Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt against McCain
- View Sourcehttp://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/05/ronpaulgop.html
Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt
Virtually all the nation's political attention in
recent weeks has focused on the compelling
state-by-state presidential nomination struggle
between two Democrats and the potential for
party-splitting strife over there.
But in the meantime quietly, largely under the radar
of most people, the forces of Rep. Ron Paul have been
organizing across the country to stage an embarrassing
public revolt against Sen. John McCain when
Republicans gather for their national convention in
St. Paul at the beginning of September.
Paul's presidential candidacy has been correctly
dismissed all along in terms of winning the
nomination. He was even excluded as irrelevant by Fox
News from a nationally-televised GOP debate in New
But what's been largely overlooked is Paul's candidacy
as a reflection of a powerful lingering
dissatisfaction with the Arizona senator among the
party's most conservative conservatives. As
anticipated a month ago in The Ticket, that situation
could be exacerbated by today's expected announcement
from former Republican Rep. Bob Barr of Georgia for
the Libertarian Party's presidential nod, a slot held
by Paul in 1988.
Nevermind Ralph Nader, Republican and Democratic
parties both face....
...potentially damaging internal splits that could
cripple their chances for victory in a narrow vote on
Just take a look at recent Republican primary results,
largely overlooked because McCain locked up the
necessary 1,191 delegates long ago. In Indiana, McCain
got 77% of the recent Republican primary vote, Mike
Huckabee and Mitt Romney, who've each long ago quit
and endorsed McCain, still got 10% and 5%
respectively, while Paul took 8%.
On the same May 6 in North Carolina, McCain received
less than three-quarters of Republican votes (74%),
while Huckabee got 12%, Paul 7% and Alan Keyes and No
Preference took a total of 7%.
Pennsylvania was even slightly worse for the GOP's
presumptive nominee, who got only 73% to a combined
27% for Paul (16%) and Huckabee (11%).
As Politico.com's Jonathan Martin noted recently, at
least some of these results are temporary protest
votes in meaningless primaries built on lingering
affection for Huckabee and suspicion of McCain.
Given the long-since settled GOP race, thousands of
other Republicans in these states, who might have put
up with a McCain vote, crossed over to vote in the
more exciting Democratic primaries, on their own for
Sen. Barack Obama or at the urging of talk-show host
Rush Limbaugh who sought to support Hillary Clinton
and prolong Democratic bloodletting.
According to a recent Boston Globe tally, Paul has a
grand total of 19 Republican delegates to Romney's
260, Huckabee's 286 and McCain's 1,413.
The last three months Paul's forces, who donated $34.5
million to his White House effort and upwards of one
million total votes, have, as The Ticket has noted,
been fighting a series of guerrilla battles with party
establishment officials at county and state
conventions from Washington and Missouri to Maine and
Mississippi. Their goal: to take control of local
committees, boost their delegate totals and influence
Paul, for instance, favors a drastically reduced
federal goverment, abolishing the Federal Reserve,
ending the Iraq war immediately and withdrawing U.S.
troops from abroad.
They hope to demonstrate their disagreements with
McCain vocally at the convention through platform
fights and an attempt to get Paul a prominent speaking
slot. Paul, who's running unopposed in his home Texas
district for an 11th House term, still has some $5
million in war funds and has instructed his followers
that their struggle is not about a single election,
but a longterm revolution for control of the
So eager are they to follow their leader's words, that
Paul's supporters have driven his new book, "The
Revolution: A Manifesto," to the top of several
While Paul has consistently refused a third-party bid,
he has vowed not to endorse McCain, a refusal mirrored
by hundreds of his supporters who've left comments on
The Ticket in recent weeks. And, no doubt, they'll
flock back here today to spread the gospel below.