Another Time Ron Paul Beat the Entire GOP Establishment

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It was in 1996, when Bush Sr. and Jr., Newt Gingrich and every other neocon, united to defeat Ron and elected Greg Laughlin. Ron’s smart and principled campaign for Congress beat the whole bunch of them, and how sweet it was. All of Ron’s campaigns have been fun, but that was the greatest moment–until this one, of course. (Thanks to Brad Funkhouser.)

BTW, although many great people were involved in the ’96 campaign, a key man, as he alway was in Ron’s elections, was the late Tony Payton. Tony was a major-league Republican consultant. But he was a libertarian, and he loved Ron Paul. A tall cowboy of a guy from Kansas, who wore boots and hat, he always reminded me of a character out of a Louis L’Amour novel. He could seem diffident and even shy at times, but there were great depths of intelligence, courage, principle, and sophistication. No wonder he admired Ron. No wonder that Ron and the rest of us thought the world of him.

Tony would keep track of the race from afar, then visit Ron’s district several times, and offer –in fascinating hours at the office, followed always by dinner at a Mexican restaurant–the most extraordinary political guidance I have ever heard, for strategy, advertising, research, polling, organizing, and turnout. And he had the charm and ability to do it all in a high-tension, strong-ego political operation without ruffling any feathers. He was an amazing man.

9:37 am on January 5, 2008