AP: Ron Paul Emerges as Outsider Alternative in GOP raceSubmitted by bobbyw24 on Wed, 12/21/2011 - 08:25
EXETER, N.H. (AP) — Suddenly, Ron Paul is in contention to win the Iowa caucuses and do well in the New Hampshire primary two weeks before the first votes are cast, reflecting the fluidity of the Republican presidential race as well as the inability of the party's social conservative, tea party and establishment wings to coalesce behind a favored candidate.
Yet, while the libertarian-leaning Texas congressman is earning support for his tight-fisted fiscal positions, he's so out of step with the GOP mainstream on foreign policy and some domestic issues that even his most loyal aides doubt he can use his momentum to win the Republican nomination.
"I'm very much in the Republican tradition," Paul insisted Tuesday as he campaigned in New Hampshire before heading back to Iowa on Wednesday. "Very much in the American tradition."
True or not, this much is certain: Paul is having a major impact on the campaign. His outsider persona and refusal to acquiesce to the ways of Washington — he's nicknamed "Dr. No" on Capitol Hill for voting against much legislation — has earned him a loyal following that he's leveraged to build a strong organization in Iowa and elsewhere. The respect that has long eluded him in the party may finally be coming to him.