Well, fresh off his CPAC success, I guess Ron Paul either read my post where I thought he could be a kingmaker or just wants more money for his Liberty PAC.
In either case, I got an e-mail yesterday, over Rep. Paul’s signature, which told me the following:
Along with all the attention and National news, invitations to visit key political states are pouring in. I want to honor as many of these requests as possible, and I need your help.
I have committed to trips to Iowa on March 7th and March 23rd, and I need your help to get me there.
My trip on March 7th would include three stops across the state, and it will prove tremendously valuable to our cause. But, all of these stops are hundreds of miles apart and cannot be done in a car. This trip will require a charter plane, and let me tell you, it is not cheap.
Others can rely on big corporate money to fund their travel budget.
We may not be able to tap the deep coffers of the Establishment, but we have something they will never have: a committed group of individuals armed with knowledge and ideas.
If thousands of us come together and chip in, we can counter the big special interest money.
Other invitations are flooding in from New Hampshire, Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, and more.
I want to honor as many of these requests as possible to spread our message and set the stage for all of our political activity over the next 18 months. (Emphasis in original.)
Paul’s Liberty PAC was a fairly minor player in the last two-year cycle – FEC records show it only spent about $22,000 on candidate contributions in 2009-10 and had just under $100,000 cash on hand at the end of last year. And while I’ve never enlisted the services of a charter plane, I don’t think $100k will get you too far in a Presidential campaign.
Perhaps the Iowa trip is a precursor to forming an exploratory committee?
The conventional wisdom – at least prior to this era where the apple cart is overturned as quickly and completely as possible – used to be that one needed to get into the race really early to build up a profile. But this election seems different because of the aspects of social media and a 24/7 news cycle. As of this writing, I’m only aware of two candidates with exploratory committees while others are biding their time, including Paul.
But, to me, this Iowa trip suspiciously seems like a way of testing the waters for Ron Paul, and if I were a betting man I’d say he’s going to make one more go of it. And don’t be surprised if his son Rand doesn’t follow in his footsteps come 2016 or 2020. Perhaps then we could have a Paul/Paul ticket.
I’d like to see Ron Paul a little closer to home myself, but Maryland and Delaware will likely be afterthoughts in the political process. It’s why we need regional primaries; otherwise my suspicion is that Super Tuesday will be April 3, 2012 and Maryland would be just one of a dozen or more states scattered all across the country vying for the candidates’ attention. With only a few dozen convention delegates at stake we’re probably not a big target.
(As the rules stand right now, states which allot delegates proportionately go first, with ‘winner-take-all’ states like Maryland only allowed to select convention delegates after April 1, 2012. I presume this is to maintain the maximum possible number of contenders for the longest amount of time, so we’re not stuck with only a few surviving candidates by the time our turn arrives.)
That’s something as a state party we need to address soon. Meanwhile, if Ron Paul gets any of those Maryland delegates you can consider me shocked.