Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

March 7, 2008

Ron Paul (Sorta, Kinda) Drops Out Of Presidential Race

by Doug Mataconis

While not using the specific words, Congressman Ron Paul acknowledged today that his bid for the Republican Presidential nomination has come to an end:

“Elections are short-term efforts,” Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, told supporters in a Web video tonight. “Revolutions are long-term projects.”

Paul indicated that the 2008 presidential campaign portion of his revolution is over.

An earlier version of this report indicated that Paul would “drop out” of the race. In the video, Paul did not use the words “drop out,” opting instead to say the campaign is “winding down,” and he encourages supporters to still cast votes for him. But he referred to his campaign in the past tense.

“We are still in the early stages of bringing about the changes that this revolution is all about,” Paul said in the video. “Let us hope that we can one day look back and say that this campaign was a significant first step that signaled a change in direction for our country. Our job now is to plan for the next phase.”

For Paul, that phase will mean spreading his message beyond the campaign trail. He hopes to create an umbrella organization to stoke some of the grassroots support that made his presidential campaign notable.

Which, quite honestly, is something that should have been done months ago.

There are some candidates out there worthy of support. Most notable, in New Jersey, Murray Sabrin is in what is, for the moment at least, a two person race for the Republican nomination for Senate. While the prospect of a Republican winning statewide in New Jersey aren’t good at all, it’s still a worthy race.

What remains to be seen is whether the disparate factions of the r3volution will stay united or move off in their own directions, which is what happened to the Reform Party after Ross Perot.

Update: Based on this report from CNN, it looks like the “kinda, sorta” qualification won’t be applicable for much longer:

(CNN) — A spokesman for Ron Paul’s presidential campaign said Friday that the Texas congressman is ending his run for the White House.

“We are acknowledging that Ron will not be the nominee and that we are winding down the campaign,” said Jesse Benton, the Paul campaign’s communication manager.

Makes sense to me.

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  • RegularRon

    Doug, the fractions were there as soon as he started gaining support. Even though I am a supporter of the Doc, I found it to be very uneasy to be around a lot of the supporters because I was and still am a Buchananite. Most of the new supporters of the Doc, were coming from a Leftists prospective. Something, I do not like or understand. And a lot of the supporters were bring with them, there own causes. 9/11 truthers for instance.

    And for him to kinda/sorta drop out, that’s fine. I’m not hurt by it. As soon as the results started coming out of N.H, I knew it was done. Because if he couldn’t win there, then it was going to be downhill from then on.

    But for a “Liberty Coalition/Party” or whatever they want to call it. It’s not going to work. Just take a look at what happened with Murray Rothbard and the Libertarian party. Fractions. And that’s how it’s been ever since. Some want the Libertine lifestyle, and others like myself believe Libertarianism is a political philosophy. Again, that is why it wouldn’t work.

    That’s my two cents on it.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    RegularRon,

    The ones that cracked me up were people who suggested that Dennis Kucinich would be a great running mate for Ron Paul.

    If someone thinks that RP and Denny K have anything in common other than opposition to the Iraq War, then it’s clear they didn’t understand what their own candidate was saying.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    I think those who thought so were viewing it as a Protest Vote, but if that ticket were to be taken seriously, political deadlock more powerful than a locomotive would’ve over take the White House.

    Other than Iraq, though, I do imagine they would find some common ground in reigning in the executive branch due to constitutional breaches, however.

    But the ticket, for me at least, remains an idyllic fantasy of the recent ex-leftist’s conversions to RP and/or libertarianism.

    As for political fractions, I do imagine that Libertarians could make inroads by running as one of the major parties, as RP showed.

    However, RP also showed the problems of having a terribly unorganized campaign, the people running it, and certain decisions made by RP himself.

  • RegularRon

    Dough, you aren’t kidding about that.

    I went to a few meetup meetings, and most of them would bring up Kucinich as a running mate. Of course me being an out spoken type of guy, would try to talk some sense to them. It wouldn’t work. Or, say when the “newsletters” came out,some of the younger ones (18-25y.o’s) got squimish with the thought that the Libertarian/far-right had some unsavory charactors involved with it. Not like some of us who had been apart of this “movement” ( by the way, I hate that friggin word)didn’t know that. Hell, go to a Gun show sometime. You’ll find them there.

    So, again I don’t believe we will have some kind of coalition. I’m sorry I do not want to be apart of something where people want the Kuinich types to be involved.

  • RegularRon

    Nitro, I do agree with your take on the “protest” vote. I often wonder if these folks would have been on the Denny K. bandwagon if he had taken off like the Doc.

    But kind of have to take issue with the “Constitutional breaches” comment. If, and God forbid if it had happened, that Denny K. and the Doc did team up, all I have to do is look at what Kuinich did when he was Mayor of Cleveland. Let’s put it this way, he almost made that city be non-existent on the map. He was Awful.And have a feeling he would have tried to do same if he had gone to the White House.

