Monday, May 21, 2012

Poor Mitt

Mitt Romney must be wondering if Ron Paul's campaign is ever actually going to end. Here's a quarter, Mitt. No.

Ron Paul and his followers are determined to keep their libertarian ideas before the GOP, and they're going to do it by hijacking delegates at state conventions, like the one in Minnesota this weekend.

After years of quiet, relentless organizing, followers of libertarian-leaning GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul have exploded inside the Minnesota Republican Party, becoming its most potent army.

"This is one of the greatest states that I have witnessed, where I have seen the transition, where the enthusiasm's there," the grinning Texas congressman told hundreds of exuberant activists Saturday at the state party's convention in St. Cloud, where he won 12 of 13 open delegate spots to the GOP national convention in Tampa, Fla., in August. The 13th went to former presidential candidate and U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann -- and only after a Paul supporter dropped out to let her have that spot.

In Minnesota, more than almost any other state, Paul forces have completed a historic party takeover. They proved their might Saturday, but also firmly established Minnesota as a remote GOP outpost nationally.

Now state GOP activists will march to the national convention firmly backing Paul rather than presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
[Emphasis added]

More traditional GOP activists were both stunned and angry at the outcome. Many of them have ruled the state party for decades, but recently they haven't done so well. Money ran out and the party was given an eviction notice for non-payment of rent due on their state offices. The party was ripe for the picking and the Pauliacs stepped right in.

What I found somewhat surprising is that the Tea Partiers didn't have any success this time around.

Paul power comes from a sharply different place than the Tea Party movement, which the GOP welcomed just a few years ago. Tea Party members and the libertarian-minded sound similar when they talk of less spending and a dramatically reduced government, but beyond that, they part ways. Libertarians preach less intrusion in private life, question all federal income taxes and want to leave moral issues up to states.

The change also marks a clear split from when state Republicans made "family values" the passport for party entry. Instead of evangelizing about religious principles, Paul disciples cheer for a scaled-back foreign policy and the freedom to drink raw milk and grow hemp.
[Emphasis added]

Does that mean President Obama will have no trouble in Minnesota? Not hardly. The state which elected Sen. Franken and Gov. Dayton in extremely close races also elected Michele Bachmann and will probably re-elect her.

It does mean, however, that there are still a lot of people unwilling to just fall in line behind Mitt Romney, and the convention is less than three months away. He'll have to keep tacking to the right on economic issues and tax issues and figure out a way to satisfy the social conservatives without offending everyone else.

And there's still more primaries and state conventions ahead.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home