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Could Ron Paul run as an independent?
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Friday, November 09, 2007

I'm at the end of a long week of conferences (two back to back), and decompressing at a coffee shop in Redmond, WA. I've barely had time to skim the QandO entries this week, so it's catch up time.

I noticed this post on Paul's foreign policy. As McQ says, Paul's domestic policies look pretty good to a libertarian, but some of us think he's pretty clueless on foreign policy. And, of course, we've been discussing the fact for a long time that his support seems driven by anti-war types as well as garden variety libertarians.

I had a new thought, though. Paul has proven a prodigious fund-raiser. Will he be content to sit out the contest when he loses the GOP nomination? (An assumption, sure, but one that is within a smidgen of 100% likely.)

So I did a bit of checking, and found this post in the Contentions blog at Commentary Magazine. It's by John Podhoretz, who is thinking along the same lines:
Which brings to mind an interesting scenario for 2008: Could Ron Paul run an independent candidacy for president in 2008 on a libertarian/anti-war/anti-monetarist platform? At this moment, it seems plausible, especially if the Democratic party nominates Hillary Clinton, who is bizarrely considered a neocon hawk by the Left netroots.
So, while I regard it as a long shot, it doesn't appear to be an implausible idea. Given the fanatic devotion of some of the Paul contingent, it seems reasonable that many would follow him into an independent bid without a second thought. The comments I've seen from them indicate that many of them will have no truck with any other candidate of either party.

If it happens, the big question of course is what impact it might have. And again, Podhoretz anticipated my own reaction:
And despite Paul’s nominal standing as a Republican — and it is nominal — wouldn’t his candidacy draw more from disaffected Democrats, as liberal Republican John Anderson’s 1980 third-party candidacy pulled voters away from Jimmy Carter and not from Ronald Reagan?
In 1980, I thought Anderson's entry into the race doomed Reagan's chances. Obviously that was way wrong.

I don't think Paul can come close to Anderson's eight percent. Too many anti-war folks will bite their tongue and vote for Hillary for Paul to do that well.

However, we saw in 2000 that even a couple of percent can throw the race a different way.

My other question is whether Paul would campaign under the Libertarian Party banner, or go completely on his own. I'm guessing the latter, but that's just a hunch.

As I said earlier, a Paul run seems unlikely. I gave Harry Browne some help in 1996, and saw firsthand just what a campaign takes out of the candidate. It's brutal. Doing it with nothing but the opportunity to play spoiler seems foolish. But Nader did it twice, so it can happen.

I also know that libertarians find it all too easy to believe lightning can strike for them. Being surrounded by acolytes, the way Paul is right now, would probably make that attitude more likely.

I think anyone who gets a chance to pin Paul down on that issue ought to do so. We might get another entertaining video out of his answer.
 
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I’m at the end of a long week of conferences (two back to back), and decompressing at a coffee shop in Redmond, WA.
Hopefully someplace decent like Tulley’s and not SB’s.
 
Written By: Ryan
URL: http://
Hopefully someplace decent like Tulley’s and not SB’s.
Jitters. One of the smaller chains. Better coffee than Starbucks, plus free Wifi. Nice people running it, too.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
I think anyone who gets a chance to pin Paul down on that

He has been "pinned down" in at least a dozen interviews and has always said that he will not run an independent campaign. If he does not get the GOP Presidential nomination, he will be running for re-election to his congressional district.

I haven’t contributed here in a long time, but I’m curious whether anyone has taken you folks on, in defense of Ron Paul’s foreign policy? If not, tap me.
 