    It’s my personal belief that the majority of the Doc’s supporters won’t be around next year. They’ll find some other canidate to latch on to. Who will be more than likely a Leftist scum-bag. That in a whole, was my problem with the supporters, as I stated in the above post.

    Oh, and on a side note on what I meant with my “newsletters” comment I do not agree with a portion of what was said in them. I just have known about them for a long time. They were always available at certain meetings I use to attend. So they didn’t bother me a bit. That’s what I was meaning by that.

  • C. Bentley

    tactical move by Ron Paul. he aint’quitting. the stealth delegates strat can only work by surprise

  • C. Bentley

    go check Lincoln

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Bentley,

    I will bet you a $ 100 donation to charity that there will be no stealth delegates, John McCain will be nominated, and, more importantly, Ron Paul won’t.

  • Ben

    One thing I never understood was talk of all the factions in libertarianism. The beautiful thing about being a libertarian to me is that there’s room for everyone. I may be an atheist libertine and you may be a church going social conservative, but as libertarians we both agree that the government should leave us to do what we want with our own lives. In turn, neither of us wants to try and shove our own lifestyles down someone else’s throat or use the government to legislate how our neighbords live. I’ve always viewed libertarianism as truly a big tent philosophy. As long as we all believe in maximizing individual freedom and keeping government in check, can’t we all get along?

  • C. Bentley

    maybe he will lose. but you cannot stop me. I’m educating the French, the one nation that gave America its most powerful symbol, the Statue of Liberty.

    http://ronpaulsymbole.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Bentley,

    I didn’t say anything about stopping you. You’re free to do what you want and, since we’re all fighting for the same thing (I think), good luck with it.

    Not interested in the bet, eh ? ;)

  • oilnwater

    ben, i think that all goes awry when you get institutional libertarians, like doug is a CATO institutional libertarian. what doug will do is lambaste figures who represent a view which might be seen as against a tenet of CATO philosophy.

    so with that fallout, it’s easy to lose sight of a central tenet of libertarianism that you mentioned: role of govt.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    oilnwater,

    And, of course, Ron Paul’s supporters never stooped to the level of spewing out obscenity laden personal attacks against anyone that questioned His Holiness St. Ron (all praise his name).

    Except that they did.

    Cato never opposed Ron Paul, by the way. David Boaz was on POTUS `08 on XM Radio just yesterday talking about the Presidential candidate and said that Paul was the closest to libertarianism of all the Presidential candidates but that the problems with his campaign and bad organization prevented him from going further than he might have.

  • C. Bentley

    good point ben.
    doug, well I don’t want you to lose 100$. We already HAVE stealth delegates. :)
    I’m not betting 100$ on the nomination but I know it is very unlikely Ron Paul will win it. I’m not sure yet if McCain has 1191 legally bound delegates. Nobody knows yet.
    remember lincoln

  • oilnwater

    i never said CATO was anti-paul, but as an true adherent to CATO philosophy, or its basic tenets, you are obviously inclined to lambaste him where he parts ways with CATO. also simply for google hits too. it’s not Machiavellian. you aren’t sophisticated enough for that kind of motivation.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis

    Did I not have the right to point out where I disagree with him and why ?

  • oilnwater

    you’ve done quite a bit more than that, and you would do quite well to admit it. now, if you would take it a step further and finally forget about Ron Paul and perhaps focus on who you’d like to see representing lib. philosophy on various levels of American govt, you would at least seem more like a person interested in promoting libertarianism’s progression and less like someone who dreams of being a pundit-thingy one day. and much less petty.

  • Ben

    I don’t understand both the CATO hate and the implication that Doug is part of some evil conspiracy that always shows up by commenters here. Wouldn’t any libertarian agree with at least 75-80% of what CATO publishes?
    And I don’t think Doug or the Liberty Papers are big enough to be part of any machiavellian conspiracies.

  • http://poppychop.net/ Nitroadict

    The problem (as I see it) is that some people generalize what some of CATO’s member’s write / produce as representing CATO in it’s entirety.

    I would also point to this as the problem (differences of perspective & subsequent miscommunication) with the way RP supporters may see other Libertarians, as well as vice-versa (for instance: Rockwell does not represent RP supporters per se, etc. etc.).

    Not to say everything otherwise would be Hunky Dory, as there are fundamental differences in ideas that kind of split people off into differing factions, but you get my point I think.

  • C. Bentley

    Doug, without Ron Paul quixotic campaign, I would not be educating people. And many others wouldn’t be either.
    tone down your ego and give him credit.

  • http://copiousdissent.blogspot.com Devil’s Advocate

    I just wrote a brief editorial why libertarians should now vote for John McCain. I’m going around trying to get the opinion of Paul Supporters. I’d love to hear your comment on my post to let me know what you think.

    We really need your help.

    Why Ron Paul Supporters Should Vote For McCain

  • oilnwater
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