Monday, January 28, 2008

Paul's "rope-a-dope"??

From Johnny Kramer on LewRockwell.com...

There's no question that things so far haven't gone the way we had hoped: Ron came in 5th in Iowa with 10%; 4th in New Hampshire with 8%; 4th in Michigan with 6%; and just finished 5th in South Carolina with 4% and 2nd in Nevada with 13%. He may have won the recent Louisiana Caucuses, but the victory may have been stolen from him by various shenanigans. I've seen no mention of this by the mainstream media.

As usual, the blackout and transparent bias was present at the recent MSNBC debate in Florida, where Ron was given by far the least amount of time to speak – which, amazingly, was admitted by MSNBC:

Then, Kramer theorizes on this. To me, his second story seems far more plausible. I don't see any conspiracies at work here-- just that Paul has struggled as someone who is on the margins of the GOP in terms of policy and as a Congressman (not an ideal platform from which to launch a run for the President).

...the media's blackout and marginalizing of Ron Paul seems to still have worked based on the ultimate criterion for one election, which is votes...It's also possible that socialism and fascism are still a lot more popular among the public than I thought...

Then, he turns to speculation about the future of the primary season-- and ironically, the probability of a Giuliani-like strategy of staying above water, but not exerting fully until after the others have punched themselves out...

Although I can't verify this, Ron apparently spent little money on advertising in Iowa and New Hampshire – far less than what he could afford, based on the roughly $20 million he raised last quarter. Word is he was only shooting for around third place, to not win but also not get crushed.

There has to be a reason for that.

Well, the rumor is that his strategy is to sit back through the first few states, let the candidates attack each other and spend themselves nearly broke doing it, then step in and try and fill the void by dropping all of his money on ads for Super Tuesday, and possibly Florida the week before.

If true, this strategy is smart for several reasons based on the conditions a month ago – all of which are peculiar to this year, which is unlike any we've seen in modern history:

1. Going into Iowa, there was no front-runner – and there wasn't likely to be one going into Super Tuesday a month later. So no one was likely to build unstoppable momentum by winning most of the early contests.

2. All of the candidates besides Paul and Romney are probably about broke and unlikely to have the cash to compete with Ron long-term.

3. It appeared prior to Iowa that a candidate or two could drop out before Super Tuesday or immediately after, due to lack of cash, lack of votes, or both.

That turned out to be accurate; Thompson is already gone. And again, Huckabee is broke and Giuliani probably is too, and Giuliani has staked his whole campaign on winning in Florida, where he's now polling a distant third. Barring some unexpected event, I expect Giuliani and Huckabee to be gone after Super Tuesday, and the race to come down to Romney, McCain and Paul in a brokered convention....

5. There will almost certainly be a brokered convention.

After Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan, Ron was a solid fourth in total votes, and he had decimated two Establishment candidates who have been shoved down everyone's throats for two years; in the event that he fails to emerge from the primary season with enough delegates to secure the nomination, but he can at least maintain his current standing, he should have a decent position going into a brokered convention, which seems virtually guaranteed now.

The problem with this last point is that it is difficult to imagine what Paul would gain from within a brokered convention.

7 Comments:

At January 28, 2008 at 7:35 PM , Blogger Bryce Raley said...

Eric,

Doug Wead has had some very interesting political blogs at
http://dougwead.wordpress.com/


He has posted on Fox News and it's handling of Huckabee. The Kennedy endorsement of Obama, and a variety of other issues.

Wead was a staffer with George Bush Sr. and helped with the Reagan campaign. He actually helped write biographies for both men. He is the author of All the President's Children.

He has a very interesting take on politics, campaigns, presidential history and has a very successful background in ministry, business and speaking.

 
At January 29, 2008 at 7:17 AM , Blogger Shamgar said...

The problem with this last point is that it is difficult to imagine what Paul would gain from within a brokered convention.

If this is really true then I'm really surprised at you. Given your position I can't imagine the problem is a lack of understanding of the actual process vs the Dog and Pony show. So ... maybe you just aren't paying attention?

Ron has had grassroots efforts on the delegates front from the get-go. Ron's supporters are generally more clued in about the political process, or are now that they're a part of this campaign and have been hanging around with people who are.

We have been running delegates in every state. I can almost guarantee you that some of the delegates who were bound to candidates who have dropped out (thompson et al) are Ron's. We took a good many more delegates than people realize in Iowa, and the delegates we gained in Nevada (which are again more than are being reported because they're focusing on the straw poll in the MSM and not on the actual election) are far more important than the SC primary was.

NH was a bit of a letdown, but it was our first real run at this, and we had to learn some hard lessons about grassroots canvassing. We've learned those and put them into play most effectively in Nevada and LA. We're working the canvassing hard, but even though we're trying to push up his finish in the primaries our eye is always on the prize - the convention.

