Why Is Ron Paul Still In The GOP Race - And What Does He Want?

He hasn't won a single state primary or caucus, yet Ron Paul soldiers on in the GOP presidential race. He is quietly amassing delegates to the GOP national convention, but his real aim is to infuse the party with his brand of Republicanism.

Given the delegate math, it's improbable that Paul could attain the nomination. What, then, does he want to achieve by staying in the race? And what is to become of the Ron Paul Revolution – his supporters and his libertarian message – when Paul himself bows out?

He appears to have considered such questions. "Politicians don't amount to much," Paul once said, "but ideas do."

In other words, for Paul, it's about the message, not the office, says Ford O'Connell, chairman of the conservative Civic Forum PAC in Washington, D.C. "His intent is not to seek further office. He's trying to start a conversation about the direction of the country and the GOP."

Add in media speculation over a Paul-Romney alliance that has each candidate treating the other with kid gloves (which both campaigns have denied), and, the theory goes, whether by threat or pact, Paul is angling for influence.

"He wants to leave his mark," says Mr. O'Connell. "If Romney is the eventual nominee, he wants to have a say in the platform, or a say in the [vice presidency]."

Read more from Husna Haq at The Christian Science Monitor 

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published this page in In The News 2012-03-15 12:00:00 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy