The Rise of Ron Paul – Can He Take Iowa?
As the tea party has lurched from one incomprehensible candidate to another and found itself settling (most recently) on Newt Gingrich in the final days before the January 3rd Iowa voting, one question remains unanswered.
Can Ron Paul finally be taken seriously enough to win the Iowa caucuses?
Notwithstanding the claims by some of the pundits that Paul’s position on Iran* could cause him to lose in Iowa, Paul has actually been gaining ground in the polls. And Paul would seem to be the natural fit for the tea party crowd (He was “tea party” before the tea party was cool, or even invented by the billionaire Koch brothers). Okay, maybe not “this” tea party, the whole being against unilateral attacks on countries we don’t like thing is anathema to the tea party, but close enough. After all, the tea party simply adapts reality to whatever it wants to rationalize that day (call it “The Matrix, Part IV”).
But I digress.
The bottom line is that Ron Paul is actually making a concerted effort to do well in Iowa. And why not, at 76 it’s really his last shot at the Presidency and his branding is good for this particular year. Stranger things have happened. For example, after the tea party cycled through Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, and Herman Cain they jumped from these unconventional candidates to the dyed-in-the-wool Washington insider Newt Gingrich. And could be in a position to vote for “the next guy in line” Mitt Romney, who has been running for President full time for over five years. So much for unconventional.
But there is still hope. No, I don’t mean Rick Santorum, whose severe anti-gay attitudes are too extreme even for the tea party (who prefer to wrap their bigotry in anti-Muslim garb these days). I mean Ron Paul. After all, he is the only one left in the ABM (Anyone But Mitt) rankings. And his anti-government views fit in with the tea party desire to remove all impediments to rampant robber baronism, fair opportunity for the lowly 99% of us, and those protections for human health and the environment that just cut into corporate profits and the ability to fund pork projects.
So Ron Paul has decided to go after frontrunner of the week Newt Gingrich. Besides being more than a little testy at the recent debates, Paul has issued a scathing reminder that Newt Gingrich tends to talk out of both sides of his mouth. Check out Paul’s new campaign ad:
The word “serial,” by the way, isn’t a coincidence. The political marketing guru’s know that it will instantly trigger visions of Gingrich’s serial affairs, marriages, un-marriages, and his hypocrisy of trying to impeach Bill Clinton for having an affair while Newt himself was carrying on his latest affair.
But that is just icing to the cake of the main message – Gingrich is a Washington player who puts his own financial well-being ahead of all else.
So with the Iowa caucuses coming up in just over two weeks, with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays squeezed in between, and with Gingrich’s sudden surge starting to un-surge, Paul is looking to do well and maybe even win in Iowa.
And that would be really really interesting. If nothing else, a vote for Ron Paul in Iowa is a vote for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire. Which is why Romney is snickering a bit these days.
*P.S. BTW, this is Paul’s explanation of his position on Iran and what the US should, or should not, do regarding the potential for Iran to get nuclear weapons.