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07 January 2012

Ron Paul (sort of) moves on to the USA's first presidential primary in New Hampshire

CBS News (USA television network)
Saturday 7 January 2012

Is Ron Paul 

in it to win it?

by Stephanie Condon

[photo: Ron Paul supporters Gigi and Ken Bowman of Long Island, N.Y., hold signs in support of Rep. Ron Paul outside an event for Mitt Romney, Jan. 7, 2012, in Derry, New Hampshire.] (Credit: AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Is this Ron Paul's moment? Does he want it to be?

Fresh off a strong, third place victory in the Iowa caucuses, Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul promptly ... took a break. The Texas congressman raised some eyebrows when he paused his campaign this week rather than carrying his momentum straight to New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first primary on Tuesday.

To be sure, his rival Mitt Romney -- former governor of neighboring state Massachusetts -- has a hefty 20-point lead in New Hampshire. Still, there's potential for Paul: He's the only other candidate to break 20 percent in recent polls, and the "Live free or die" state -- where independents can vote in the primary -- is a natural fit for the libertarian-leaning candidate.

But while some may think Paul's time off suggests he's not serious about his campaign, it belies the fact that, aside from Romney's, Paul's campaign is the best prepared for a long nomination contest, with a large war chest and the organization to get on the ballot in states where other candidates couldn't. In New Hampshire, Paul has the support of around 30 New Hampshire state legislators, and he's campaigned in New Hampshire about as much as he has in Iowa.

And then, of course, Paul arguably has the most ardent supporters of any GOP candidate. But at times, his supporters seem to want a Paul presidency more than he does.

While other candidates have tacked their professionally-made signs into the ground across the Granite State, it's not unusual to see homemade Paul signs fluttering from highway overpasses, or Paul supporters in what appear to be homemade T-shirts. And while other candidates have been confronted by unimpressed voters -- see Romney's or Rick Santorum's recent uncomfortable moments -- Paul's crowds are typically enthusiastic and friendly.

When Paul showed up in Nashau on Friday, a crowd of hundreds was waiting for him, cramped in a small airplane hangar at Boire Field Airport. Buzzing with excitement, the group at times started spontaneously chanting "Ron Paul! Ron Paul!"

Ron Paul's son, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, dressed casually in a turtleneck and sweater, greeted the audience. "People ask me, 'Is campaigning fun?'" he says, loosening up the crowd. In the frank and honest style both Ron and Rand are known for, he answers that question by relating a time a woman grabbed him by the head, tugging to find out whether his curly tuft of hair was real.

Perhaps it's those trying moments that prompted Paul to lay low for a few days. But after the rally on Friday, Paul told the press, "I don't know if we took a couple of days off as much as we just stuck to our plan. We had a plan we would be here our last five days."

Breaks from the campaign trail may do minimal damage, when voters can so easily learn about candidates through other means. But there's no denying that shaking a few more hands could secure a few more votes. Brett Ferrell and Ryan Hall, both 20 years old, went to Paul's Friday event without much of an opinion about the congressman. They said they could be persuaded to vote for either for Paul or Romney.

What's more, after Paul canceled an event with college students scheduled for Friday morning, it left some wondering whether Paul is running a serious campaign or simply trying to shape the dialogue within the GOP.

Paul spokesman Gary Howard dismissed that notion. "No one has campaigned harder or smarter than Dr. Paul," he said. "We have a comprehensive plan to win the delegates necessary to be the nominee and have been working that plan hard. We will be campaigning hard through Tampa and beyond."

For Paul's most ardent supporters, his candidacy certainly isn't just about making a statement.

"If we want to get our country back on track, we need a president like Paul for at least 10 years," said Ed, a Manchester resident who declined to give his last name. "It is difficult to elect a libertarian president, but I think his showing has been very impressive. It shows a lot of people are thinking about the fiscal health of the country."

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by wirelessjohn January 7, 2012 5:39 PM EST
    The magic Paul has is the voice of the people. When we elect him president the congress will know that we are paying attention and they better respect us and our constitution. Ron Paul will be the next president of the USA and together with congress and our voices this country will be much better.
by VeteranCarl January 7, 2012 5:36 PM EST
    Why does the media keep asking Dr. Paul if he will run as an independent or a democrat? That is an insane question to a GOP candidate that is doing VERY well in the polls.

