On Pins and Needles

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According to the generally untrustworthy Washington Post:

Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) may have ended his presidential campaign, but the libertarian gadfly isn’t exactly going quietly into the good night. Just because the national best-selling author has decided he won’t be a spoiler for his party in November doesn’t mean he won’t perhaps spoil one day of the Republican Party’s convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in September.

Paul is planning a one-day shadow convention that could be the wildest party of the entire week. Especially if a certain famous long-haired, bandanna-wearing, pot-smoking, libertarian-leaning country star accepts Paul’s invitation to perform.

Yes, Willie Nelson.

The Paul campaign, which has morphed into a grass-roots movement called the Campaign for Liberty, is on pins and needles awaiting Nelson’s response. “We would be thrilled if Willie Nelson could come, and he has an open invitation to join us,” says Paul spokesman Jesse Benton.The shadow convention already has a firm commitment from MSNBC ‘s Tucker Carlson, a longtime libertarian, to emcee the event. “When Ron Paul calls and asks you to emcee, you don’t say no,” Carlson tells us. “I’m sure it’ll be a good time, and I love the libertarians.”

Paul also is planning a book event in Minneapolis. His book “The Revolution” has been on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks straight but with a dagger next to it, which, according to Book Review, means it was purchased in bulk at some bookstores.

Naturally, we wondered whether the Paul campaign had mass ordered the book. Sara Nelson, editor in chief of Publishers Weekly, explains that “usually, books bought in bulk are bought by someone with a platform — owners of a business or someone who has another career as a public speaker. They buy the books in bulk to resell them.”

The Paul campaign, or movement as it may be, says it bought just 60 books total, to give out to supporters. “We are going to buy 500 to give away for our new organization,” Benton says. The book is selling so well, he says, because Paul’s book is a “manifesto, a tool, stuff a man on the street can understand.”

Paul decided to have his own convention because he wasn’t given a speaking role at the GOP convention. “He has not been invited to speak,” Benton says, “and we are not expecting that invitation to come.”

11:15 am on July 5, 2008