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January 2008
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Paul Crow

I was going to wait until I saw a “100% reporting” number, but I guess 99% will do. On this week’s Curmudgeon’s Corner I predicted that while I didn’t know where he would place exactly, that Ron Paul would beat Rudy Guiliani in New Hamphshire. With 99% reporting on CNNs Tally Page the final was 20,387 for Guiliani and 18,276 for Ron Paul.

I guess the Paulites just didn’t get enough turnout to manage it, and Giuliani did OK enough on his last couple debates to reverse his slide in the state.

Also, the revelations about Ron Paul’s newsletter a couple decades ago can’t have helped, although that was new news while the voting was going on. And despite Paul’s disavowal of the content that was published under his name, I think he has reached his high water mark. This stuff has hurt him. And failure to break 10% in the first two states will dampen a lot of the enthusiasm of his big supporters. He may go a bit longer because he has the cash to do so, but I’m not sure how much longer.

And I think the stuff from the newsletters, disavowal or not, has enough people shaken that the support for pushing him to go ahead and run third party will falter. Paul has gathered a lot of strength, but his flaw has always been a failure to distance himself from the complete kooks that are drawn to him… and to fail to just know when to push some things and when to just shut the hell up… IE: The anti-war humble foreign policy stuff – Good… the government should leave us all alone stuff – Good… the limited federal government and federalism stuff – Good… the follow the constitution stuff – Good… the Federal Reserve is evil and lets go back to the gold standard stuff… just drop it, not going to happen, not a winning issue, just makes people think you are crazy…

I desperately want a good Libertarian oriented candidate who leans strongly in that direction… but yet makes some reasonable concessions to reality and distances himself from the crazies and nutjobs… and of course isn’t one himself. Paul isn’t that candidate.

I still agree more closely with Paul than any other candidate running on quite a large spectrum of issues. But he is not a candidate who will be able to move any of these ideas any further than he already has due to a lot of these fatal flaws he has.

Having said that, I still give him credit for pushing this kind of thing further than anybody else in recent years.

But I’m thinking his time is almost done.

If I were to vote in the Republican primary or caucus here in Washington state, or if Ron Paul ends up on the ballot in November would I vote for him??? A month ago I definitely would have. Today would I? Dunno. I’d have to think about it more carefully. I’m guessing a lot of folks who like(d) Ron Paul are having similar thoughts these days.