by Ron Paul: The
War That’s Not a War
Moines, Iowa (CNN) — When Rep. Ron Paul walked into Hy-Vee Hall
last month, a single blue sign with a simple message was placed
near the escalator that took him upstairs to a fundraiser attended
by 300 Republican activists.
It read: "President
Ron Paul 2012."
The sign was
symbolic in many ways: Even as Iowa Republicans are focused on midterm
elections, the 2012 presidential contest is not far from their minds.
And it was just three years ago that Paul did not receive an invitation
to participate in a presidential candidate forum held in this very
The sight of
the Texas congressman riding the escalator up to address this group
of influential Republicans was illustrative of how he has risen
from a little-known congressman and afterthought presidential candidate
to the national spokesman on libertarian philosophy.
All of this
comes from a man who has no illusions that he can win his party’s
presidential nomination, but that won’t stop him from running again
in 2012 if he decides to do so.
probably hard to believe, but I look at it a little bit differently
than others," Paul said in an interview during his recent visit
to Iowa. "I don’t expect to be president. I don’t expect to
be. That doesn’t mean I won’t run for president, but I am really
energized when I think we make inroads … to broaden the outreach
on the philosophy I have been talking about for 40 years."
of limited government, disdain for the Federal Reserve and belief
that the U.S. should withdraw its troops from Afghanistan has attracted
an eclectic following of young people, anti-war activists and those
wary of government intrusion.
his 2008 White House run as a third-tier candidate, a gadfly with
little support and even less money. Paul was never considered a
serious frontrunner for the GOP nomination, but an explosion of
support in the fall of 2007, fueled by online contributions, carried
him into Iowa. There, he received 10 percent of the vote in the
caucuses. He officially ended his presidential campaign in June
2008, well after Sen. John McCain had received enough support to
win the Republican nomination.
ever take personal credit as much as being in the right place at
the right time and maybe saying the right things," Paul said.
"I have said the same things for 30 years when it came to financial
bubbles. See, the business cycle theory is what motivated me to
get into politics."
On this night
in Des Moines, Paul stuck to his talking points. He never mentioned
a possible presidential run in 2012. Instead, Paul spoke of limited
government and the need for government officials to follow the Constitution,
which just so happened to be the theme of the Iowa GOP’s fundraiser.
Paul’s address was bookended by standing ovations.
been excited about and what he is talking about," John Bowery,
a Republican from Shenandoah, Iowa, said after Paul’s speech. "I
am sorry he didn’t get more attention in 2008. I don’t know if he
is going to run in 2012. If someone like him does, I will be all
Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.