    Dr. Paul IS running for president which means that he WANTS to win. I know this because the man doesn't lie or mislead people. If the media's talking heads had 1/10th the integrity of Dr. Paul, he'd be our president right now. CNN changed poll results on the internet and got caught, FOX got busted changing the audience audio track track of one of his debate answers from cheers to boos. I can't understand why someone didn't go to jail for that???

    And if I hear another pundit say the word "un-electable" in reference to Congressman Paul (who has been elected 12 times) I'm gonna...ugh, I don't know what I'll do. To the media pundits, you don't get to decide elect-ability, that is the job of us voters. So butt-out and stop trying to give me my opinion.

    This country spends twice as much annually as it takes in revenue! There's one guy (only one) running for president who wants to fix that.
by ChiasmataX January 7, 2012 5:34 PM EST
    Youtube: Judge Napolitano: What if they're lying to you about Ron Paul? - Fox Business
by MacDerb January 7, 2012 5:28 PM EST
    He's another Ross Perot - Texas oil money...

    No Texan.

    They "surge" us into ruin.
by mstirner January 7, 2012 5:24 PM EST
    Well, I disagree that Ron Paul appeals only to the young... I'm an old geezer, and I'm going to vote for him... He's the only one who will keep our nation from falling for the neocon lies (remember the WMDs that pushed a weak President into a mindless, bloody and unconstitutional war with Iraq?). Only Paul has the courage and the will to stop the crazy desire of the corporate neocons for war with Iran.

by cntrygirl3 January 7, 2012 5:15 PM EST
    Dr. Paul is 70 years old, did it ever occur to anybody he needed a little rest. This is the most support he has ever had within the republican party but he still can't win the nomination. However this time he is strong enough for a third party run, probably his last shot. What is truly amazing with the tepid support for Romney (likely nominee) and at times for Mr. Obama (certain nominee) he might just be able to throw the next election into congress, now wouldn't that be interesting.
by josephle2k January 7, 2012 5:15 PM EST
    "No System of Government Last, without the True Voices and supports of its People..." -Unknown

    Through Dr. Paul "We the Peopl"" Will Prevail...

    While Establishmentarians attack and ignore the good Doctor out of fear of losing government-sanctioned power over its own People they supposedly represent. The Doctor continues on being, well the "The sound Doctor".

    Completely ignored by the corrupted Medias and the establishments are a salient, this should be a Warning Bell to Every American of great concerns.

    One way or another, their powers will come to an end. The Establishments should start taking notes when Dr. Ron Paul speaks, because the day of reckoning is on near...

by mt3355 January 7, 2012 5:12 PM EST
    Well done Stephane. Your story was fair and informative. Something Dr Paul doesn't see much.

by LeeMcD22 January 7, 2012 4:59 PM EST
    See Ron Paul in...Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bank?: An Uncensored Investigation of the US Federal Reserve Banking Cartel--one of the most controversial institutions of our time...(Self-Serving its Country Since 1913)...

    Try SubPrimal Scream Therapy:

    Also see: The Real Housewives of Tent City (A Hot New REALITY Show---Global Depression Edition) (Spoiler: This is about what the Federal Reserve has done--not the housewives! --watch to the end)...


    Or you might like Banking On It (New Republican Seinfeld-esque Comedy Series):

    And: this [short]: Neverminditol-The Great Recession Depression Drug and then get up and JOIN those not against capitalism but against rigged capitalism...


    Or at least see Chitty Chitty Bank Bank:


    Important to consider Leveraged Buyouyts --LBOs vs jobs --Wall St Banks and private Equity firms that enacted a large scale Leveraged Buyout of America. See Lady Gaga Does LBOs [short]


    ...Lady Gaga reveals Private Equity and Investment Banking's upcoming Financial Tsunami (caused by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital along with other PE firms like KKR and Goldman Sachs--and the pending LBO credit crash and its impact on the US economy...then join those standing up for you and genuine capitalism--not rigged capitalism and all this cheating and looting of our economy for short term gain.

    And if you just want someone to blame, try The Blame Game:


    But if you want to return our crap money to its source, try fast free online game "Take That: A Federal Reserve Crap$hoot Stress Relief Game":

    Reply to this comment

by toadaleigh January 7, 2012 4:51 PM EST
    What the GOP needs to realize is if Ron Paul is not the nominee, Barak Obama will be president. They need to decide if they want Paul or Obama as president. The reason being is because 80% of Paul supporters will not vote for any nominee except Paul. That is a big chunk of voters. They will either write him in or vote Gary Johnson or Buddy Roemer.

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