Rep. Ron Paul has more or less suspended his presidential campaign, but he has not suspended his hold on political influence, either among his devoted followers or at the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Citing “the hard work and diligence” of his fans, Mr. Paul anticipates sending 200 “bound delegates” to the Grand Old Party’s grand old party in August. That number “shatters the predictions of the pundits and talking heads and shows the seriousness of our movement,” he says.
“We will send several hundred additional supporters to Tampa who, while bound to Mitt Romney, believe in our ideas of liberty, constitutional government, and a common-sense foreign policy,” the Lone Star State lawmaker continues. “We will likely have as many as 500 supporters as delegates on the convention floor. And while this total is not enough to win the nomination, it puts us in a tremendous position to grow our movement and shape the future of the GOP.”
THE EVOLVING CLINTON
It is a teachable moment: Bill Clinton is honing some brand new media skills, now that he must negotiate a journalistic landscape that has changed, perhaps, since he was in office. Consider that Mr. Clinton’s casual asides were once a political asset, suggesting he was cozy on the campaign trail and in office. But alas. Jaunty commentary can be a liability in these excruciating times.
Mr. Clinton’s recent positive remarks about tax cuts and the business prowess of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, for instance, got stuck in the 24/7 media feedback loop, eventually causing Mr. Clinton regret. During an appearance on CNN, he apologized for “stirring up” doubts about his loyalties to President Obama.
“The fact that I was complimentary of his success as a businessman doesn’t mean that I think he should be elected and President Obama shouldn’t.”
But journalists are not much moved or pacified by such gestures. In review, a few headlines in the aftermath:
“Bill Clinton, will you please come home?” (Huffington Post), “The Battle for Bubba (Slate), “Is Bill Clinton off message?” (CNN), “Reality check: the limitations of Clinton’s clout” (National Journal), “Clinton aides: Bill screwed up” (Politico), “Good Bill Clinton Vs. Bad Bill Clinton” (The Washington Post).
“I said to my liberal friend that we are fundamentally the same. I spend money like it’s my money. And you spend money like it’s my money.”
(Then Republican Rep. Dick Armey, during an appearance on PBS’ “Firing Line,” Sept. 14, 1990)
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