Reason.com: The New Goldwater? As the GOP presidential field churns, Ron Paul remains Ron Paul.Submitted by nmlifestyles on Mon, 05/23/2011 - 00:58
The New Goldwater?
As the GOP presidential field churns, Ron Paul remains Ron Paul.
Brian Doherty | May 19, 2011
The Republican presidential field is shifting, with one (reasonably) expected frontrunner, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and one (unreasonably hyped) frontrunner, reality TV star Donald Trump, both dropping out of the prospective race to bash their heads against President Barack Obama in 2012.
Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich—coming in at number three in a recent Gallup poll, though largely on name recognition—has managed to start and flameout spectacularly in one week. Said flameout doesn’t mean that the former chief of the Republicans' grand 1994 moment of triumph won’t have juice when the votes actually get cast—though we still must presume he can fund a realistic campaign machine between now and then.
The fundraising record of what The Wall Street Journal calls “Newt Inc.”—a set of political advocacy and consulting organizations Gingrich runs—“has amassed more than 1.7 million voter and donor contacts and raised $32 million between 2009 and 2010." As the Journal notes, that makes a Gingrich machine "seem quite possible.” At least it did a week ago. Huffington Post is now reporting that significant GOP players and financiers are abandoning Newt like he’s an ill first wife.
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, despite his vulnerability on the GOP-important issue of bashing ObamaCare, is fundraising and polling like he's the frontrunner, in the grand GOP tradition of “it seems to be his turn.” Frontrunners from the last election Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani should be consulted on whether long-term moving plans are prudent based on media-anointed frontrunner status this many months before voting starts.
And while media-driven candidates such as Jon Huntsman (former ambassador to China and governor of Utah) are still bubbling up (and I’m not sure why even those poor bored bastards in the election horserace press who have to gin up something new to be excited about daily care about this fanless unknown), Republicans are said to be dreaming of someone, anyone else.
Yet an objectively real, experienced, close-second-tier candidate like Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul (campaigning in Nevada this week) is getting less attention from the media and party bigwigs than almost any of the above. And this is despite strong showings in various polls (including being the closest of any of the GOP field to beating Obama), and name recognition above 50 percent this early, even while lots of the media still flat-out pretends that he doesn’t exist. That disrespect for candidate Paul is hard to explain given that he has the most consistent set of beliefs and policies that actually could turn America in the direction ostensibly desired by Republican Party voters: smaller government, less spending, less taxes.
Even writers who seem to be crying out for a candidate who is Ron Paul in nearly every important belief manage to not endorse the actual Ron Paul. While Romney pretends you can right America’s debt problems without hitting the military, Paul understands why that is ridiculous. While both Romney and Gingrich are vulnerable on ObamaCare, Paul says, “As President, not only would I issue waivers from 'Obamacare' for all states, but I would issue mandate waivers for all individuals by instructing the IRS not to assess the penalties for non-compliance with the mandate law.”