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Ron Paul --- Cyber Star

June 16, 2007 |  5:28 pm

Ron Paul may remain among the longest of long shots to actually capture the Republican presidential nomination, but his candidacy --- and his forceful articulation of a conservative's case for quickly disengaging from Iraq (and much of the rest of the world, for that matter) --- clearly has struck a chord.

Got any doubts? Check out an article in today's Washington Post, headlined: "An Also-Ran in the GOP Polls, Ron Paul Is Huge on the Web."

The piece notes, for instance, that his official YouTube videos "have been viewed nearly 1.1 million times --- more than those of any other candidate, Republican or Democrat, except for" Democrat Barack Obama.

Paul's main moment in the spotlight came during the second nationally televised GOP debate, back in mid-May, when he asserted that U.S. foreign policy, especially the periodic bombing of Iraq during the 1990s, was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks.

The remark drew an outraged response from Rudy Giuliani, who demanded Paul retract his comment (which the Texas congressman did not). At the time, much of the coverage focused on how the moment played to Giuliani's strength, allowing him to keep the political conversation focused on his view of the terrorism threat (and away from tricky social issues, like abortion). But obviously, it served Paul's purposes, as well.

-- Don Frederick