Sunday, November 11, 2007
Run, Ron, Run!
Well, the 2008 Presidential aspirants are beginning to hit their stride. I am not at all sure what I will do come next November. I am quite sure what I will not do. For me, 2008 is an opportunity to do penance for my sins of 2004 and 2000. In the meantime, I am enjoying the spectacle. There hasn't been a race like this since 1952.
I am particularly impressed with the Ron Paul phenomenon. His headline-making fundraising efforts are finally breaking the media barrier. Still, besides Chris Matthews and a few others, he gets little attention. This morning, on George Stephanopolis' talk show, he was discussing the New Hampshire primary with Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts and George Will. As they flashed the latest poll numbers on the screen, Stephanopolis noted that the big story in the numbers was the collapse of Fred Thompson's campaign (who, as Cokie Roberts noted, was strolling, rather than running, for the Presidency). "Wait a minute," I thought. The big story was not that Thompson (whose candidacy was all media hype to begin with, in my view) was now #6. The big story was that Paul was #4 in New Hampshire, not far behind McCain.
I first started taking note of Paul in one of the early Republican debates where he had his now-famous interchange with Giuliani. As it sunk in what Paul was saying about our involvement in the Middle East, and its root causes, I jumped up from the sofa, hooping and hollering in support. St. Rudy of 9/11's response was classic demagoguery. He scorned Paul for straying from the script. Paul had the temerity to actually speak truth.
Paul remains one of the longest of long shots. But as Paul Gottfried notes, here, "he is a wonderful embarrassment to our two odious national parties." And in that context, I say "Run, Ron, Run!"
There's a decent story in today's Times, as well.