Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ron Paul Finally Gets His Moment at the Republican Convention

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Ron Paul Finally Gets His Moment at the Republican Convention

Article excerpt

It wasnt billed as such, but Ron Pauls moment at the Republican Convention Wednesday evening marked the effective end of a long and remarkable political career as the libertarian gadfly within the GOP.

He gave no scheduled speech here; he had refused to let the Romney campaign pre-approve any comments he might have made. And his supporters fought hard and very vocally to the end unsuccessfully, as it turned out against the Republican Partys last-minute efforts to restrict the number and voice of future insurgents, obviously referencing the 177 delegates Mr. Paul had won in the partys presidential caucuses and primaries and were pushing to have his name at least entered into nomination before the roll call vote.

But it does the Republican Party and Mitt Romneys presidential campaign no good to alienate an active and unique slice of conservatism one with considerable overlap with the tea party movement.

Are you a true Ron Paul supporter? Take our quiz!

So early Wednesday evening (before prime-time convention broadcasts), US Rep. Paul received a video tribute to his career. And in a speech a few minutes later, his son US Sen. Rand Paul let Republicans know that his fathers brand of libertarianism remains a force within the party.

In comments from a range of politicians at least one of whom confessed that at first he thought Ron Paul was crazy the 12-term Texas congressman was lauded as one who never wavered, never backed down.

I used to tell new members that they could make a difference or they could make a point, said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. Ron Paul is the only one whos made a difference by making a point.

In his speech a few minutes later, and with a twinkle in his eye, Rand Paul referred to his father just once as a certain congressman from Texas who ran for the presidency of the United States.

But he sounded very much like the elder Mr. Paul when he thundered about the Constitution, citing Alexander Hamilton and James Madison, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson in arguing for limited government. And he was very clear in his support for Mitt Romney as someone who believes in America's greatness someone who understands and appreciates what makes America great, someone who will lead our party and our nation forward.

Its unclear whether Rand Pauls position today will mollify his fathers supporters still stinging from the Republican establishment rebuke they perceived.

Many found the party rules changes aimed at them and those like them dispiriting.

"If you're trying to win a presidential campaign and put on a show, you shouldn't poke a sharp stick in the eye of conservative activists, Colorado delegate Dudley Brown, who leads a gun rights organization, told the Associated Press. That's what happened.

Sarah Palin (whose absence at the convention is a sore point with many of her supporters) tweeted that the rule changes are a direct attack on grassroots activists by the GOP establishment. …

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