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Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt against McCain

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/05/ronpaulgop.html Ron Paul s forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt against McCain Virtually all the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12, 2008
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      http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/05/ronpaulgop.html

      Ron Paul's forces quietly plot GOP convention revolt
      against McCain

      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
      Hampshire.

      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
      Nov. 4.

      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
      platform debates.

      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
      Republican Party.

      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
      bestseller lists.

      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.

      --Andrew Malcolm
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