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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
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Now the Washington Post is on the case.

washingtonpost.com
A curious thing happened this year at the Maryland Republican Party booth at the State Fair: A GOP presidential straw poll was won by Ron Paul, the idiosyncratic congressman from Texas who is a fierce critic of the Iraq war.

Perhaps just as curious was the Maryland GOP's decision to trumpet the results in a news release last week with the headline: "Maryland GOP Presidential Straw Poll Is a Big Success; Grassroots Candidate Wins Surprise Upset."

According to the release, Paul received 263 votes, and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani (for whom Republican former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. is toiling) was second with 220 votes. (Ehrlich received three write-in votes.) Former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson-- who had yet to declare his candidacy -- finished third with 188 votes. No other candidate cracked 100 votes.

All told, nearly 1,000 people cast ballots in the Maryland GOP's first-ever presidential straw poll at the fair. The party said the straw poll was open to everyone of voting age, regardless of party affiliation, who stopped by the GOP booth.

The campaigns of nine GOP presidential candidates were invited to have representatives at the booth. It turns out only Paul had someone there all 11 days, the party said.

"The final vote showing Ron Paul won is a lesson for all campaigns of how grass-roots politics can make all the difference," said Chris Cavey, first vice chairman of the Maryland Republican Party and co-chairman of the party's State Fair Planning Committee.

"The Paul campaign repeatedly e-mailed their base of support to turn out at the State Fair to cast a vote for Dr. Paul, and in doing so, demonstrated that a small, organized operation can beat the odds."
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by QBNCGAR
So, I just watched this entire video (65 minutes), and have a very good picture of where Ron Paul stands.

All that said, I think he needs some help in refining his message a bit.

You can't trip him up, because he's absolutely genuine about his convictions. There are some aspects of his platform that - now and again - come across as very, very cold.

1) Education - he needs to clarify his stance on the federal Department of Education, so that people are aware he has no desire to see public education go away. His comments need to emphasize the difference between state & federal government, and then hammer home how bad the federal government is at doing nearly anything.

2) Health care - the premise of 'universal health care' is one that even compassionate conservatives can warm up to, but it's one that requires we place our faith in the federal government to do anything well. He makes mention of "truly free" societies when discussing some of the thornier issues, almost as if it's his magic squiggly cloud on math homework (e.g. I know the answer, but don't know how to demonstrate why I got there). Things like that shouldn't be left to people's imaginations in that fashion, because their imaginations will be fearful. He needs some historical examples of how society - unburdened by federal regulations - will continue to see fit to take care of the least fortunate among us once the government finally vacates that business.
I thought he did a fine job espousing his positions, which is not an easy task. For one thing, the man is a genuine intellectual heavyweight, who has to explain things to an interested but largely uneducated audience, which I think he does extremely well -- if you look at his performance as that of a professor lecturing and interacting with his students, I think you'll agree that his would have been a very popular class.

Where I believe he must place greater emphasis is a subject that he definitely touches upon in this lengthy interview, and that is that he has no illusions of being able to thrust hard-core libertarianism upon an unsuspecting and unprepared nation. His ideals represent a target, something to strive for that would undoubtedly take generations to achieve. What he does want to accomplish is to break the back of our steadfast trend toward bigger government and a nanny state, and send us in the opposite direction toward free markets, smaller government, and personal liberty.

Finally, I would like to see an NCAA March Madness-style series of one-on-one elimination debates, with a panel of objective judges to declare the winner, who then proceeds to the next round. No GOP candidate in his right mind would agree to such an arrangement as long as Dr. Paul remains in the race, and I can only think of a single Dem candidate who might walk away relatively unscathed...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GermanStar
I thought he did a fine job espousing his positions, which is not an easy task. For one thing, the man is a genuine intellectual heavyweight, who has to explain things to an interested but largely uneducated audience, which I think he does extremely well -- if you look at his performance as that of a professor lecturing and interacting with his students, I think you'll agree that his would have been a very popular class.

Where I believe he must place greater emphasis is a subject that he definitely touches upon in this lengthy interview, and that is that he has no illusions of being able to thrust hard-core libertarianism upon an unsuspecting and unprepared nation. His ideals represent a target, something to strive for that would undoubtedly take generations to achieve. What he does want to accomplish is to break the back of our steadfast trend toward bigger government and a nanny state, and send us in the opposite direction toward free markets, smaller government, and personal liberty.

Finally, I would like to see an NCAA March Madness-style series of one-on-one elimination debates, with a panel of objective judges to declare the winner, who then proceeds to the next round. No GOP candidate in his right mind would agree to such an arrangement as long as Dr. Paul remains in the race, and I can only think of a single Dem candidate who might walk away relatively unscathed...
Well said.

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