 
At January 29, 2008 at 7:34 AM , Blogger Shamgar said...

Bryce,

Well, I read most of one post and that was enough for me. The man actually thinks Harriet Miers would've been a good court appointee - and further blames Fox for her not being appointed?

I can't stand FOX news and I'll be the first to admit they're not above even outright censorship to put their view forward. However, the problem with Harriet was that her nomination was an aspect of Cronyism, and that she was completely unqualified for the job - especially as compared to other far more qualified people like Janice Rogers Brown. Of course, instead, we got Samuel Alito - which wasn't exactly a step up (and whom I opposed as well).

Further, he's a Huckabee supporter. Look, everyone has a right to support whom they will, but the man is a liberal statist. Not to mention apparently more than willing to become whatever he thinks is popular at the moment. (Notice his recent change-of-heart to advocating a more "humble foreign policy". Gee I wonder where he heard that one.)

He's completely unprepared to deal with the serious economic issues we're facing and is guaranteed to make them worse, much the same as FDR did in his day. (Much the same as McCain will if he somehow were to pull off the nomination)

He wants to complain about the ignorance of Evangelical voters? I agree. They're short-sighted and ignorant of political realities. They're tied to party names because they don't understand or often even hold ideologies. They hold positions (pro-life et al) and not fully orbed ideologies based on a solid grasp of Scripture and an unflinching understanding of the sinfulness of man.

Guess what? As a result, they're supporting Huckabee. That support - including this Doug Wead - is an outgrowth of the very ignorance he is railing against. The problem with Huckabee is not FOX news. The problem is that Huckabee is so liberal that even most of the Christians can see it. Those most likely to vote for anyone who says Jesus the most, or who comes to speak in their church, or is interviewed in this or that Christian Magazine. Even some of them can see him for what he is.

No, the conservative vote isn't going to Huckabee. It's certainly not going to McCain or Rudy. Some of the pragmatists are going to Romney right now, but most of the real conservatives were Fred supporters - and are now turning to Ron Paul as the only actual conservative still in the race.

I have to wonder what role Doug played in the Reagan campaign. Was he just a grassroots volunteer? Cause it is hard to imagine him being close to the campaign and actually hearing Ron speak and walking away thinking that the things Huckabee says sound anything like even the ideology of Reagan.

 
At January 29, 2008 at 12:09 PM , Blogger shawnloy said...

What Paul could gain from a brokered convention is that he (and his delegates) could get to decide who the next President of the U.S. will be. Or a VP slot.

At the least, he should get a slot to speak at the convention (when's the last time a real small govt. libertarian got to speak at either major party convention?). Major convention speeches are what propelled Reagan and Clinton and Obama and others to Presidential contender level in their long campaigns for the Presidency.

It's a long shot, but definite possibility, especially if the campaigns of the other campaigns get as bitter as they might get, and personal rivalry or pride prevents them from coming together. I've seen it before in other local bitter primaries. Republicans aren't as reliable as Dem's at getting back on the same team for long term strategy reasons.

 
At January 29, 2008 at 1:15 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Perhaps I'm underestimating this, but two points to make in reply.

First, unless Paul starts getting higher vote totals, he will not end up with very many delegates-- and not enough to wield much influence.

Second, I'm not much of a conspiracy type, but I think the powers-that-be within the GOP will continue to try to marginalize Paul as much as possible. Moreover, it's not clear to me that Paul would be willing to bargain much with those who might want his delegates.

 
At January 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM , Blogger Shamgar said...

You're underestimating this.

Or more accurately, you're giving too much credence to the primary numbers - esp the ones the MSM is reporting. For example, like I said, Nevada has more delegates than SC but to watch the coverage you wouldn't think so. Further, you'll note that while they reported on the delegate race for democrats, they only covered the straw poll for republicans.

Further, you're discounting the number of Ron Paul supporters that will not be bound in a brokered convention. Ron doesn't have to win /any/ states to take a brokered convention. In fact, if the right organization was in place, someone who hadn't even RUN for president could get the nomination in a brokered convention.

 
At January 30, 2008 at 9:31 AM , Blogger Martina said...

Dr Schansberg, remember me asking about delegates? Well since then I've registered as a state delegate. ;)

Indiana's primary may not go for Dr Paul, but if no one has the majority of delegates after the first round of voting, watch Dr Paul's numbers go WAAAAAY up.

I agree with shawnloy, having Dr Paul speak at the convention would be wonderful - if nothing else he'd let the establishment have it! :) We'd get a good lesson on the loss of Constitutional rights for sure! I also think it would give him the ability to perhaps negotiate for important issues (to him). For example, could he demand the nominee support transparency for the FED?

 

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