Paul’s supporters have an impact at the convention. Did anyone think the convention, especially this year, would go off without a hitch? I doubt the most naïve GOPers would have thought so. But just to make sure they got the point, lots of Paul people were upset and took their activism to the convention. I guess they wanted to submit Paul’s name, and wanted to make their presence known. Some left in protest, and apparently some were not seated. When reading the state votes, they did not call out the Paul votes from the podium. It caused a stir.
Paul did not win a single state; however, his ardent followers worked arcane local and state party rules to take over several state delegations, including garnering 20 of Maine’s 24 spots. The RNC decided to replace 10 of them, effectively stopping the state from being able to submit Paul’s name for nomination. (In response, the state’s Republican governor, a Romney supporter, decided to boycott the convention.)
I really don’t know what to think but I had a few thoughts.
I was always open to the idea and influence of a third Party, conservative one that is. And Paul has had both. In the end, it is the GOP or Republican Party, not the Paul Party. But probably nothing would be good enough for the Paul supporters. To me, he had the same predicament the GOP had: one has to accept some undesirable elements with the ones you like. They don’t see that the same is true for the central GOP platform. But Paulines do ask that of other people. Then you have to work in the Party structure. They apparently did that. Rand Paul seems to have had some real influence on the GOP and platform – as much as he could.
No one can expect Ron Paul’s supporters to go away quietly. He ended up somewhere around 10%, in votes, which is about where he has been. I can reserve opinion on Paul but they worked the system, to the best of their ability. I have no idea what part of them will come along to support Romney. It’s a question mark to me. What if there were a couple other groups like that?
There have been improvements in the GOP Party (maybe not as much in the establishment per se) this time. Since 2010 brought in a lot of influence. There is new blood the Party cannot ignore anymore. I guess it is as good as it gets for now. What the Paul supporters do will be up to them.