Written By: Westmiller
URL: http://www.rlc.org
I haven’t contributed here in a long time, but I’m curious whether anyone has taken you folks on, in defense of Ron Paul’s foreign policy? If not, tap me.
Write it up and send it to me Bill.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
He has been "pinned down" in at least a dozen interviews and has always said that he will not run an independent campaign.
I guess both Podhoretz and I missed those. I did a couple of Google searches and didn’t see that pronouncement set forth anywhere.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://qando.net
Ron Paul’s documented history of hating Israel, and what he calls, "the Jewish Lobby", as well as his past support for the PLO plays directly to the left side of the political sphere, so I’m guessing thats where he will get most of his "take-away" votes.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
I’ve seen it stated that Paul has ruled out running as a third party candidate, but never seen as a formal quote.
A third party candidacy would probably cut both ways in drawing votes from Republicans and Democrats. You expected Anderson to take votes away from Reagan, but there were also plenty of Democrats who refused to vote for Reagan but did not want to vote for Carter: Anderson was the answer to their prayers. I was one of them (my first time voting), but over the years I’ve heard enough scattered comments from others to know I was far from the only Democrat who did this. This time around, there are plenty of Democrats who don’t particularly like Hillary, and who might well vote for an anti-war candidate, unless they feel party loyalty commands it.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
Ditto what Jimmy the Dhimmi said.

Also, this:
Contentions blog at Commentary Magazine. It’s by John Podhoretz
...ought to bring out the RP trolls. ;-) Needless to say, you may as well be quoting Satan himself because JPod and Commentary are the equivalent of the Antichrist in a black helicopter to the L. Ron Paul Hubbard Cult.
 
Written By: Beth
URL: http://bamapachyderm.com
Westmiller’s right about one thing: he has said he wouldn’t run as an independent. I see no reason why I’d believe him, though, especially considering how he seems as delusional about his chances as his cult kidz are. (He actually believes the stupid online and text-in polls?!)
 
Written By: Beth
URL: http://bamapachyderm.com
I’m proud to call myself a Paul supporter, and it really surprises me when I read people describe Paul as a ’tin-foil hat wearing’ ’black helicopter watching’ lunatic. He has stated many times on record that he is not a conspiracy theorist. Where is everyone getting this idea?

His platform is simple: the US is going broke because we feel the need to police the world. All he wants to do is bring all our troops home and protect our country from here. We have troops in over 130 countries. We are $10 trillion in debt (mostly to China). The Federal Reserve is printing money out of thin air, which causes the value of the dollar to deteriorate (did anyone hear that the Canadian dollar surpassed the US dollar in value this week?).

Over 70% of Americans disapprove of the war in Iraq, and Ron Paul and Kucinich are the only two seriously talking about ending it; all the other candidates are set on bombing Iran and continuing the war until this nation is bankrupt.

I ask you now, how is it in this day and age that a candidate advocating a more humble foreign policy, a responsible monetary policy, more personal and economic freedom and prosperity, and peace and commerce with all nations, can be called a nut? I think Americans need a serious reality check and should think about where this nation is heading.
 
Written By: Tyler
URL: http://www.myspace.com/tyler_chase
I’d also like to address the comment about Dr. Paul’s ’history of hating Israel’ and his ’support for the PLO’.

You’re putting words in his mouth because not only does Dr. Paul support ending aid to Israel, he supports ending aid to ALL countries. Once again, we are trillions of dollars in debt and simply cannot afford it! He has no problems with private charities giving aid to Israel, in fact he encourages it. It is simply his position (and the position of the US Constitution) that the federal government’s job is not to get into entangling alliances, but to simply mind our own business.

Dr. Paul’s congressional voting record is untouchable, this is just a smear campaign to try to tarnish his good name.

(By the way, if you saw his recent interview on CNN you would know that Dr. Paul also voted against giving Rosa Parks a gold medal. Is he a racist? No, he simply doesn’t feel it is right to use the taxpayer’s money in a wasteful manner such as this. He said he felt bad about voting against supporting one of his heroes, but had even offered to throw in his personal money to buy the medal! Of course, no other congressman took him up on this offer.)
 
Written By: Tyler
URL: http://www.myspace.com/tyler_chase
Notice how Dr. Pauls promise to end ALL foreign aid is translated: HATRED OF ISRAEL! Yup! If you want to fix our criminal economy, where the federal reserve, which is not federal, and has no reserves, continues to rape US taxpayers, you are an ANTI-SEMITE! You are a RAAACIST!
One might conclude that most media ARE in the tank for Israel.
After all, calling those with opposing views RACIST is the oldest MSM trick in the book!
I fully support Israel’s right to exist. But so many confuse "support" with "fund!" It’s not America’s job to finance ANY OTHER NATION! Believing this does not make you racist, regardless what the MSM and the pro-Israel lobby trumpets!
 
Written By: spike
URL: http://
He has been "pinned down" in at least a dozen interviews and has always said that he will not run an independent campaign.
In the interest of keeping it honest and on the up & up, though he’s been asked dozens of times that I’ve heard, his answer has always been that he "has no plans to do that." That’s simply not unequivocal rejection of the idea.

Apologies if someone already noted this. I did what you’re not supposed to do and replied prior to checking subsequent comments — which I’m going to do right now.
 
Written By: Richard Nikoley
URL: http://www.honestylog.com
I am relieved to see that there are Paul supporters posting here. I am tired of trying to answer the question; why in America is a STRICT CONSTITUTIONALIST, such as Dr. Paul, considered to be a "racist" "wacko" "hater of israel"! Does anyone here deny that there IS a Jewish lobby in D.C.? Does anyone here deny that the U.S. gives foolishly to Israel, as well as many, many other countries, the hard earned wages of American citizens? Does anyone here deny that we need to stop giving away this money and begin to use it right here in OUR OWN Nation? Again, I submit to all of YOU, why is a Constitutionalist perceived as some type of ogre, anathma to the vision of our Founding Fathers, and their vision of America? He isn’t, and this type of characterization needs to stop, if we actually hope to keep America, America! SPP, NAU, open borders, where and when will the madness stop?!
 
Written By: Michael O’Brian Sr.
URL: http://
He has stated many times on record that he is not a conspiracy theorist. Where is everyone getting this idea?

There’s a classic Onion piece with a title I won’t quote here in which the writer acts stereotypically gay but claims to be clueless and outraged when gay men pick up on it and try to make out with him. Ron Paul has the same problem - he claims not to be a conspiracy theorist, yet he’s endorsed by every Truther on the Internet. He claims not to be racist, but he’s endorsed by the likes of Stormfront and various Muslim identity groups. And so on. Even if his own stated foreign policy weren’t hopelessly naive (the Islamists will stay in their corner if we go isolationist? I have a bridge to sell you) it’s the people he’s attracted and made no attempt to drive away that are a major problem for him.
 
Written By: Ian S.
URL: http://www.ioterran.com/


re:
...many would follow him into an independent bid without a second thought.


pledging to vote for the best informed, honest, principled candidate who believes in the enforcement of constitutional law: lost on the elitists of left/right.

 
Written By: number9
URL: http://
Not that anyone cares, but with only 39% of Americans polled saying the Democrats and Republicans do an adequate job representing the people, and 57% saying they do not, well ... I think history may be unfolding before our eyes and so much MSM attention is going to the Democrat-Republicans, no one is reporting about Americans and what they want in 2008.

Gallup Poll. Sept. 14-16, 2007. N=1,010 adults nationwide. MoE ± 3.

"In your view, do the Republican and Democratic parties do an adequate job of representing the American people, or do they do such a poor job that a third major party is needed?"

Do an Adequate Job - 39%

Third Party Is Needed - 57%

Unsure - 4%

Also, both the Constitution Party and Libertarian Party may have motions introduced in their respective conventions to back Ron Paul if he runs as an Independent.

When the best approval rating the Democrats and Republicans can garner combined is a mere 39%, America is ready for a third choice. The Democrat-Republicans will strongly disagree, but America gets to make the choice, not the Democrat-Republican Party.

BTW ... a similar poll in 2003 had 56% backing the Democrat-Republican Party.

There have been anti-incumbent elections in the past. This one could go further and be an anti-political party election. That would pit the BIG government Democrat-Republicans against most Americans.
 
Written By: Chuck
URL: http://

 
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