for the first time Perry will mix it up with GOP competitors like Bachmann and persistent critic and fellow Texan Paul. Romney is taking a pass on that event.

Then comes a flurry of debates including one at the Reagan Presidential Library on Sept. 7 and another in Tampa, Fla.

The same CNN/ORC poll found that fewer that three out of four Democrats favor Obama's renomination. The 72% who do is statistically about the same as the 70% who said that in early August but down from the 81% who liked that idea in early June. Likewise, those favoring a different Democrat as presidential nominee has surged from 18% in June to 27%.

RELATED:

Rick Perry: Use Predators to track illegal border drug traffic

Gov. Rick Perry bills Obama for $350 million in illegal immigration costs

Rick Perry: 'We cannot afford 4 more years of this rudderless leadership'

-- 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: Rick Perry shows his intense campaign style. Perry's campaign logo.

Credits: Jim Young / Reuters; Andrew Malcolm/Los Angeles Times

Sunday shows: Ron Paul, Fugate, Warner, Powell

Texas Republican Representative Ron Pau

ABC's "This Week" with Jake Tapper: N.J. Gov. Chris Christie and FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, with George Will, Donna Brazile, Ron Brownstein, Cokie Roberts, Robert Kagan, Robin Wright and Rajiv Chadrasakaren.

Bloomberg's "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Colin Powell on Martin Luther King Jr..

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Hurricane Irene coverage.

Fox News Channel's "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Fugate, with Bill Kristol, Dana Perino, Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Fugate with Jamie Gangel on Dick Cheney's new book, "In My Times," Katy Kay and Michael Dyson.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here now to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available on Kindle now. Use the ReTweet buttons above to share this item with friends.

Photo:Joshua Roberts / Bloomberg (Ron Paul).

Ron Paul's birthday 'money bomb' nets $1.6 million

   Ron-Paul-Iowa-State-Fair

When it comes to donations, Texas Rep. Ron Paul believes small is beautiful.

In a 24-hour fundraising push over the weekend, GOP presidential candidate Paul scooped up more than $1.6 million in small donations. It was Paul's 76th birthday and his loyal band of dedicated campaigners came through again for the inconoclastic Texas libertarian.

This happened despite a cyber-attack on the campaign Website, announced on Paul's Facebook page, that shut it down for a few hours.

A press release quoted campaign chairman Jesse Benton as saying, "Our campaign is surging, and today's money bomb results show the strength of our grassroots support. We've just come off an impressive finish in the Iowa straw poll, and our growing poll numbers and strong fundraising proves that our message is resonating with people."

Indeed, those who support Paul are passionate, but the RealClearPolitics.com average of major polls puts the 11-term congressman sixth in the field of Republican hopefuls, behind Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Sarah Palin (who's not actually running yet), Michele Bachmann and Rudy Giuliani (also not officially running), but ahead of declared candidates Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman Jr. and Rick Santorum.

The 2012 campaign is a final push for Paul, who has announced he will not seek another term in the House in order to concentrate on his presidential race.

One of the biggest obstacles in Paul's way is fellow Texan Rick Perry, the Lone Star State's longest-serving governor. Since announcing his candidacy for the Republican nomination last Saturday, Perry has generated a lot of buzz and attention (and a Twitter endorsement from rocker and businessman Gene Simmons).

Perry also has a successful history of getting donors to open their wallets.

In an interview with ABC News, Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, said, "He  is the most successful campaign fundraiser in the history of Texas politics, hands down."

The question will be whether Perry can transition from his base of big-money donors in his home state to attract the attention of big donors nationwide -- a strength of Romney, who's also got personal wealth to draw on -- and the support of individual donors more focused on particular issues and ideologies (such as Paul's).

"I don't think money will be an object [for Perry]," McDonald also said. "I mean, it won't be a question in his success unless he stumbles badly."

True, Paul's moneybombs were larger back in the 2007-08 cycle; he got $5 million one day then and even outraised Mike Huckabee, the last GOP candidate to concede to John McCain's primary efforts.

There's little doubt Paul's ardent fans will continue to throw dollars at him, but if Perry locks into the national big-money bundlers, the battle of Texas could be over quickly.

RELATED:

Did Ron Paul win the GOP Iowa debate?

Ron Paul comes in from the fringe

Rick Perry moves right on immigration

-- Kate O'Hare

Media critic Kate O’Hare is a regular Ticket contributor. She also blogs about TV at Hot Cuppa TV and is a frequent contributor at entertainment news site Zap2it. Also follow O'Hare on Twitter @KateOH.

Speaking of 2012, 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.

Photo: Ron Paul at the Iowa State Fair. Credit: Scott Olson / Getty Images

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: